Are you tired of spending a fortune on airfare? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting way to convert welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles that can then be used to score discounted or cheap flights from your dream destinations. With a little bit of creativity and some insider knowledge, you can travel for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about trading credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can then be used to pay for discounted or even free flights. Some credit cards also allow you to redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or rental car discounts.
How Does it Work?
The key to successful hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and to establish frequent flyer miles for a specific group of airlines. When it’s time to book a flight take a look at the price. If the flight is less than $300, it’s usually better to pay cash and use your miles to pay to take a more costly flight. If your flights begin to climb higher than $500, it’s best to check the frequent flyer account to see which airline can give you the most value. It all boils down to the amount of points or miles you have in your travel account for each airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to hacking travel? The first step is opening a credit card with a sign-up bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that offer various advantages and features. It is all dependent on the airline, your habits with spending and what features are important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit card options that can be 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 spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to get the bonus. Every card has different guidelines, so make sure to look up the details. Then it’s all about building miles and using them to plan your dream trip!
Ready to jet-set with your ideas?
After you’ve accrued the points balance, it’s time to use them towards delicious vacation! Different credit card companies will offer different ways to redeem your points, but here are a few examples from some of the providers I’ve worked with:
Escape by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have a Chase cards, you are able to redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through this portal you’ll have access to almost every airline, and you can combine the points as well as cash in order to book your travel. You can book your flight entirely using points if you’ve got enough balance! Sometimes, even if you don’t possess enough points for the total price, you can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using any credit card.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United You have the option to pay with either points or dollars? Be careful that if you don’t have enough points you aren’t able to combine points and dollars on flights. If you’re a few points short, United provides the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience with extra legroom as well as free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to United’s which allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue points or dollars, however, not both. The difference is that JetBlue offers a distinct feature where you can pool your points together with your relatives to earn points twice as fast. Make sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack into the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re like me and my travel companion Becca You’re probably quite frugal and it can be challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to reach the minimum spend for credit card bonuses. But don’t fret as we’ve done it and we’re here to share our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able to pay your rent with credit card, then do it! Just be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually at least 3%. It might be worth it in the long run if the bonus is high enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the required spending is to cover an medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses coming up Ask your family members to pay them for theirs, and they’ll reimburse you.
Pay off a loan
If you’re a borrower you owe, think about making payments on them with the credit card you have. Make sure to pay the credit card balance completely so that you don’t accrue additional debt.
Ask your family members for help
Discuss your family with them and look into any large expenses coming up which you could help pay for. Just make sure you have confidence in the person you are talking to and they understand why you’re doing it.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season, consider buying all your gifts with your credit card. This way you can hit that minimum spend and also be prepared for gift giving. Be sure to avoid spending more than you already contemplating to.
There are plenty of ways to get the most of using your credit or debit card for travel and earn miles or points to use towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few additional ways to maximize your rewards:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, make use of your travel credit card to book your hotel, flight, rental car, and other travel costs. You’ll not only be able to hit the minimum amount of spending required for your credit card bonus as well, but you’ll also be earning points or miles for those expenses.
Make use of your credit card to pay for everyday expenditures
Another method to reach the minimum spend in order to accumulate points by utilising your credit cards to pay everyday expenditures. This could be things like food, gas or even your phone bill. Make sure you pay off the balance in full each month so you don’t accumulate interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or points in exchange on certain kinds of purchases, like dining or travel. Make sure you review your rewards program on your credit card and take advantage of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending routines.
Take into consideration a balance transfer
If you are currently in debt on a credit card, you might want to transfer the balance to a travel credit card with the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfer. This will enable you to pay off your debt without accruing interest, and also help you hit the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus.
Use your points or miles wisely
If you’ve amassed a large amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize them in a responsible manner. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and compare the benefits of different redemption options. For instance using points to purchase a flight directly with the airline might give you a better return than using them for the purchase of a 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 get a wider selection of options and greater flexibility in you want to redeem your rewards. For instance, you might be able to transfer your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or reward program for hotels. This can give an access larger range of flights, hotels and other travel benefits that may not be offered through your credit card’s rewards program.
Additionally, try to find out if your credit card offers any perks that can reduce your travel expenses. Many cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection, and other benefits that could be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
If you’re traveling with a companion, both of you can get rewards on your credit card. Just remember that you can’t share the costs on the same card and make sure to track the rewards you earn separately.
Overall, the key to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to know your credit card’s rewards program and ensure that you’re making use of it in the most effective way possible. Utilizing a combination of the strategies I’ve outlined in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards quickly, redeem rewards for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide assortment of travel-related perks.