Are you tired of paying a fortune on airfare? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting method to convert bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles, which can be used to get discounted or even complimentary flights for your ideal destinations. With a bit of creativity and some insider know-how, you’ll travel for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about swapping credit card sign-up bonus and rewards for airline miles. The miles can be used to purchase discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards will also let you redeem miles for hotel stays and car rental offers.
How Does it Work?
The key to success in travel hacking is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and establishing a frequent flyer mile program on a select group of airlines. When you are ready to make a booking, evaluate the cost. If the flight is less than $300, it’s generally better to pay in cash and save your miles to book a higher-priced flight. When the flights start getting above $500, you’ll want to look into the frequent flyer account to find out which airline will give you the most value. All it boils down to is the amount of points or miles you have in your travel bank for each airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to travel hacking? Your first task is opening a credit card with a sign-up offer. There are many great credit cards that provide various advantages and features. It depends on the type of airline, your spending habits, and what features are essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards that are great 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 or debit card, you’ll have to meet the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to get the bonus. Each card has its own guidelines, so make sure to look up the details. Then you can begin to rack miles and using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your points?
Once you’ve accumulated your points amount, it’s time to use them towards nice travel! Different credit card providers will offer different ways to redeem your points, but here are some examples from a few of the providers I’ve had experience with:
Getaway by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own a Chase card, you are able to use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In this portal you’ll have access to almost 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 the funds to pay for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t possess enough points for the full cost, you are able to book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using every credit card.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United, you have the option to pay with dollars or points? Butbe aware that if you don’t have enough points, you cannot combine dollars and points on one flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re only a couple of point short United also offers the option of buying additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience with extra space and complimentary snacks. Plus, their booking process is like United’s, allowing customers to book using either JetBlue points or dollars but not both. However, JetBlue has a unique feature where you can combine your points with your family members and earn points twice as fast. Make sure to 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 buddy Becca You’re probably quite frugal and it can be challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to reach the minimum amount required to earn credit card bonuses. However, don’t be worried because we’ve been there and we’re here to share our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able pay your rent with credit card, go for it! Be prepared to be charged a fee, typically about 3%. It may be worth it over the long term in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another great way to hit the spending limit is to pay for an medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses due then ask your family members if you can pay them for theirs, and they’ll pay you back.
Make a payment to pay off the loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan take into consideration repaying them using the credit card you have. Make sure to pay the credit card balance completely so that you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Talk to your family and look into 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 taking the initiative.
If it’s the holiday season you should consider purchasing all your gifts using the credit card you have. This way you can meet the minimum spending limit and also be prepared for giving gifts. Be sure to avoid paying more than you contemplating to.
There are plenty of ways to get the most from your travel credit card. earn miles or points to use towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are some additional ideas for maximizing the rewards you earn:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, use you travel credit card for booking your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as other travel costs. Not only will you achieve the required amount to earn your credit card reward and earn points, however, you’ll also earn points or miles to cover the expenditures.
Make use of your credit card to pay for all your daily expenses
Another way to hit the minimum spend to earn rewards is by using your credit card for every day expenses. This could be items like groceries, gas and even your telephone 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 for specific types of purchases, like dining or travel. Be sure to review the rewards program of your credit card and take advantage of any bonus categories that match with your spending habits.
Think about a balance transfer
If you have existing debt on a credit card, you might want to transfer that balance onto the travel credit card which has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfers. This will allow you to pay off your debt without accruing interest. It will also help you hit the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus.
Utilize your miles and points wisely
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize them in a responsible manner. Examine the rewards program of your credit card, and evaluate the worth of various redemption options. For instance using your points to purchase a flight directly through the airline may offer better value than using them to purchase an gift card.
Another suggestion is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer your rewards to different loyalty program. This allows you to have a wider range of choices and more freedom when it comes to you want to redeem 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 gives the benefit of a greater selection of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks that may not be accessible through the rewards program on your credit card.
Also, discover whether your credit card has certain benefits that will reduce your travel expenses. Many cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that can be very beneficial when traveling.
If you’re traveling with a companion each of you will be able to get rewards on your own credit card. Just remember that you can’t share the costs on the same card. Also, make sure to track your rewards in a separate manner.
In the end, the most important thing to do to making the most of your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program on your credit card and to ensure you’re using this program in the most efficient way possible. Utilizing an array of strategies I’ve listed, you’ll be able to earn rewards quickly, redeem rewards for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide variety of travel benefits.