Are you tired of paying a fortune on airfare? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s a fun way to convert bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles which you can use to obtain discounted or free flights to your dream destinations. With a little bit of creativity and some insider information, you’ll fly for no cost in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about swapping credit card sign-up bonus as well as incentives to earn airline miles. The miles can be used to buy discount or no-cost flights. Some credit cards also permit you to use miles for hotel stays and car rental offers.
How Does it Work?
The key to successful travel hacking is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and building out frequent flyer miles for a specific group of airlines. When you are ready to make a booking consider the cost. If the flight is under $300, it’s best to pay cash and use your miles to pay to book a higher-priced flight. When the flights start getting over $500, you’ll need to check your frequent flyer accounts and see which airline can give you the best deal. It all boils down to the number of points or miles you have in your travel savings account for each airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets of travel hacking? Your first task is to open a credit card that comes with a welcome bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards that offer various features and benefits. It all depends on your preferred airline, your habits with spending and the features that are most essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit card options that can be great to use for hacking travel:
- 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 reach the minimum spend limit in order to receive the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of guidelines, so make sure to look up the details. Then it’s all about building up miles and then using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your ideas?
After you’ve accrued your points amount, it’s time to use them towards nice travel! Different credit card providers will offer different ways to redeem your points, but here are some examples from a few of the companies I have experience with:
Getaway by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of an Chase credit card, then you are able to redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through this portal you’ll have access to nearly 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 enough balance! Sometimes even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for full cost, you are able to book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with the credit card of your choice.
Are you fed up of paying full price for flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United, you have the option of paying with dollars or points? But, be careful, if you do not have enough points you aren’t able to combine points and dollars for the same flight. If you’re a few points short, United provides the option of buying additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience with extra space and complimentary snacks. Additionally, their booking process is like United’s, allowing you to book with either JetBlue dollar or points however, not both. The difference is that JetBlue has a unique feature where you can pool your points together with your relatives to earn points twice as quickly. Just make sure you can verify that you are a family member before trying to hack into the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re anything like me and my travel buddy Becca I’m sure you’re pretty thrifty and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to reach the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried, we’ve been through it and are here to share some of our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able pay your rent using credit card, go for it! Make sure you be charged a fee, typically at least 3 percent. It could be worthwhile in the long run in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another way to reach the spending limit is to pay for an medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses due, ask your relatives if you could pay their medical bills and they can repay you.
Repay the loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan, consider paying them off with the credit card you have. Just make sure you pay off the credit card balance completely so that you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Talk to your family and see if they have any large expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to trust the person and they are aware of the reason for taking the initiative.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season, consider buying all your gifts with cards from your credit account. In this way, you’ll hit that minimum spend and also be ready for giving gifts. Make sure that you’re not paying more than you thinking of.
There are plenty of ways to get the most out of the travel credit card and 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
Whenever you’re planning a trip, use you travel credit card for booking your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as any other travel-related expenses. You’ll not only achieve the minimum amount of spending required to qualify for a credit card bonus, but you’ll also be earning points or miles to cover these expenses.
Use your credit card to pay for your everyday expenditures
Another way to meet the minimum spend and earn points is utilising your credit cards to pay daily expenses. This could include things like gas, groceries and even your telephone bill. Be sure to pay off the balance in full every month to ensure you don’t pay interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or bonus points on certain kinds of purchases, like dining or travel. Make sure you review your credit card’s rewards program and make use of any bonus categories that align with your spending habits.
Think about the possibility of transferring your balance
If you are currently in debt on a high-interest credit card, think about transferring that balance onto the travel credit card which has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfers. This will let you pay off your debt without accruing interest and simultaneously help you hit the minimum amount required to earn the credit card’s bonus.
Utilize your miles and points carefully
When you’ve earned a significant amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize them in a responsible manner. Review the rewards program for your credit card and then compare the value of different redemption options. For example you can use your points to purchase a flight directly with the airline could give you a better value than using them to purchase a gift card.
Another tip is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer points to other loyalty programs. This allows you to have a wider range of options and greater flexibility when redeeming your rewards. For instance, you might be capable of transferring your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a hotel rewards program. This can give you access to a greater selection of hotels, flights, and other travel perks which are not available through your credit card’s rewards program.
In addition, you should determine the card’s benefits. any perks that can save you money on travel-related costs. Some cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection and other benefits that can be invaluable when you travel.
Finally, when you’re traveling with someone else and both of you earn rewards using your own credit card. Make sure you don’t divide the cost with the same card, and be sure to keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
The key to making the most of your travel rewards is to know the rewards program of your credit card and to ensure you’re using it in the most efficient method. Through a combination of the strategies I’ve outlined that you can earn rewards fast, exchange rewards for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide range of travel perks.