Are you fed up of spending a fortune on airfare? Good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting method to convert bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles that can then be used to get discounted or even complimentary flights for your ideal destinations. With a little imagination and a little bit of insider know-how, you’ll travel for free in no time.
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 purchase discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards will also let you redeem miles towards hotel stays or rental car offers.
How Does it Work?
The key to successful hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and establishing frequent flyer miles with a limited number of airlines. When it’s time to make a booking take a look at the price. If the flight is under $300, it’s best to pay in cash and use your miles to pay to take a more costly flight. If your flights begin to climb higher than $500, it’s best to review your frequent flyer accounts and find out which airline will give you the best price. It all boils down to the number of miles or points in your travel bank for every airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to travel hacking? Your first task is to open a credit card with a sign-up offer. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards with a variety of features and benefits. It all depends on your preferred airline, your habits with spending and the features that are most essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit card options that can be perfect to use for hacking travel:
- 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 hit the limit of spending minimum in order to qualify for the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so be sure to check for the details. Then 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 goals?
Once you’ve accumulated the points balance, you’re ready to use them towards nice vacation! Different credit card companies offer different ways to redeem your rewards, here are some examples from some of the ones I’ve worked with:
Escape by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have a Chase card, you are able to redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through the portal, you’ll get access to virtually every airline, and you can use a combination of the points as well as cash in order to pay for your trip. You can even book completely on points if you have enough balance! Sometimes even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for entire price, you can buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with the credit card of your choice.
Are you tired of paying full price for your flight tickets? Did you not know that when you book 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 points and dollars for the same flight. If you’re only a couple of points short, United gives you the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue provides an enjoyable and comfortable travel experience that includes extra legroom and free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to United’s, allowing you to book with either JetBlue either dollars or points, however, not both. But, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that lets you combine your points with family members to accrue points twice as quickly. Be sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack into the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re anything like me and my travel companion Becca I’m sure you’re pretty thrifty and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to hit 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 a big one! If you’re able to pay for your rent using credit card, go for it! Make sure you pay a fee, usually about 3 percent. It might be worth it in the long run if the bonus is high enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another excellent way to meet the required spending is to pay for the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills coming up then ask your family members to pay their medical bills and they’ll pay you back.
Pay off a loan
If you have any loans, consider paying them off with your credit card. Just make sure you pay the credit card balance in full so you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Talk to your family and determine if they’ve got 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 this.
If you’re celebrating the holidays you should consider purchasing all your gifts with the credit card you have. So you’ll be able to hit that minimum spend and also be ready for giving gifts. Make sure that you’re not paying more than you already contemplating to.
There are a lot of ways to make the most from the travel credit card. accumulate miles or points that you can be used towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few more ways to maximize the rewards you earn:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a vacation, make use of you travel credit card for booking your flight, hotel, rental car, and any other travel-related expenses. Not only will you achieve the minimum amount of spending required for your credit card bonus and earn points, however, you’ll also earn points or miles on those expenses.
Utilize your credit card to pay for everyday costs
Another method to reach the minimum spending requirement to earn rewards is by using your credit card to pay everyday expenses. This can include things like gas, groceries or even your phone bill. Make sure you pay the balance off each month in full so you don’t pay interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or bonus points on certain kinds of purchases, like eating out or travelling. Be sure to review your credit card’s rewards program and take advantage of any bonus categories that match with your spending habits.
Think about a balance transfer
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a high-interest credit card, think about transferring that balance onto a travel credit card with a 0% introductory APR for balance transfers. This will let you pay off your debt without accruing interest. It will also assist you in reaching 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 points or miles Make sure to utilize them in a responsible manner. Review the rewards program for your credit card and then compare the benefits of different redemption options. For instance using your points to book a ticket directly with the airline might give you a better value than using them to purchase the purchase of a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer your reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will allow you to get a wider selection of options and greater flexibility in redeeming your rewards. For instance, you might be eligible to transfer your rewards to an airline’s frequent flyer program or a hotel rewards program. This will give you access to a wider variety of hotels, flights, and other travel perks that aren’t accessible through the rewards program on your credit card.
Additionally, try to discover the card’s benefits. some perks that could save you money on travel-related costs. Some cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that are invaluable when you travel.
Finally, when you’re traveling with someone else and both of you get rewards on your own credit card. Be aware that you cannot share the costs on the same card. Also, make sure you keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program of your credit card and make sure you’re making use of your credit card in the most effective method possible. By using an array of strategies I’ve listed in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards quickly, redeem rewards for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide variety of travel benefits.