Are you tired of paying an enormous amount on flights? Well, good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting way to convert credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles, which can be used to get discounted or even free flights to your dream destinations. With a little bit of imagination and some know-how, you’ll be jet-setting for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can later be used to buy discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards will also allow you to redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or car rental offers.
How Does it Work?
The secret to success in travel hacking is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and establishing frequent flyer miles for a specific group of airlines. When it’s time to make a booking take a look at the price. If the flight is less than $300, it’s best to pay cash and save your miles to book a higher-priced flight. If the prices start to rise higher than $500, it’s best to check those frequent flyer accounts and see which airline can give you the most value. It all comes down to the number of points or miles in your travel bank for each airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to hacking travel? The first step is opening the credit card that comes that comes with a welcome bonus. There are many great credit cards that provide various features and benefits. It depends on the type of airline, your habits with spending and the features that are most important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards excellent 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 hit the minimum spend limit in order to receive the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so be sure to look up this information. From there, it’s all about racking up miles and using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your ideas?
After you’ve accrued your points amount, it’s time to redeem them for some sweet getaway! Different credit card companies will offer different ways to redeem your points, but here are some examples from some of the ones I’ve had experience with:
Escape by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own a Chase card, you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through the portal, you’ll get access to nearly every airline and you can use a combination of points and cash to pay for your travel. You can even book completely using points if you’ve got the balance for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t possess enough points for the total price, you can buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with every credit card.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United You have the option of paying using dollars or points? But, be careful that if you do not have enough points you can’t combine points and dollars for one flight. If you’re a few points away, United gives you the option of buying additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience , with more legroom and free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines that allows you to book with either JetBlue points or dollars, however, not both. However, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature where you can join your points with family members to accrue points twice as quickly. Just make sure you can verify that you are a family member before trying to hack into the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me or my travel companion Becca, you’re probably pretty thrifty and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to reach the minimum spend for the credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried because we’ve been there and we’re here to share some of our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able pay your rent with a credit card, do it! Just be prepared to pay a fee, usually at least 3%. It might be worth it over the long term in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another way to reach the spending limit is to pay for the medical bills. If you do not have any medical expenses coming up, ask your family members to pay them for theirs, and they will 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 your credit card. Be sure to pay the credit card balance in full so you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask family for help
Talk to your family and look into any large expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to 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 using your credit card. In this way, you’ll hit that minimum spend and also be prepared to give gifts. Make sure that you’re not paying more than you already thinking of.
There are a lot of ways to get the most out of using your credit or debit card for travel. earn miles or points to be used towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few more ideas for maximizing your rewards
Book travel expenses with your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, use you travel credit card to book your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as any other travel-related expenses. You’ll not only be able to meet the minimum amount of spending required to earn your credit card reward and earn points, but you’ll also be earning points or miles to cover these costs.
Utilize your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday expenditures
Another way to meet the minimum amount of spending and earn points is by using your credit card to pay for daily expenditures. This could be items like groceries, gas or even your phone bill. Make sure you pay the balance off in full each month so you don’t accumulate interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or bonus points for specific types of purchases, like eating out or traveling. Be sure to review your credit card’s rewards program and make use of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending routines.
Take into consideration a balance transfer
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a credit card, you might want to transfer that balance to an account with a travel credit card that has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfers. This will enable you to pay off your debts without accruing interest and simultaneously help you hit the minimum spend for the credit card bonus.
Use your points or miles carefully
When you’ve earned a significant amount of points or miles make sure you use them in a responsible manner. Review the rewards program for your credit card, and evaluate the value of different redemption options. For instance using your points to book a flight directly with the airline might provide you with a greater value than using them for a gift card.
Another option is to get an rewards card that permits you to transfer your reward points into other loyalty programmes. This allows you to enjoy a greater variety of options and greater flexibility when redeeming your rewards. For example, you may be able to transfer your reward to the frequent flyer program of an airline or Hotel rewards programme. This will give an access greater range of flights, hotels and other travel benefits that aren’t offered through the rewards program on your credit card.
Additionally, try to find out the card’s benefits. any perks that can help you save money on travel costs. Many cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that could be invaluable when you travel.
When you travel with a friend each of you will be able to get rewards on your own credit card. Make sure you don’t share the costs on the same card. Also, make sure to track the rewards you earn separately.
The key to making the most of your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program of your credit card and to ensure you’re making use of this program in the most effective method. Through a combination of the methods I’ve described that you can earn rewards fast, exchange rewards for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide variety of travel benefits.