Are you fed up of spending a fortune on airfare? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting way to convert credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into miles which can be used to get discounted or even complimentary flights for your desired destinations. With a bit of imagination and a little bit of insider know-how, you’ll travel for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about trading credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can then be used to purchase discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards will also permit you to use miles towards hotel stays or rental car offers.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for successful travel hacking is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus 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 price is less than $300, it’s usually better to pay cash and save your miles to book a higher-priced flight. When the flights start getting over $500, you’ll need to check the frequent flyer account and determine which airline offers you the most value. All it boils down to is the amount of points or miles you have you have in your travel savings account for every airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets of travel hacking? First step opening the credit card that comes that comes with a welcome bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards with a variety of features and benefits. It all depends on your preferred airline, spending habits and what features are essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit card options that can be excellent 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 or debit card, you’ll need to reach the minimum spend limit in order to receive the bonus. Every card has different guidelines, so make sure to look up this information. From there it’s all about building miles and then using them to book your dream vacation!
Ready to jet-set with your goals?
After you’ve accrued your points balance, you’re ready to redeem them for some sweet getaway! Different credit card companies have different methods for redeeming your points. Here are a few examples from some of the ones I’ve worked with:
Escape by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own a Chase credit card, then you can redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. In it, you’ll get access to almost every airline. You can make use of a combination of points and cash to pay for your travel. You can even book completely with points if you’ve the funds to pay for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for total price, you can buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using the credit card of your choice.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for your flight tickets? Did you know that when you book directly through United You have the option of paying with either points or dollars? Butbe aware that if you don’t have enough points, you can’t combine points and dollars for one flight. No worries though, if you’re only a couple of points away, United gives you the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue provides an enjoyable and comfortable travel experience that includes extra legroom as well as free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is like United’s that allows you to book with either JetBlue points or dollars but not both. But, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature where you can join your points with your relatives to earn points twice as quickly. Just make sure you can prove you’re really family before trying to hack the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re like me or my travel buddy Becca I’m sure you’re pretty economical and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to reach the minimum spend for credit card bonuses. Don’t worry, we’ve been through it and are here to share some of our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able to pay for your rent using a credit card, do it! Be prepared to pay a fee, usually around 3 percent. 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 required spending is to cover a medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses coming up then ask your family members if you can pay for theirs and they can pay you back.
Pay off a loan
If you’re a borrower you owe, think about repaying them using your credit card. Be sure to pay the credit card balance completely so that you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Discuss your family with them and see if they have any large expenses coming up which you could help pay for. Make sure that you are able to are able to trust the person and that they are aware of the reason for doing this.
If it’s the holiday season, consider buying all your gifts using the credit card you have. This way you can hit that minimum spend and also be prepared to give gifts. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you already contemplating to.
There are a lot of ways to make the most from your travel credit card. You can accrue points or miles to spend on flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are some additional ideas for maximizing the rewards you earn:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, make use of you travel credit card to book your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as any other travel expenses. Not only will you be able to hit the minimum spend to earn your credit card reward, however, you’ll also earn points or miles on the expenditures.
Make use of your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday expenses
Another way to hit the minimum spend in order to accumulate points by using your credit card for daily expenses. This could be things like food, gas and even your telephone bill. Be sure to pay the balance off in full every month to ensure you don’t accumulate interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or bonus points for certain types of purchases, like eating out or travelling. Be sure to review the rewards program of your credit card and avail the bonus categories that are in line with your spending habits.
Think about a balance transfer
If you’re in the middle of a 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 transfer. This will enable you to pay off the debt without accruing interest and simultaneously help you hit the minimum spending requirement for the credit card bonus.
Utilize your miles and points prudently
When you’ve earned a significant amount of points or miles, be sure to use them in a responsible manner. Review the rewards program for your credit card, and evaluate the benefits of different redemption options. For example you can use points to purchase a flight directly through the airline may provide you with a greater value than using them for a gift card.
Another tip is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer reward points into other loyalty programmes. This allows you to get a wider selection of options and greater flexibility when making use of your rewards. For example, you may be able to transfer your reward 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 accessible 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 and rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that are invaluable when you travel.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a friend, both of you can earn rewards using your own credit card. Just remember that you can’t share the costs on the same card. Also, make sure you keep track of your rewards separately.
The key to maximizing your travel rewards is to understand your credit card’s rewards program and make sure you’re making use of this program in the most effective method. By using all of the strategies I’ve listed in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards quickly, redeem them for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide assortment of travel-related perks.