Are you tired of paying a fortune on airfare? Good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s a fun way to convert welcome bonuses and other incentives into miles which can be used to score discounted or complimentary flights for your ideal destinations. With a bit of imagination and some information, you’ll be jet-setting for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of swapping credit card sign-up bonus and rewards for airline miles. These miles can then be used to pay for discounted or even free flights. Some credit cards also permit you to use miles to pay for hotel stays or rental car deals.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for success in travel hacking is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and establishing a frequent flyer mile program for a specific group of airlines. When it’s time to make a booking consider the cost. If the flight is less than $300, it’s generally better to pay cash and use your miles to pay for a more expensive flight. If your flights begin to climb over $500, you’ll need to look into those frequent flyer accounts to find out which airline will give you the best price. It all boils down to the amount of miles or points in your travel bank for each airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to travel hacking? First step opening a credit card with a sign-up bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that provide many advantages and features. It is all dependent on the airline, spending habits and what features are essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards perfect for travel hacking:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
Once you’ve been approved for a credit card you’ll need to hit the minimum spend limit in order to receive the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so be certain to verify the details. From there you can begin to rack miles and using them to book your dream vacation!
Ready to jet-set with your points?
After you’ve accrued your points balance, it’s time to redeem them for some delicious getaway! Different credit card companies offer different ways to redeem your rewards, here are a few examples from some of the providers I’ve had experience with:
Getaway with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own an Chase cards, you are able to redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within the portal, you’ll get access to virtually every airline and you can make use of a combination of money and points to book your travel. You can book your flight entirely with points if you’ve enough balance! Sometimes even if you do not have enough points to cover the full cost, you still can buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with every credit card.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United, you have the option to pay with either points or dollars? Butbe aware that if you don’t have enough points you aren’t able to combine dollars and points for flights. If you’re just a few points short, United also offers the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers passengers a relaxing and pleasant travel experience that includes extra legroom as well as free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is like United’s that allows customers to book using either JetBlue points or dollars but not both. But, JetBlue has a unique feature where you can combine your points with family members to accrue points twice as fast. Just make sure you can prove you’re really family before trying to hack the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me and my travel companion Becca I’m sure you’re pretty economical and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum amount required to earn a credit card bonus. Don’t worry because we’ve been there and we’re here to share our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able to pay your rent using a credit card, do it! Be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually about 3%. It may be worth it in the long run when the bonus is large enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another great way to hit the minimum spend is to cover an medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills due Ask your relatives if you could pay their medical bills and they can pay you back.
Repay a loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan you owe, think about paying them off with your credit card. Just make sure you pay the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Discuss your family with them and look into any large expenses coming up which you could help pay for. Just make sure you are able to trust the person and that they are aware of the reason for doing this.
If you’re celebrating the holidays take into consideration buying all your gifts using the credit card you have. This way you can meet the minimum spending limit and also be ready to give gifts. Just make sure you’re not paying more than you already thinking of.
There are a lot of methods to get the most of using your credit or debit card for travel. You can accrue points or miles to use towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few more suggestions for maximising the rewards you earn:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
If you’re planning a vacation, make use of the travel credit card for booking your hotel, flight, rental car, and other travel costs. You’ll not only be able to meet the minimum amount of spending required for your credit card bonus, but you’ll also be earning points or miles to cover those costs.
Use your credit card for everyday expenditures
Another way to meet the minimum spending requirement and earn points is using your credit card to pay everyday expenditures. This could be items like groceries, gas or even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay the balance off in full each month so you don’t accumulate interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or bonus points for specific types of purchases, like dining or travel. Be sure to review your credit card’s rewards program and take advantage of any bonus categories that align with your spending habits.
Think about the possibility of transferring your balance
If you are currently in outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer that balance onto the travel credit card which has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfers. This will allow you to pay off the debt without accruing interest. It will also help you hit the minimum spend for the credit card bonus.
Make use of your miles or points prudently
If you’ve amassed a large amount of points or miles make sure you use the points or miles wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card and then compare the benefits of different redemption options. For example, using points to purchase a flight directly through the airline may give you a better value than using them to purchase the purchase of a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer your points to other loyalty programs. This will allow you to have a wider range of options and greater flexibility in you want to redeem your rewards. For example, you may be capable of transferring your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a hotel rewards program. This gives an access wider range of flights, hotels and other travel benefits which are not available through your credit card’s rewards program.
In addition, you should discover the card’s benefits. certain benefits that will reduce your travel expenses. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection, and other benefits that could be very beneficial when traveling.
If you’re traveling with someone else, both of you can earn rewards using your credit card. Just remember that you can’t divide the cost with the same card, and be sure to keep track of your rewards separately.
The key to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to know the rewards program of your credit card and to ensure you’re using this program in the most effective method possible. Utilizing all of the strategies I’ve listed that you can earn rewards fast, exchange rewards for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide range of travel perks.