Are you fed up of spending 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 welcome bonuses and other incentives into miles which can be used to obtain discounted or cheap flights from your desired destinations. With a little bit of creativity and some insider information, you’ll travel for free 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 discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards will also permit you to use miles to pay for hotel stays or rental car offers.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for success in hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and building out a frequent flyer mile program on a select group of airlines. When it comes time to book a flight consider the cost. If the cost is less than $300, it’s best to pay in cash and use your miles to pay to book a higher-priced flight. If your flights begin to climb above $500, you’ll want to look into your frequent flyer accounts to find out which airline will give you the most value. All it boils down to is the amount of points or miles you have in your travel savings account for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to travel hacking? The first step is to open an account that comes with a welcome bonus. There are many great credit cards with a variety of advantages and features. It is all dependent on the airline, your spending habits, and what features are crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards great 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 card, you’ll need to reach the minimum spend limit in order to receive the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so make sure to check for the details. Then it’s all about building up miles, and using them to plan your dream trip!
Are you ready to set sail with your goals?
Once you’ve accumulated your points balance, you’re ready to redeem them for some nice vacation! Different credit card companies will offer different ways to redeem your rewards, here are some examples from some of the ones I’ve worked with:
Escape by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have an Chase credit card, then you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within it, you’ll have access to nearly every airline. You can use a combination of money and points to pay for your travel. You can even book 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 cost, you are able to book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using any credit card.
Are you fed up of paying full price for your flight tickets? Did you know that when you book directly through United You have the option of paying using dollars or points? Butbe aware in case you don’t have enough points you can’t combine points and dollars for flights. If you’re a few point short United gives you the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience , with more space and complimentary snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to United’s that allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue dollar or points but not both. The difference is that JetBlue offers a distinct feature where you can join your points with your relatives to earn points twice as fast. Make sure to establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel buddy Becca You’re probably quite economical and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to reach the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus. Don’t worry, 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 big one! If you’re able to pay your rent using credit card, then do it! Make sure you pay a cost, which is usually around 3%. It might be worth it in the long run in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the spending limit is to cover an medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills coming up then ask your relatives if you could pay for theirs and they can reimburse you.
Pay off the loan
If you have any loans you owe, think about making payments on them with your credit card. Make sure to pay the credit card balance in full so you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask family for help
Talk to your family and 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 trust the person and they understand why you’re taking the initiative.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season take into consideration buying all your gifts using cards from your credit account. This way you can reach the minimum spending requirement and be ready for giving gifts. Be sure to avoid spending more than you were already planning to.
There are a lot of methods to get the most of your travel credit card and accumulate miles or points that you can use towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are some additional ideas for maximizing your rewards:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, make use of your travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as any other travel-related expenses. You’ll not only achieve the minimum spend to qualify for a credit card reward, however, you’ll also earn points or miles for these expenditures.
Utilize your credit card to pay for all your daily costs
Another method to reach the minimum spend to earn rewards is using your credit card for every day expenses. This could include items like groceries, gas or even your phone bill. Be sure to pay off the balance in full every month to ensure you don’t pay interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide bonus points or miles on certain kinds of purchases, like eating out or travelling. Make sure you review your rewards program on your credit card and take advantage of any bonus categories that align with your spending habits.
Consider a balance transfer
If you have existing debt on a high-interest credit card, consider transferring the balance to the travel credit card which has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfers. This will let you pay off your debt without accruing interest, and also aid in achieving the minimum spend for the credit card’s bonus.
Utilize your miles and points prudently
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize them in a responsible manner. Review the rewards program for your credit card and compare the value of different redemption options. For example using points to book a ticket directly through the airline may provide you with a greater return than using them for a gift card.
Another tip is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer 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 instance, you might be capable of transferring your reward to an airline’s frequent flyer program or hotel rewards program. This can give an access greater range of flights, hotels as well as other travel perks which are not accessible through the rewards program on your credit card.
Also, find out the card’s benefits. 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.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a companion, both of you can earn rewards with your credit card. Make sure you don’t divide the cost with the same card, and be sure to track your rewards in a separate manner.
In the end, the most important thing to do to maximizing your travel rewards is to know the rewards program on your credit card and make sure you’re using it in the most efficient method possible. Through all of the strategies I’ve outlined, you’ll be able to get rewards in a short time, use rewards for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide variety of travel benefits.