Are you tired of paying a fortune on airfare? Good news! Travel hacking is the answer to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting way to convert welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles that can then be used to get discounted or even free flights to your ideal destinations. With a little imagination and a little bit of insider know-how, you’ll 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 then be used to pay for cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards will also let you redeem miles for hotel stays and rental car offers.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for success in travel hacking is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and to establish frequent flyer miles for a specific group of airlines. When it’s time to book a flight consider the cost. If the flight is less than $300, it’s usually better to pay in cash and use your miles to pay for a more expensive flight. If your flights begin to climb above $500, you’ll want to review 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 you have in your travel savings account for every airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets of travel hacking? Your first task is to open an account with a sign-up offer. There are plenty of great credit cards that provide many advantages and features. It is all dependent on the airline, your spending habits, and the features that are most important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards great 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 reach the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to qualify for the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so make sure to check for this information. From there you can begin to rack up 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 delicious travel! Different credit card companies offer different ways to redeem your points, but here are a few examples from some of the providers I’ve had experience with:
Take a trip with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own an Chase cards, you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In it, you’ll get access to almost every airline. You can make use of a combination of money and points to book your next trip. You can book your flight entirely with points if you’ve the balance for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for total price, you can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using the credit card of your choice.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for your flight tickets? Did you not know that when you book directly through United You have the option of paying using either points or dollars? Be careful that if you don’t have enough points, you cannot combine points and dollars on one flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re just a few points short, United provides the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience with extra legroom and free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to United’s which allows customers to book using either JetBlue points or dollars, however, not both. But, JetBlue has a unique feature that allows you to join your points with your relatives to earn points twice as fast. Make sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel buddy Becca I’m sure you’re pretty economical and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to hit the minimum spend for a credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried, we’ve been through it and we’re here to share some of our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able to pay for your rent with credit card, then do 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.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another way to reach the minimum spend is to pay for an medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses coming up, ask your family members if you can pay their medical bills and they can reimburse you.
Make a payment to pay off the loan
If you have any loans take into consideration making payments on them with an credit card. Make sure to pay off the balance on your credit card completely so that you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Ask your family members to see if they have any big expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Make sure that you are able to have confidence in the person you are talking to and they know why you’re doing this.
If you’re celebrating the holidays take into consideration buying all of your gifts with the credit card you have. In this way, you’ll meet the minimum spending limit and also be prepared to give gifts. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you were thinking of.
There are a lot of ways to make the most from using your credit or debit card for travel. accumulate miles or points that you can spend on airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are some additional ways to maximize your rewards:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, make use of the travel credit card for booking your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as other travel costs. You’ll not only be able to meet the minimum spend to qualify for a credit card reward and earn points, however, you’ll also earn points or miles on the costs.
Make use of your credit card to pay for all your daily costs
Another way to meet the minimum spending requirement and earn points is by making use of your credit card to pay for daily expenses. This can include items like groceries, gas or even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay off the balance in full every month to ensure you don’t accumulate interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or points in exchange for certain types of purchases, such as eating out or traveling. Be sure to review your rewards program on your credit card and make use of any bonus categories that align with your spending routines.
Consider a balance transfer
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a high-interest credit card, consider transferring that balance onto an account with a travel credit card that has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfer. This will allow you to pay off your debt without accruing interest and simultaneously aid in achieving the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus.
Make use of your miles or points wisely
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of points or miles make sure you use the points or miles wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card and compare the value of different redemption options. For instance using your points to book a flight directly with the airline might give you a better value than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer your reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will let you get a wider selection of choices and more flexibility in 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 hotel rewards program. This gives an access wider selection of hotels, flights, and other travel perks that aren’t offered through the rewards program of your credit card.
Additionally, try to find out the card’s benefits. any perks that can help you save money on travel costs. Many cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that are very beneficial when traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a companion, both of you can earn rewards using your credit card. Make sure you don’t divide the cost with the same card and make sure to track your rewards separately.
The key to making the most of your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program of your credit card and make sure you’re using it in the most efficient method possible. Utilizing an array of methods I’ve described, you’ll be able to get rewards in a short time, use them for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide range of travel perks.