Are you fed up of spending a fortune on airfare? Well, good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting method to convert credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles which can be used to get discounted or even cheap flights from your ideal destinations. With a little creativity and some insider knowledge, you can travel for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about swapping credit card sign-up bonus as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can later be used to buy discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards will also allow you to redeem miles for hotel stays and rental car deals.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for success in hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and building out a frequent flyer mile program with a limited number of airlines. When you are ready to make a booking, evaluate the cost. If the price is under $300, it’s best to pay cash and use your miles to pay to take a more costly flight. When the flights start getting higher than $500, it’s best to review those frequent flyer accounts and determine which airline offers you the best deal. 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
Ready to learn the secrets to hacking travel? First step opening a credit card with a sign-up offer. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards with many advantages and features. 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 perfect for travel hacking:
- 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 hit the limit of spending minimum in order to get the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so be certain to verify the details. Then it’s all about building up miles and then using them to book your dream trip!
Ready to jet-set with your ideas?
Now that you’ve built up the points amount, it’s time to cash them in for some nice travel! Different credit card companies will have different methods of redeeming your points, but here are some examples from a few of the ones I have experience with:
Getaway with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have a Chase credit card, then you are able to redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. In it, you’ll get access to almost every airline and you can make use of a combination of the points as well as cash in order to pay for your next trip. You can even book entirely with points if you’ve the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you do not possess enough points for the entire cost, you are able to purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using any credit card.
Are you tired 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 either points or dollars? But, be careful that if you don’t have enough points, you can’t combine dollars and points on one flight. No worries though, if you’re only a couple of points short, United gives you the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers an enjoyable and comfortable travel experience that includes extra legroom and free snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines, allowing passengers to book flights using JetBlue points or dollars but not both. But, JetBlue has a unique feature that lets you pool your points together with your family members and earn points twice as quickly. Make sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack into the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel companion Becca, you’re probably pretty frugal and it can be difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars in order to meet the required amount to qualify for the credit card bonus. But don’t fret as we’ve done it and are here to share our tricks and tips.
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 about 3 percent. It may be worth it in the long run if the bonus is high enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another way to reach the minimum spend is to pay for the medical bills. If you do not have any medical expenses coming up Ask your family members to pay them for theirs, and they’ll reimburse you.
Repay the loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan take into consideration paying them off with the credit card you have. Make sure to pay off the balance on your credit card in full , so that you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Discuss your family with them and look into any major expenses in the near future which you could help pay for. Just make sure you have confidence in the person you are talking to and they are aware of the reason for doing this.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season, consider buying all your gifts using the credit card you have. So you’ll be able to reach the minimum spending requirement and also be ready to give gifts. Be sure to avoid paying more than you thinking of.
There are many methods to get the most of the travel credit card and earn miles or points to spend on the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few more ideas for maximizing your rewards:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
When you’re planning your next vacation, make use of you travel credit card for booking your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as other travel costs. You’ll not only be able to hit the required amount for your credit card bonus and earn points, but you’ll also be earning points or miles on the costs.
Use your credit card for all your daily costs
Another method to reach the minimum spending requirement to earn rewards is by using your credit card for every day expenses. This can include things like food, 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
Some travel credit cards will offer bonus points or miles for specific types of purchases, like dining or travel. Make sure you review the rewards program of your credit card and avail any bonus categories that align with your spending routines.
Think about a balance transfer
If you’re in the middle of a outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, consider transferring the balance to a travel credit card with a 0% introductory APR for balance transfers. This will enable you to pay off your debts without accruing interest and simultaneously aid in achieving the minimum spending requirement for the credit card’s bonus.
Utilize your miles and points wisely
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points, be sure to use them in a responsible manner. Check out the rewards program on 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 offer better return than using them for an gift card.
Another suggestion is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer your reward points into other loyalty programmes. This allows you to have a wider range of choices and more flexibility when you want to redeem your rewards. For example, you may be able to transfer your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or reward program for hotels. This will give an access wider range of flights, hotels and other travel benefits that aren’t offered through the rewards program of your credit card.
Additionally, try to discover the card’s benefits. certain benefits that will reduce your travel expenses. Many cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that are very beneficial when traveling.
When you travel with someone else, both of you can earn rewards with your own credit card. Be aware that you cannot share the costs on the same card. Also, make sure to track your rewards in a separate manner.
In the end, the most important thing to do to making the most of your travel rewards is to know the rewards program of your credit card and ensure that you’re using your credit card in the most efficient method possible. By using a combination of the strategies I’ve outlined in this article, you’ll be able get rewards in a short time, use rewards for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad assortment of travel-related perks.