Are you tired of spending a fortune on airfare? Good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting way to convert sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles, which can be used to score discounted or free flights to your dream destinations. With a little imagination and some information, you’ll travel for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about trading credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. The miles can be used to pay for cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards permit you to use miles to pay for hotel stays or car rental discounts.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for success in travel hacking is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and to establish a frequent flyer mile program on a select group of airlines. When it’s time to make a booking consider the cost. If the price is under $300, it’s usually better to pay in cash and save your miles for a more expensive flight. When the flights start getting above $500, you’ll want to check your frequent flyer accounts and find out which airline will give you the best price. It all boils down to the number of points or miles in your travel account for each airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets of travel hacking? Your first task is to open the credit card that comes with a sign-up bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards with various features and benefits. It all depends on your preferred airline, your spending habits, and what features are crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards that are perfect to use for hacking travel:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
If you’ve been approved for a credit card you’ll need to reach the minimum spend limit in order to qualify for the bonus. Every card has different guidelines, so make sure to check for this information. Then, it’s all about racking up miles and using them to plan your dream vacation!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your goals?
Now that you’ve built up the points balance, it’s time to cash them in for some delicious getaway! Different credit card companies will have different methods of redeeming your points. Here are a few examples from some of the ones I’ve worked with:
Take a trip through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you have a Chase credit card, then you are able to redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. In the portal, you’ll have access to almost every airline and you can combine points and cash to book your next trip. You can even book completely using points if you’ve got the balance for it! Sometimes even if you don’t have enough points to cover the total price, you can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using any credit card.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for your flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option of paying with either points or dollars? But, be careful that if you don’t have enough points you cannot combine points and dollars for the same flight. If you’re only a couple of point short United gives you the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers a comfortable and enjoyable travel experience that includes extra legroom and free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is like United’s that allows customers to book using either JetBlue either dollars or points, however, not both. But, JetBlue has a unique feature that allows you to pool your points together with family members to accrue points twice as quickly. Just make sure you can verify that you are a family member before trying to hack the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re anything like me and my travel companion Becca, you’re probably pretty frugal and it can be difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to hit the minimum amount required to earn credit card bonuses. But don’t fret because we’ve been there and we’re here to share our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able to pay for your rent using a credit card, do it! Be prepared to be charged a fee, typically around 3 percent. It might be worth it in the end when the bonus is large enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another great way to hit the minimum spend is to pay for a medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses coming up then ask your family members if you can pay for theirs and they’ll reimburse you.
Repay a loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan take into consideration making payments on them with the credit card you have. Make sure to pay off the credit card balance completely so that you don’t accumulate additional debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Discuss your family with them and determine if they’ve got any big expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Just make sure you are able to trust the person and that they understand why you’re taking the initiative.
If it’s the holiday season, consider buying all of your gifts with your credit card. So you’ll be able to meet the minimum spending limit and be ready for giving gifts. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you were planning to.
There are a lot of ways to make the most out of the travel credit card and earn miles or points to spend on flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are some additional suggestions for maximising your rewards:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, use the travel credit card to book your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as any other travel expenses. Not only will you be able to meet the required amount to qualify for a credit card and earn points, but you’ll also earn points or miles to cover those expenditures.
Make use of your credit card to pay for all your daily expenditures
Another way to meet the minimum amount of spending and earn points is by using your credit card to pay for everyday expenditures. This can include things like gas, groceries, and even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay off the balance each month in full so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or bonus points for specific types of purchases, including eating out or traveling. Be sure to review the rewards program of your credit card and take advantage of any bonus categories that align with your spending routines.
Think about a balance transfer
If you have existing outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, think about transferring that balance onto an account with a travel credit card that has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfers. This will allow you to pay off your debt without accruing interest. It will also help you hit the minimum spend for the credit card bonus.
Make use of your miles or points prudently
When you’ve earned a significant amount of miles or points make sure you use them wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and then compare the benefits of different redemption options. For instance, using points to purchase a flight directly with the airline might give you a better value than using them to purchase a gift card.
Another option is to get an rewards card that permits you to transfer your reward points into other loyalty programmes. This allows you to have a wider range of options and greater freedom when it comes to you want to redeem your rewards. For example, you may be eligible to transfer your rewards to the frequent flyer program of an airline or a reward program for hotels. This will give an access wider selection of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks that may not be offered through your credit card’s rewards program.
Additionally, try to determine the card’s benefits. certain benefits that will reduce your travel expenses. Many cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that can be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
When you travel with someone else each of you will be able to earn rewards using your own credit card. Make sure you don’t share the costs on the same card, and be sure you keep track of your rewards separately.
Overall, the key to making the most of your travel rewards is to know the rewards program of your credit card and make sure you’re making use of this program in the most effective method. Utilizing a combination of the strategies I’ve listed, you’ll be able to get rewards in a short time, use rewards for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide range of travel perks.