Are you tired of paying a fortune on airfare? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s a fun way to convert sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles, that can then be used to obtain discounted or free flights to your ideal destinations. With a little imagination and a little bit of insider information, you’ll be jet-setting for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about trading credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. The miles can be used to pay for discounted or even free flights. Some credit cards also allow you to redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or car rental offers.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for success in hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and to establish a frequent flyer mile program for a specific group of airlines. When it’s time to book a flight take a look at the price. If the price is less than $300, it’s best to pay in cash and use your miles to pay for a more expensive flight. If the prices start to rise higher than $500, it’s best to look into those frequent flyer accounts and find out which airline will give you the best deal. It all boils down to the amount of miles or points you have in your travel savings account for each airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to travel hacking? First step to open an account that comes with a welcome bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards that provide a variety of advantages and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, spending habits and what features are crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit card options that can be perfect to hack travel
- 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 receive the bonus. Every card has different guidelines, so make certain to verify the details. From there you can begin to rack miles and using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your goals?
After you’ve accrued the points amount, it’s time to use them towards nice vacation! Different credit card companies will have different methods of redeeming your points, but here are a few examples from some of the ones I’ve had experience with:
Take a trip by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of an Chase credit card, then you are able to redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In this portal you’ll get access to nearly every airline and you can make use of a combination of money and points to pay for your next trip. You can book your flight entirely using points if you’ve got the funds to pay for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t possess enough points for the full price, you can purchase flights through the 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 flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United You have the option to pay with either points or dollars? Butbe aware, if you don’t have enough points you can’t combine dollars and points for flights. If you’re only a couple of points away, United also offers the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience , with more legroom as well as free snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines which allows you to book with either JetBlue points or dollars, but not both. But, JetBlue offers a distinct feature that lets you pool your points together with your family members and earn points twice as quickly. Be sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack into the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel buddy Becca You’re probably quite thrifty and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to hit the required amount to qualify for credit card bonuses. However, don’t be worried, we’ve been through it 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 to pay your rent using a credit card, do it! Be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually about 3%. It could be worthwhile in the long run in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the spending limit is to pay for a medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills coming up then ask your relatives if you could pay for theirs and they will reimburse you.
Repay the loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan take into consideration making payments on them with an credit card. Be sure to pay off the balance on your credit card in full , so that you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Discuss your family with them and determine if they’ve got any major expenses in the near future which you could help pay for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to are able to trust the person and that they know why you’re doing this.
If it’s the holiday season take into consideration buying all of your gifts with cards from your credit account. This way you can meet the minimum spending limit and also be ready for gift giving. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you were already planning to.
There are plenty of ways to make the most of your travel credit card and earn miles or points to be used towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few additional ideas for maximizing your rewards:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, make use of the travel credit card to book your flight, hotel, rental car, and other travel costs. You’ll not only achieve the minimum amount of spending required to qualify for a credit card reward and earn points, but you’ll also be earning points or miles on those costs.
Utilize your credit card to pay for all your daily costs
Another method to reach the minimum spending requirement in order to accumulate points making use of your credit card for every day costs. This could be things like food, gas, and even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay the balance off in full each month so you don’t pay interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide bonus points or miles on certain kinds of purchases, including dining or travel. Check out your credit card’s rewards program and take advantage of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending habits.
Consider a balance transfer
If you are currently in debt on a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer that balance onto the travel credit card which has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfer. This will allow you to pay off your debt without accruing interest. It will also assist you in reaching the minimum amount required to earn the credit card’s bonus.
Utilize your miles and points prudently
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of points or miles, be sure to use them wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and then compare the worth of various redemption options. For example you can use points to book a flight directly through the airline may offer better return than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another option is to get a rewards card that allows you to transfer your points to other loyalty programs. This will allow you to have a wider range of choices and more flexibility when you want to redeem your rewards. For example, you may be capable of transferring your reward to an airline’s frequent flyer program or hotel rewards program. This can give you access to a wider range of flights, hotels and other travel benefits that may not be accessible through the rewards program of your credit card.
Also, discover if your credit card offers certain benefits that will reduce your travel costs. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection, and other benefits that can be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
When you travel with a friend each of you will be able to earn rewards with your own credit card. Be aware that you cannot split the cost on the same card. Also, make sure you keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
Overall, the key to making the most of your travel rewards is to know your credit card’s rewards program and to ensure you’re using this program in the most effective method possible. Utilizing all of the 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 assortment of travel-related perks.