Are you fed up of spending a fortune on airfare? Well, good news! Travel hacking is the answer to your travel-related problems. It’s a fun way to convert welcome bonuses and other incentives into miles that can then be used to get discounted or even complimentary flights for your dream destinations. With a little bit of imagination and some knowledge, you can fly for no cost 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 then be used to pay for discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards let you redeem miles towards hotel stays or rental car discounts.
How Does it Work?
The key to success in hacking travel is taking advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and to establish a frequent flyer mile program with a limited number of airlines. When you are ready to make a booking consider the cost. If the price is under $300, it’s usually better to pay cash and save your miles to book a higher-priced flight. When the flights start getting over $500, you’ll need to look into those frequent flyer accounts and see which airline can give you the best deal. It all comes down to the amount of points or miles you have in your travel bank for every airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to travel hacking? Your first task is to open the credit card that comes with a sign-up offer. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that offer many features and benefits. It depends on the type of airline, your spending habits, and the features that are most crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards that are great for travel hacking:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
After you’ve been accepted for a credit or debit card, you’ll have to meet the limit of spending minimum in order to receive the bonus. Every card has different rules, so be sure to check for this information. Then it’s all about building miles and using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your goals?
After you’ve accrued the points amount, it’s time 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 ones I have experience with:
Escape with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own a Chase card, you are able to redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within it, you’ll have access to nearly every airline and you can combine the points as well as cash in order to pay for your travel. You can even book completely with points if you’ve enough balance! Sometimes even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for total cost, you still can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using every credit card.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for your flight tickets? Did you know that when you book directly through United You have the option of paying using either points or dollars? Be careful, if you don’t have enough points, you can’t combine dollars and points on the same flight. No worries though, if you’re only a couple of point short United provides the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides an enjoyable and comfortable travel experience that includes extra space and complimentary snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to that of United Airlines which allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue either dollars or points however, not both. But, JetBlue has a unique feature that lets you join your points with your relatives to earn points twice as quickly. Be sure to establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack into the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me and my travel buddy Becca, you’re probably pretty frugal and it can be challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the required amount to qualify for the credit card bonus. But don’t fret, we’ve been through it and are here to share some of our tips and tricks.
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! Just be prepared to be charged a fee, typically at least 3%. It may be worth it in the long run in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another great way to hit the required spending is to pay for a medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses coming up Ask your relatives if you could pay for theirs and they can repay you.
Repay the loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan you owe, think about repaying them using your credit card. Be sure to pay off the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Talk to your family and see if they have any big expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Just make sure you trust the person and they know why you’re doing this.
If it’s the holiday season you should consider purchasing all your gifts with cards from your credit account. In this way, you’ll reach the minimum spending requirement and also be ready for gift giving. Be sure to avoid paying more than you planning to.
There are plenty of methods to get the most of your travel credit card. You can earn miles or points to be used towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few additional ideas for maximizing your rewards
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a vacation, make use of the travel credit card to pay for your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as other travel costs. In addition, you’ll be able to hit the minimum amount of spending required to qualify for a credit card reward, however, you’ll also earn points or miles to cover those expenditures.
Utilize your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday expenses
Another way to hit the minimum spend in order to accumulate points using your credit card to pay daily expenditures. This can include things like gas, groceries and even your telephone bill. Make sure you pay the balance off in full each month so you don’t pay interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer bonus points or miles on certain kinds of purchases, like dining or travel. Be sure to 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, think about transferring the balance to an account with a travel credit card that has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfer. This will enable you to pay off your debts without accruing interest. It will also help you hit the minimum spending requirement for the credit card’s bonus.
Utilize your miles and points wisely
When you’ve earned a significant amount of points or miles, be sure to use them in a responsible manner. Review the rewards program for your credit card, and evaluate the worth of various redemption options. For instance using points to book a flight directly through the airline may offer better value than using them for a gift card.
Another tip is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will allow you to get a wider selection of options and greater freedom when it comes to making use of your rewards. For instance, you might be able to transfer your rewards to an airline’s frequent flyer program or Hotel rewards programme. This will give you access to a greater selection of hotels, flights and other travel benefits that aren’t offered through your credit card’s rewards program.
In addition, you should find out if your credit card offers some perks that could save you money on travel-related costs. 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 and both of you earn rewards with your credit card. Make sure you don’t divide the cost with the same card and make sure to keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
Overall, the key to making the most of your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program on your credit card and to ensure you’re using this program in the most effective way possible. By using all of the strategies I’ve listed in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards fast, exchange them for travel experiences that are worth it and benefit from a wide variety of travel benefits.