Are you fed up of spending a fortune on airfare? Well, good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s a fun way to convert sign-up bonuses and incentives into miles which you can use to obtain discounted or free flights to your ideal destinations. With a little bit of imagination and some knowledge, you can travel for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. The miles can be used to purchase discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards allow you to redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or rental car offers.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for successful travel hacking is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and to establish frequent flyer miles for a specific group of airlines. When you are ready to book a flight take a look at the price. If the price is less than $300, it’s generally better to pay cash and save your miles to book a higher-priced flight. If the prices start to rise higher than $500, it’s best to look into your frequent flyer accounts and determine which airline offers you the most value. It all boils down to the number of points or miles in your travel bank for each airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets of travel hacking? First step opening a credit card that comes with a welcome bonus. There are many great credit cards that provide various features and benefits. It depends on the type of airline, your spending habits, and what features are crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards that are excellent to use for hacking travel:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
If you’ve been approved for a credit card, you’ll have to meet the minimum spend limit in order to receive the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so make certain to verify the details. Then, it’s all about racking miles and using them to plan your dream trip!
Are you ready to set sail with your points?
After you’ve accrued the points balance, you’re ready to redeem them for some nice travel! Different credit card providers will have different methods for redeeming your points, but here are some examples from some of the companies I’ve worked with:
Getaway by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of an Chase credit card, then you can redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. In this portal you’ll have access to virtually every airline and you can make use of a combination of the points as well as cash in order to book your next trip. You can even book completely with points if you’ve the balance for it! Sometimes even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for total cost, you are able to buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with every credit card.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for your flight tickets? Did you know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option of paying with either points or dollars? Butbe aware that if you do not have enough points you cannot combine dollars and points for flights. No worries though, if you’re just a few points away, United also offers the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides passengers a relaxing and pleasant travel experience that includes extra legroom as well as free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to United’s, allowing customers to book using either JetBlue dollar or points, however, not both. However, JetBlue has a unique feature where you can pool your points together with your family members and earn points twice as quickly. Make sure to establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel companion Becca You’re probably quite thrifty and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to reach the required amount to qualify for a credit card bonus. Don’t worry as we’ve done it and we’re here to share some of our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able to pay for your rent with credit card, then do it! Be prepared to be charged a fee, typically at least 3%. It could be worthwhile in the long run in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another excellent way to meet the required spending is to cover a medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses in the near future, ask your relatives if you could pay for theirs and they can repay you.
Repay a loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan, consider making payments on them with an credit card. Be sure to pay off the balance on your credit card in full , so that you don’t accumulate additional debt.
Ask your family members for help
Discuss your family with them and determine if they’ve got any large expenses coming up which you could help pay for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to trust the person and they understand why you’re doing it.
If it’s the holiday season take into consideration buying all your gifts using your credit card. In this way, you’ll hit that minimum spend and also be prepared for gift giving. Just make sure you’re not paying more than you contemplating to.
There are a lot of ways to get the most of using your credit or debit card for travel. You can accrue points or miles to spend on the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are some additional suggestions for maximising your rewards
Make travel reservations using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, make use of the travel credit card to book your flight, hotel, rental car, and any other travel-related expenses. In addition, you’ll be able to hit the minimum spend for your credit card bonus as well, but you’ll also be earning points or miles to cover these costs.
Make use of your credit card to pay for all your daily expenses
Another way to meet the minimum spend to earn rewards is making use of your credit card to pay every day costs. This can include things like food, gas or even your phone bill. Be sure to pay the balance off in full each month so you don’t accumulate interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or points in exchange on certain kinds of purchases, such as eating out or traveling. Check out the rewards program of your credit card and make use of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending routines.
Consider a balance transfer
If you have existing debt on a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer the balance to an account with a travel credit card that has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfers. This will enable you to pay off your debt without accruing interest, and also assist you in reaching the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus.
Use your points or miles prudently
When you’ve earned a significant amount of miles or points, be sure to use them in a responsible manner. Review the rewards program for your credit card and compare the benefits of different redemption options. For example, using your points to book a flight directly with the airline could provide you with a greater value than using them for a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer rewards to different loyalty program. This will let you enjoy a greater variety of choices and more flexibility when making use of your rewards. For example, you may be capable of transferring your reward to the frequent flyer program of an airline or a Hotel rewards programme. This can give you access to a wider selection of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks that aren’t offered through the rewards program on your credit card.
Additionally, try to discover whether your credit card has certain benefits that will help you save money on travel costs. Many cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that can be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
If you’re traveling with a companion, both of you can earn rewards with your own credit card. Make sure you don’t split the cost on the same card and make sure to track your rewards separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do to maximizing your travel rewards is to know the rewards program on your credit card and to ensure you’re using it in the most efficient way possible. Utilizing a combination of the strategies I’ve listed, you’ll be able to earn rewards quickly, redeem them for travel experiences that are worth it, and enjoy a wide variety of travel benefits.