Are you tired of paying a fortune on airfare? Well, good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting method to convert sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles that can then be used to score discounted or cheap flights from your desired destinations. With a little creativity and some insider information, you’ll fly for no cost in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about trading credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. These miles can then be used to purchase cheap or free flight tickets. Some credit cards also allow you to redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or car rental offers.
How Does it Work?
The key to successful hacking travel is taking advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and building out a frequent flyer mile program with a limited number of airlines. When you are ready to make a booking consider the cost. If the flight is less than $300, it’s usually better to pay in cash and save your miles to take a more costly flight. If your flights begin to climb above $500, you’ll want to look into your frequent flyer accounts to see which airline can give you the most value. It all comes down to the amount of points or miles in your travel bank for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to travel hacking? First step opening the credit card that comes with a sign-up bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that offer a variety of features and benefits. It depends on the type of airline, spending habits and what features are 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. Each card has its own rules, so be certain to verify the details. From there, it’s all about racking up miles, and using them to plan your dream trip!
Are you ready to set sail with your goals?
Now that you’ve built up the points amount, it’s time to use them towards delicious getaway! Different credit card companies will have different methods for redeeming your points, but here are some examples from some of the providers I’ve had experience with:
Take a trip by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have an Chase card, you are able to use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through it, you’ll have access to virtually every airline. You can make use of a combination of the points as well as cash in order to book your next trip. You can even book entirely with points if you’ve enough balance! Sometimes even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for entire cost, you still can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using every credit card.
Are you fed up of paying full price for your flight tickets? Did you not know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option of paying using either points or dollars? But, be careful that if you don’t have enough points, you can’t combine points and dollars on the same flight. If you’re only a couple of point short United also offers the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides passengers a relaxing and pleasant travel experience that includes extra legroom as well as free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is like United’s, allowing customers to book using either JetBlue dollar or points, but not both. However, JetBlue has a unique feature that allows you to pool your points together with your family members and earn points twice as fast. Just make sure you can prove you’re really family before trying to hack into the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re like me and my travel companion Becca, you’re probably pretty frugal and it can be difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum spend for the credit card bonus. Don’t worry as we’ve done it and are here to share some of our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able to pay for your rent using a credit card, do it! Be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually about 3 percent. It might be worth it in the long run in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another way to reach the minimum spend is to cover the medical bills. If you do not have any medical expenses due Ask your family members if you can pay their medical bills and they can pay you back.
Make a payment to pay off a loan
If you’re a borrower take into consideration making payments on them with the credit card you have. Make sure to pay off the credit card balance completely so that you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask family for help
Ask your family members to look into any big expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Just make sure you are able to trust the person and that they are aware of the reason for doing this.
If it’s the holiday season you should consider purchasing all of your gifts with your credit card. So you’ll be able to meet the minimum spending limit and be ready for gift giving. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you were contemplating to.
There are a lot of ways to get the most from the travel credit card and earn miles or points to be used towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few more suggestions for maximising your rewards:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, use the travel credit card to pay for your hotel, flight, rental car, and any other travel expenses. In addition, you’ll achieve the required amount for your credit card bonus and earn points, however, you’ll also earn points or miles on the costs.
Use your credit card for all your daily costs
Another way to meet the minimum spend in order to accumulate points making use of your credit card to pay for everyday expenses. This can include things like gas, groceries or even your phone bill. Be sure to pay off the balance each month in full so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer bonus points or miles on certain kinds of purchases, such as eating out or travelling. Check out your credit card’s rewards program and make use of any bonus categories that match with your spending habits.
Consider the possibility of transferring your balance
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a credit card, you might want to transfer that balance onto a travel credit card with the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfer. This will allow you to pay off your debt without accruing interest, and also help you hit the minimum spending requirement for the credit card’s bonus.
Utilize your miles and points prudently
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of points or miles make sure you use the points or miles wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and then compare the benefits of different redemption options. For example using your points to book a flight directly with the airline might provide you with a greater value than using them to purchase a gift card.
Another option is to get an rewards card that permits you to transfer reward points into other loyalty programmes. This allows you to get a wider selection of options and greater flexibility in redeeming your rewards. For instance, you might be able to transfer your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a reward program for hotels. This will give the benefit of a larger range of flights, hotels and other travel benefits that aren’t available through your credit card’s rewards program.
In addition, you should discover if your credit card offers any perks that can reduce your travel expenses. Many cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that could be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
If you’re traveling with a companion, both of you can earn rewards using your own credit card. Be aware that you cannot share the costs on the same card, and be sure to keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
The key to reaping the maximum benefits from your rewards for travel is to be aware of your credit card’s rewards program and to ensure you’re making use of it in the most effective method. By using an array of strategies I’ve listed, you’ll be able to earn rewards quickly, redeem them for travel experiences that are worth it and benefit from a wide variety of travel benefits.