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 sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles, which you can use to score discounted or free flights to your desired destinations. With a bit of imagination and some knowledge, you can travel for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about trading credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. These miles can later be used to purchase cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards will also allow you to redeem miles for hotel stays and rental car deals.
How Does it Work?
The secret to successful travel hacking is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and building out a frequent flyer mile program for a specific group of airlines. When it comes time to book a flight take a look at the price. If the flight is under $300, it’s generally better to pay in cash and use your miles to pay to book a higher-priced flight. If your flights begin to climb higher than $500, it’s best to check those frequent flyer accounts and determine which airline offers you the most value. It all comes down to the amount of miles or points in your travel bank for every airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to hacking travel? The first step is to open the credit card that comes that comes with a welcome bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards that provide many features and benefits. It depends on the type of airline, spending habits and the features that are most crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit card options that can be excellent for travel hacking:
- 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 hit the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to qualify for the bonus. Every card has different rules, so be sure to check for the details. From there it’s all about building up miles and then using them to book your dream trip!
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 redeem them for some delicious travel! Different credit card companies have different methods of redeeming your points. Here are a few examples from some of the ones I have experience with:
Escape with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have an Chase credit card, then you can redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within this portal you’ll get access to virtually every airline. You can use a combination of points and cash to pay for your trip. You can even book entirely on points if you have enough balance! Sometimes, even if you don’t have enough points to cover the total cost, you still can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using any credit card.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for your flight tickets? Did you realize that when booking directly through United you can choose the option to pay with either points or dollars? Be careful, if you do not have enough points you cannot combine dollars and points for the same flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re only a couple of points away, United also offers the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue offers a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience with extra space and complimentary snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is like United’s which allows you to book with either JetBlue dollar or points, however, not both. But, JetBlue offers a distinct feature that allows you to pool your points together with family members to accrue points twice as fast. Be 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 pretty thrifty and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to reach the required amount to qualify for the credit card bonus. But don’t fret, 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 pay your rent using credit card, then do it! Make sure you pay a cost, which is usually about 3 percent. It might be worth it in the long run if the bonus is high enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another great way to hit the minimum spend is to cover the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills coming up Ask your family members to pay them for theirs, and they will repay you.
Make a payment to pay off a loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan you owe, think about making payments on them with the credit card you have. Just make sure you pay off the balance on your credit card in full , so that you don’t accrue additional debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Ask your family members to see if they have any major expenses in the near future that you can help pay for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to are able to trust the person and that they know why you’re doing this.
If it’s the holiday season you should consider purchasing all of your gifts with cards from your credit account. So you’ll be able to reach the minimum spending requirement and be ready to give gifts. Just make sure you’re not paying more than you already thinking of.
There are a lot of ways to get the most out of your travel credit card. accrue points or miles to spend on airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are some additional ideas for maximizing your rewards:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, make use of the travel credit card for booking your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as other travel costs. Not only will you achieve the minimum amount of spending required to earn your credit card bonus, but you’ll also earn points or miles on the expenditures.
Use your credit card to pay for your everyday expenses
Another way to meet the minimum spending requirement to earn rewards is by making use of your credit card to pay for every day expenses. This could include items like groceries, gas and even your telephone bill. Be sure to pay the balance off in full every month to ensure you don’t accrue interest charges.
Make the most of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer bonus points or miles for specific types of purchases, such as eating out or travelling. Be sure to review the rewards program of your credit card and make use of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending habits.
Take into consideration the possibility of transferring your balance
If you are currently in debt on a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer that balance to an account with a travel credit card that has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfer. This will let you pay off the debt without accruing interest. It will also assist you in reaching the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus.
Make use of your miles or points carefully
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize them wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card and compare the value of different redemption options. For example, using your points to book a ticket directly with the airline could give you a better return than using them for a gift card.
Another option is to get an rewards card that permits you to transfer points to other loyalty programs. This will let you have a wider range of options and greater flexibility when redeeming your rewards. For example, you may be capable of transferring your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or reward program for hotels. This gives you access to a greater range of flights, hotels as well as other travel perks that may not be accessible through the rewards program on your credit card.
Also, determine whether your credit card has any perks that can help you save money on travel expenses. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that are very beneficial when traveling.
If you’re traveling with a friend, both of you can earn rewards with your credit card. Make sure you don’t share the costs on the same card and make sure you keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
The key to making the most of your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program of your credit card and to ensure you’re using it in the most efficient method. By using all of the methods I’ve described in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards fast, exchange them for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide variety of travel benefits.