Are you tired of paying 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 bonus and sign-up incentives into miles that can then be used to get discounted or even free flights to your desired destinations. With a little creativity and some insider knowledge, you can fly for no cost in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. The miles can be used to purchase cheap or free flight tickets. Some credit cards also let you redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or car rental discounts.
How Does it Work?
The key to success in hacking travel is taking 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 book a flight, evaluate the cost. If the cost is less than $300, it’s generally better to pay cash and save your miles for a more expensive flight. When the flights start getting higher than $500, it’s best to check the frequent flyer account to determine which airline offers you the best price. All it boils down to is the amount of miles or points in your travel account for each airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets of travel hacking? First step to open the credit card that comes with a sign-up offer. There are plenty of great credit cards that offer many advantages and features. It depends on the type of airline, spending habits and what features are important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards excellent for travel hacking:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
If you’ve been approved for a credit card, you’ll need to reach the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to get the bonus. Every card has different rules, so be sure to check for this information. Then it’s all about building up miles, and using them to plan your dream vacation!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your points?
Now that you’ve built up the points amount, it’s time to use them towards nice travel! Different credit card companies will have different methods of redeeming your points, but here are some examples from a few of the companies I’ve worked with:
Getaway through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you’re a holder of a Chase credit card, then you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In this portal you’ll get access to almost every airline, and you can combine 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 do not possess enough points for the entire price, you can buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using the credit card of your choice.
Are you fed up of paying full price for your flight tickets? Did you not know that when you book directly through United, you have the option of paying with dollars or points? Be careful that if you don’t have enough points, you cannot combine points and dollars on one flight. If you’re just a few points away, United gives you the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue offers an enjoyable and comfortable travel experience that includes extra legroom and free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to that of United Airlines which allows customers to book using either JetBlue points or dollars, but not both. But, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that allows you to combine your points with your relatives to earn points twice as quickly. Make sure to 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 You’re probably quite thrifty and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to reach the minimum spend for the credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried, we’ve been through it and we’re here to share our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able to pay for your rent using credit card, then do it! Make sure you pay a fee, usually around 3%. It might be worth it in the end if the bonus is high enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another way to reach the spending limit is to pay for the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills in the near future Ask your family members to pay for theirs and they can pay you back.
Repay a loan
If you’re a borrower take into consideration paying them off with an credit card. Just make sure you pay off the balance on your credit card in full , so that you don’t accrue additional debt.
Ask family for help
Discuss your family with them and see if they have any big 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 understand why you’re doing this.
If you’re celebrating the holidays, consider buying all your gifts with the credit card you have. In this way, you’ll meet the minimum spending limit and be ready for giving gifts. Be sure to avoid spending more than you were already planning to.
There are a lot of ways to get the most of your travel credit card and earn miles or points to be used towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few more suggestions for maximising your rewards:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a vacation, make use of the travel credit card for booking your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as any other travel-related expenses. You’ll not only achieve the minimum spend for your credit card bonus, however, you’ll also earn points or miles on those expenses.
Make use of your credit card to pay for all your daily costs
Another method to reach the minimum spend in order to accumulate points using your credit card for every day expenditures. This could include items like groceries, gas and even your telephone bill. Make sure you pay off the balance in full each month so you don’t accumulate interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer bonus points or miles for specific types of purchases, including eating out or traveling. Be sure to review the rewards program of your credit card and avail the bonus categories that are in line with your spending routines.
Think about a balance transfer
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a credit card, think about transferring that balance onto a travel credit card with the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfer. This will let you pay off your debts without accruing interest and simultaneously assist you in reaching the minimum amount required to earn the credit card’s bonus.
Make use of your miles or points prudently
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points make sure you use them in a responsible manner. Review the rewards program for your credit card and then compare the benefits of different redemption options. For instance you can use your points to purchase a flight directly with the airline could give you a better value than using them to purchase an gift card.
Another tip is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer your rewards to different loyalty program. This will allow you to enjoy a greater variety of options and greater flexibility in making use of your rewards. For example, you may be capable of transferring your reward to an airline’s frequent flyer program or reward program for hotels. This will give you access to a greater range of flights, hotels and other travel benefits which are not offered through the rewards program on your credit card.
Additionally, try to determine whether your credit card has certain benefits that will save you money on travel-related costs. Some cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that can be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
When you travel with a friend, both of you can get rewards on your own credit card. Just remember that you can’t divide the cost with the same card. Also, make sure to keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
Overall, the key to maximizing your travel rewards is to understand your credit card’s rewards program and ensure that you’re using this program in the most effective method. By using an array of methods I’ve described in this article, you’ll be able get rewards in a short time, use them for travel experiences that are worth it and benefit from a wide assortment of travel-related perks.