Are you tired of spending a fortune on airfare? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting method to convert welcome bonuses and other incentives into miles which can be used to score discounted or cheap flights from your ideal destinations. With a 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 cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards will also allow you to redeem miles for hotel stays and car rental deals.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for success in hacking travel is taking advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and establishing frequent flyer miles on a select group of airlines. When it’s time to make a booking consider the cost. If the flight is under $300, it’s best to pay in cash and save your miles to take a more costly flight. When the flights start getting above $500, you’ll want to check your frequent flyer accounts and see which airline can give you the most value. It all comes down to the amount of points or miles you have you have in your travel savings account for every airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to travel hacking? First step to open the credit card that comes that comes with a welcome bonus. There are many great credit cards that provide various advantages and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, your spending habits, and what features are essential 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
Once you’ve been approved for a credit card you’ll have to meet the limit of spending minimum in order to qualify for the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so be sure to look up this information. Then, it’s all about racking up miles and then using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your points?
After you’ve accrued your points amount, it’s time to cash them in for some sweet getaway! Different credit card providers will have different methods for redeeming your rewards, here are a few examples from some of the companies I’ve worked with:
Escape through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you own a Chase credit card, then you are able to use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within the portal, you’ll get access to almost every airline and you can make use of a combination of the points as well as cash in order to pay for 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 entire cost, you are able to buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with every credit card.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for your flight tickets? Did you not know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option to pay with either points or dollars? Butbe aware in case you don’t have enough points, you aren’t able to combine dollars and points on the same flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re a few points away, United gives you the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience with extra space and complimentary snacks. Plus, their booking process is like United’s, allowing customers to book using either JetBlue points or dollars, but not both. The difference is that JetBlue offers a distinct feature where you can join your points with your family members and earn points twice as fast. Make sure to establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me or my travel buddy Becca I’m sure you’re pretty 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 our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able to pay for your rent using credit card, then do it! Just be prepared to be charged a fee, typically around 3 percent. It could be worthwhile over the long term when the bonus is large enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the required spending is to pay for the medical bills. If you do not have any medical expenses due then ask your family members if you can pay their medical bills and they will reimburse you.
Repay the loan
If you have any loans you owe, think about making payments on them with an credit card. Make sure to pay off the balance on your credit card in full so you don’t accrue additional debt.
Ask your family members 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 know why you’re doing it.
If you’re celebrating the holidays, consider buying all your gifts using cards from your credit account. So you’ll be able to reach the minimum spending requirement and also be ready for gift giving. Be sure to avoid spending more than you planning to.
There are plenty of ways to get the most of using your credit or debit card for travel. You can accumulate miles or points that you can use towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few more ideas for maximizing your rewards
Make travel reservations using your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, use your travel credit card for booking your flight, hotel, rental car, and any other travel-related expenses. In addition, you’ll achieve the minimum spend to earn your credit card bonus as well, but you’ll also be earning points or miles to cover those costs.
Make use of your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday costs
Another way to hit the minimum spend to earn rewards is by making use of your credit card for daily expenditures. This could include items like groceries, gas and even your telephone bill. Make sure you pay the balance off each month in full so you don’t accumulate interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer bonus points or miles on certain kinds of purchases, including eating out or traveling. Make sure you review your credit card’s rewards program and make use of any bonus categories that match with your spending routines.
Consider a balance transfer
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a credit card, you might want to transfer that balance to a travel credit card with the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfers. This will let you pay off the debt without accruing interest and simultaneously help you hit the minimum spending requirement for the credit card bonus.
Make use of your miles or points wisely
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points, be sure to use them wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card, and evaluate the benefits of different redemption options. For instance using your points to book a ticket directly with the airline could offer better value than using them to purchase an 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 enjoy a greater variety of choices and more flexibility in you want to redeem your rewards. For example, you may be capable of transferring your reward to an airline’s frequent flyer program or a hotel rewards program. This will give an access wider range of flights, hotels as well as other travel perks that aren’t accessible through the rewards program on your credit card.
Also, discover if your credit card offers certain benefits that will 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 can be very beneficial when traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a friend and both of you earn rewards with your own 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 maximizing your travel rewards is to know the rewards program of your credit card and ensure that you’re using it in the most efficient method possible. By using a combination of the strategies I’ve outlined in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards fast, exchange rewards for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad variety of travel benefits.