Are you fed up of spending a fortune on airfare? Well, good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting method to convert welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles, which can be used to get discounted or even complimentary flights for your dream destinations. With a little bit of imagination and a little bit of insider know-how, you’ll fly for no cost within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about swapping credit card sign-up bonus as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can later be used to buy discounted or even free flights. Some credit cards also permit you to use miles to pay for hotel stays or rental car offers.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for success in hacking travel is taking advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and to establish a frequent flyer mile program on a select group of airlines. When it’s time to book a flight, evaluate the cost. If the cost is less than $300, it’s generally better to pay in cash and use your miles to pay to take a more costly flight. When the flights start getting over $500, you’ll need to look into those frequent flyer accounts and find out which airline will give you the best deal. It all comes down to the amount of points or miles you have you have in your travel savings account for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to travel hacking? The first step is to open an account that comes with a welcome bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards that offer various advantages and features. It is all dependent on the airline, your habits with spending and what features are essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards great for travel hacking:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
After you’ve been accepted for a credit card, you’ll need to reach the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to qualify for the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so be certain to verify the details. Then you can begin to rack up miles and then using them to book your dream vacation!
Ready to jet-set with your points?
Once you’ve accumulated your points balance, you’re ready to cash them in for some delicious vacation! Different credit card companies will have different methods for redeeming your points, but here are some examples from a few of the ones I have experience with:
Take a trip through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you’re a holder of a Chase credit card, then you are able to use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through it, you’ll get access to almost every airline. You can make use of a combination of points and cash to pay for your trip. You can book your flight entirely on points if you have the balance for it! Sometimes even if you don’t possess enough points for the entire cost, you still can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using every credit card.
Are you fed up of paying full price for your flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option of paying using dollars or points? But, be careful that if you do not have enough points you aren’t able to combine points and dollars on one flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re only a couple of points away, United gives you the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers passengers a relaxing and pleasant travel experience that includes extra legroom and free snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines, allowing customers to book using either JetBlue dollar or points but not both. But, JetBlue has a unique feature that allows you to join your points with your relatives to earn points twice as quickly. Just make sure you can establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack into the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel companion Becca I’m sure you’re pretty economical and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum amount required to earn credit card bonuses. But don’t fret as we’ve done it and we’re here to share some of our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able to pay your rent using credit card, go for it! Make sure you pay a cost, which is usually around 3%. It may be worth it over the long term in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another great way to hit the spending limit is to cover the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills in the near future then ask your family members if you can pay for theirs and they’ll pay you back.
Pay off a loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan take into consideration paying them off with your credit card. Be sure to pay the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Talk to your family and determine if they’ve got any major expenses in the near future which you could help pay for. Make sure that you are able to have confidence in the person you are talking to and they understand why you’re doing this.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season you should consider purchasing all your gifts with the credit card you have. So you’ll be able to reach the minimum spending requirement and also be ready for giving gifts. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you were contemplating to.
There are many ways to get the most out of your travel credit card. You can accrue points or miles to spend on flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few additional ideas for maximizing the rewards you earn:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, make use of your travel credit card to pay for your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as any other travel-related expenses. You’ll not only achieve the minimum spend to earn your credit card reward as well, but you’ll also earn points or miles to cover those expenses.
Make use of your credit card to pay for all your daily expenses
Another way to hit the minimum spend in order to accumulate points utilising your credit cards to pay daily costs. This can include things like food, gas, and even your phone bill. Be sure to pay the balance off each month in full so you don’t pay interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide bonus points or miles for specific types of purchases, like eating out or traveling. Check out your credit card’s rewards program and make use of any bonus categories that align with your spending routines.
Think about a balance transfer
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a credit card, consider transferring the balance to the travel credit card which has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will let you pay off your debts without accruing interest, and also assist you in reaching the minimum amount required to earn the credit card’s bonus.
Use your points or miles prudently
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of points or miles, be sure to use the points or miles wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card and then compare the worth of various redemption options. For instance you can use points to book a flight directly through the airline may provide you with a greater return than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another tip is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will allow you to have a wider range of choices and more flexibility when redeeming your rewards. For instance, you might be capable of transferring your rewards to the frequent flyer program of an airline or a reward program for hotels. This gives an access larger range of flights, hotels as well as other travel perks which are not available through the rewards program on your credit card.
In addition, you should determine if your credit card offers any perks that can reduce your travel costs. Some cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that are invaluable when you travel.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a friend and both of you earn rewards with your own credit card. Just remember that you can’t share the costs on the same card, and be sure to track your rewards separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do to maximizing your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program of your credit card and make sure you’re making use of your credit card in the most efficient method possible. Through a combination of the strategies I’ve outlined, you’ll be able to get rewards in a short time, use rewards for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide range of travel perks.