Are you fed up of spending an enormous amount on flights? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s a fun way to convert welcome bonuses and other incentives into miles which you can use to score discounted or free flights to your dream destinations. With a bit of imagination and a little bit of insider know-how, you’ll travel for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about trading credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. These miles can later be used to purchase discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards let you redeem 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 building out frequent flyer miles for a specific group of airlines. When it comes time to make a booking consider the cost. If the price is less than $300, it’s generally better to pay in cash and save your miles for a more expensive flight. When the flights start getting higher than $500, it’s best to check your frequent flyer accounts to see which airline can give you the best price. All it boils down to is the number of miles or points in your travel account for every airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets of travel hacking? Your first task is opening an account that comes with a welcome bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards with many benefits and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, spending habits and what features are crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit card options that can be perfect for travel hacking:
- 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 hit the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to qualify for the bonus. Every card has different rules, so be certain to verify this information. From there you can begin to rack up miles, and using them to book your dream vacation!
Ready to jet-set with your ideas?
Once you’ve accumulated the points balance, it’s time to redeem them for some nice travel! Different credit card companies have different methods for redeeming your rewards, here are some examples from some of the companies I’ve worked with:
Getaway with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of a Chase cards, you can redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. In this portal you’ll have access to almost every airline, and you can combine the points as well as cash in order to book your next trip. You can even book entirely on points if you have the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for entire cost, you are able to purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with any credit card.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for your flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United, you have the option to pay with dollars or points? Butbe aware that if you don’t have enough points you cannot combine points and dollars for flights. No worries though, if you’re a few points away, United provides the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience with extra space and complimentary snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines that allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue points or dollars, however, not both. However, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature where you can pool your points together with your relatives to earn points twice as fast. Make sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack into the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me and my travel buddy Becca You’re probably quite economical and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus. But don’t fret because we’ve been there and are here to share some of our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able to pay for your rent with credit card, go for it! Just be prepared to pay a fee, usually around 3 percent. It might be worth it in the end in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another excellent way to meet the required spending is to cover a medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses due, ask your family members if you can pay their medical bills and they’ll pay you back.
Pay off the loan
If you’re a borrower, consider paying them off with an credit card. Just make sure you pay off the credit card balance completely so that you don’t accrue additional debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Talk to your family and look into any large expenses coming up which you could help pay for. Just make sure you have confidence in the person you are talking to and they know why you’re doing this.
If you’re celebrating the holidays take into consideration buying all your gifts with cards from your credit account. This way you can meet the minimum spending limit and be ready for gift giving. Be sure to avoid paying more than you already thinking of.
There are plenty of ways to make the most of your travel credit card. You can earn miles or points to be used towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few more suggestions for maximising your rewards:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, make use of your travel credit card for booking your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as any other travel-related expenses. You’ll not only achieve the minimum amount of spending required for your credit card bonus, however, you’ll also earn points or miles on these expenses.
Make use of your credit card to pay for all your daily expenses
Another way to meet the minimum amount of spending in order to accumulate points using your credit card to pay daily costs. This can include items like groceries, gas or even your phone bill. Make sure you pay off the balance in full each month so you don’t accumulate interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer bonus points or miles on certain kinds of purchases, including dining or travel. Make sure you review your rewards program on your credit card and avail any bonus categories that align with your spending habits.
Consider a balance transfer
If you are currently in debt on a credit card, you might want to transfer that balance onto an account with a travel credit card that has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfers. This will allow you to pay off the debt without accruing interest and simultaneously help you hit the minimum spending requirement for the credit card’s bonus.
Use your points or miles prudently
When you’ve earned a significant amount of miles or points, be sure to use the points or miles wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card and then compare the benefits of different redemption options. For instance using points to purchase a flight directly with the airline could give you a better value than using them to purchase the purchase of a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer your reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will allow you to get a wider selection of choices and more freedom when it comes to redeeming your rewards. For example, you may be able to transfer your rewards to the frequent flyer program of an airline or Hotel rewards programme. This can give the benefit of a larger range of flights, hotels as well as other travel perks which are not available through the rewards program on your credit card.
In addition, you should determine the card’s benefits. some perks that could save you money on travel-related expenses. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that could be invaluable when you travel.
If you’re traveling with someone else and both of you earn rewards using your own credit card. Just remember that you can’t share the costs on the same card, and be sure you keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
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 making use of this program in the most efficient way possible. Through all of the methods I’ve described in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards quickly, redeem rewards for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide assortment of travel-related perks.