Are you tired of spending a fortune on airfare? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking is the answer to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting method to convert welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles which you can use to score discounted or free flights to your ideal destinations. With a little bit of imagination and a little bit of insider knowledge, you can be jet-setting for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of swapping credit card sign-up bonus as well as incentives to earn airline miles. The miles can be used to buy cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards allow you to redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or rental car discounts.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for successful hacking travel is taking advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and building out a frequent flyer mile program on a select group of airlines. When you are ready to make a booking, evaluate the cost. If the cost is less than $300, it’s best to pay in cash and save your miles to book a higher-priced flight. If your flights begin to climb over $500, you’ll need to review your frequent flyer accounts to determine which airline offers you the most value. All it boils down to is the number of points or miles you have in your travel account for every airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets of travel hacking? First step opening an account with a sign-up bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards that provide many features and benefits. It is all dependent on the airline, spending habits and the features that are most essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards that are excellent for travel hacking:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
Once you’ve been approved 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 guidelines, so make sure to look up this information. Then it’s all about building up miles, and then using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to set sail with your ideas?
Once you’ve accumulated the points balance, it’s time to cash them in for some delicious vacation! Different credit card companies have different methods for redeeming your points, but here are a few examples from some of the providers I’ve worked with:
Getaway with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own a Chase cards, you are able to use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through it, you’ll have access to almost every airline. You can combine the points as well as cash in order to book your trip. You can even book entirely with points if you’ve the balance for it! Sometimes even if you don’t have enough points to cover the entire price, you can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using 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 of paying with dollars or points? Butbe aware that if you don’t have enough points you cannot combine points and dollars on the same flight. No worries though, if you’re just a few point short United provides the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers passengers a relaxing and pleasant travel experience that includes extra legroom as well as free snacks. Plus, their booking process is like United’s that allows customers to book using either JetBlue points or dollars however, not both. But, JetBlue offers a distinct feature where you can combine your points with your family members and earn points twice as fast. Be sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me and my travel buddy Becca I’m sure you’re pretty frugal and it can be challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to reach the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus. Don’t worry as we’ve done it and are here to share our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able pay your rent with credit card, then do it! Be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually at least 3 percent. It could be worthwhile in the end if the bonus is high enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the required spending is to pay for an medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills coming up then ask your relatives if you could pay them for theirs, and they can pay you back.
Repay the loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan, consider paying them off with an credit card. Just make sure you pay off the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Talk to your family and look into any big expenses coming up which you could help pay for. Make sure that you are able to trust the person and they understand why you’re doing this.
If it’s the holiday season, consider buying all of your gifts with the credit card you have. This way you can meet the minimum spending limit and be ready to give gifts. Be sure to avoid spending more than you already contemplating to.
There are many methods to get the most from using your credit or debit card for travel. You can earn miles or points to be used towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few more ideas for maximizing the rewards you earn:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, make use of your travel credit card for booking your hotel, flight, rental car, and any other travel expenses. In addition, you’ll be able to hit the minimum amount of spending required for your credit card and earn points, but you’ll also earn points or miles to cover those costs.
Use your credit card for all your daily expenditures
Another method to reach the minimum spending requirement and earn points is using your credit card to pay for daily expenditures. This could include 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.
Benefit from bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or bonus points on certain kinds of purchases, such as eating out or traveling. Be sure to review your credit card’s rewards program and take advantage of any bonus categories that align with your spending habits.
Take into consideration a balance transfer
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a credit card, consider transferring the balance to an account with a travel credit card that has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfers. This will allow you to pay off your debts without accruing interest. It will also assist you in reaching the minimum spending requirement for the credit card’s bonus.
Make use of your miles or points carefully
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize 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 purchase a flight directly with the airline might offer better return than using them for a gift card.
Another tip is to use a rewards card that allows 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 example, you may be eligible to transfer your reward to the frequent flyer program of an airline or a Hotel rewards programme. This gives the benefit of a greater variety of hotels, flights, and other travel perks which are not offered through the rewards program of your credit card.
Also, find out whether your credit card has some perks that could help you save money on travel expenses. Some cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that can be very beneficial when traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a companion, both of you can earn rewards with your credit card. Just remember that you can’t divide the cost with the same card. Also, make sure to track your rewards in a separate manner.
Overall, the key to maximizing your rewards for travel is to be aware of your credit card’s rewards program and make sure you’re making use of it in the most efficient method. By using all of the methods I’ve described that you can earn rewards quickly, redeem them for travel experiences that are worth it, and enjoy a wide range of travel perks.