Are you tired of spending a fortune on airfare? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting way to convert welcome bonuses and other incentives into miles which can be used to get discounted or even complimentary flights for your desired destinations. With a bit of imagination and some know-how, you’ll be jet-setting for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of swapping credit card sign-up bonus and incentives for airline miles. These miles can then be used to pay for cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards allow you to redeem miles towards hotel stays or car rental offers.
How Does it Work?
The secret to success in hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and to establish frequent flyer miles for a specific group of airlines. When it comes time to make a booking consider the cost. If the cost is less than $300, it’s usually better to pay in cash and use your miles to pay for a more expensive flight. If the prices start to rise higher than $500, it’s best to review those frequent flyer accounts to determine which airline offers you the best deal. It all comes down to the number of miles or points in your travel bank for each airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to travel hacking? First step opening the credit card that comes with a sign-up bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards that offer a variety of features and benefits. It depends on the type of airline, your habits with spending and what features are essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards that are perfect 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 minimum spend limit in order to get the bonus. Every card has different guidelines, so make certain to verify the details. Then you can begin to rack miles and using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your points?
Now that you’ve built up your points balance, it’s time to use them towards delicious travel! Different credit card providers will have different methods of redeeming your rewards, here are some examples from a few of the companies I have experience with:
Escape by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have an Chase credit card, then you are able to redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within it, you’ll have access to nearly every airline and you can use a combination of money and points to book your next trip. You can book your flight entirely using points if you’ve got the balance for it! Sometimes even if you don’t possess enough points for the full cost, you are able to buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with any credit card.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for your flight tickets? Did you realize that when booking directly through United You have the option of paying with either points or dollars? Be careful that if you don’t have enough points you aren’t able to combine dollars and points for flights. If you’re just a few points away, United also offers the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue offers passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience , with more legroom and free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is like United’s which allows customers to book using either JetBlue either dollars or points, but not both. The difference is that JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature where you can pool your points together with your relatives to earn points twice as quickly. Make sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel companion Becca You’re probably quite thrifty and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to hit the minimum amount required to earn a credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried because we’ve been there 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 for your rent with a credit card, do it! Just be prepared to pay a fee, usually around 3 percent. It might be worth it over the long term when the bonus is large enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another great way to hit the spending limit is to pay for a medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills due Ask your relatives if you could pay their medical bills and they’ll repay you.
Make a payment to pay off a loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan you owe, think about repaying them using an credit card. Make sure to pay off the balance on your credit card in full so you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Talk to your family and look into any major expenses in the near future which you could help pay for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to trust the person and they are aware of the reason for taking the initiative.
If it’s the holiday season take into consideration buying all your gifts using your credit card. In this way, you’ll reach the minimum spending requirement and also be ready for gift giving. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you already thinking of.
There are many ways to make the most from your travel credit card and earn miles or points to be used towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few additional ways to maximize your rewards:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a vacation, make use of the travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel, rental car, and any other travel-related expenses. You’ll not only be able to hit the minimum spend for your credit card reward and earn points, but you’ll also be earning points or miles to cover these expenditures.
Utilize your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday expenses
Another method to reach the minimum spend in order to accumulate points by using your credit card to pay every day expenses. This can include things like gas, groceries and even your telephone bill. Be sure to pay the balance off each month in full so you don’t pay interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or bonus points for certain types of purchases, such as dining or travel. Be sure to review the rewards program of your credit card and take advantage of any bonus categories that match with your spending routines.
Think about the possibility of transferring your balance
If you have existing debt on a credit card, think about transferring that balance to an account with a travel credit card that has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfers. This will let you pay off your debt without accruing interest and simultaneously aid in achieving the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus.
Utilize your miles and points carefully
If you’ve amassed a large amount of points or miles make sure you use them wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card, and evaluate the worth of various redemption options. For instance using your points to purchase a flight directly with the airline could provide you with a greater return 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 allows you to get a wider selection of choices and more freedom when it comes to making use of your rewards. For instance, you might be able to transfer your rewards to the frequent flyer program of an airline or a reward program for hotels. This will give an access larger range of flights, hotels and other travel benefits which are not accessible through the rewards program of your credit card.
In addition, you should find out the card’s benefits. some perks that could help you save money on travel expenses. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection, and other benefits that can be invaluable when you travel.
Finally, when you’re traveling with someone else each of you will be able to earn rewards with your own credit card. Be aware that you cannot split the cost on the same card and make sure you keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
The key to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to know your credit card’s rewards program and to ensure you’re making use of your credit card in the most efficient way possible. By using a combination of the strategies I’ve outlined that you can earn rewards quickly, redeem them for travel experiences that are worth it, and enjoy a wide variety of travel benefits.