Are you tired of spending a fortune on airfare? Good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting method to convert bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles, which can be used to get discounted or even cheap flights from your desired destinations. With a little bit of creativity and some insider know-how, you’ll travel for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about trading credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. The miles can be used to pay for discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards will also allow you to redeem miles for hotel stays and car rental discounts.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for success in travel hacking is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and establishing a frequent flyer mile program for a specific group of airlines. When you are ready to book a flight, evaluate the cost. If the price is less than $300, it’s generally better to pay cash and use your miles to pay for a more expensive flight. If your flights begin to climb higher than $500, it’s best to check those frequent flyer accounts and find out which airline will give you the most value. It all boils down to the number of points or miles you have in your travel account for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to travel hacking? First step to open an account with a sign-up bonus. There are many great credit cards that provide many benefits and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, spending habits and the features that are most 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 card, you’ll need to reach the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to get the bonus. Every card has different rules, so make sure to look up this information. From there it’s all about building up miles, and using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your points?
After you’ve accrued the points balance, it’s time to redeem them for some nice vacation! Different credit card companies offer different ways to redeem your points. Here are some examples from some of the providers I have experience with:
Getaway by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of a Chase credit card, then you can redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within the portal, you’ll get access to virtually every airline and you can make use of a combination of points and cash to pay for your trip. You can even book completely using points if you’ve got enough balance! Sometimes even if you don’t have enough points to cover the total cost, you still can buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with any credit card.
Are you fed up of paying full price for flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option of paying using dollars or points? Butbe aware, if you don’t have enough points, you can’t combine dollars and points on one flight. If you’re only a couple of points short, United provides the option to purchase additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience , with more space and complimentary snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to United’s, allowing passengers to book flights using JetBlue either dollars or points, but not both. The difference is that JetBlue offers a distinct feature where you can combine your points with your family members and earn points twice as quickly. Be sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re like me and my travel buddy Becca You’re probably quite frugal and it can be daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum amount required to earn a credit card bonus. Don’t worry because we’ve been there 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 pay your rent using credit card, go for it! Just be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually about 3%. It could be worthwhile in the end in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another way to reach the required spending is to pay for an medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills due, ask your relatives if you could pay for theirs and they’ll reimburse you.
Make a payment to pay off a loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan take into consideration paying them off with an credit card. Just make sure you pay off the credit card balance in full so you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Discuss your family with them and see if they have any big expenses coming up which you could help pay for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to have confidence in the person you are talking to and they are aware of the reason for taking the initiative.
If it’s the holiday season take into consideration buying all your gifts with cards from your credit account. So you’ll be able to hit that minimum spend and also be prepared for gift giving. Be sure to avoid spending more than you already planning to.
There are a lot of methods to get the most of your travel credit card and accrue points or miles to spend on flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few additional ways to maximize the rewards you earn:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a vacation, make use of your travel credit card to book your flight, hotel, rental car, and any other travel-related expenses. Not only will you be able to hit the minimum amount of spending required for your credit card, but you’ll also be earning points or miles on the costs.
Use your credit card to pay for your everyday costs
Another way to hit the minimum amount of spending and earn points is making use of your credit card to pay daily expenses. This can include things like food, gas and even your telephone bill. Be sure to pay off the balance in full each month so you don’t accumulate interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or bonus points on certain kinds of purchases, such as dining or travel. Make sure you review the rewards program of your credit card and avail any bonus categories that align with your spending habits.
Think about the possibility of transferring your balance
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a high-interest credit card, consider transferring that balance onto an account with a travel credit card that has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will allow you to pay off your debt without accruing interest, and also aid in achieving the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus.
Utilize your miles and points wisely
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of points or miles make sure you use the points or miles wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card, and evaluate the worth of various redemption options. For example you can use points to purchase a flight directly through the airline may give you a better value than using them for an gift card.
Another tip is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer your rewards to different loyalty program. This will let you have a wider range of choices and more flexibility in making use of your rewards. For example, you may be capable of transferring your rewards to the frequent flyer program of an airline or reward program for hotels. This gives the benefit of a greater range of flights, hotels, and other travel perks which are not available through the rewards program of your credit card.
Additionally, try to discover if your credit card offers some perks that could reduce your travel expenses. Many cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that are invaluable when you travel.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a companion each of you will be able to earn rewards with your credit card. Be aware that you cannot split the cost on the same card, and be sure to keep track of your rewards separately.
The key to making the most of your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program of your credit card and ensure that you’re making use of your credit card in the most effective method. Utilizing all of the strategies I’ve listed that you can earn rewards fast, exchange rewards for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide assortment of travel-related perks.