Are you fed up of spending a fortune on airfare? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting way to convert welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles, that can then be used to get discounted or even cheap flights from your ideal destinations. With a bit of creativity and some insider knowledge, you can be jet-setting for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about swapping credit card sign-up bonus and rewards for airline miles. The miles can be used to purchase discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards allow you to redeem miles towards hotel stays or rental car discounts.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for success in hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and establishing frequent flyer miles with a limited number of airlines. When you are ready to make a booking consider the cost. If the flight is under $300, it’s best to pay cash and save your miles to take a more costly flight. When the flights start getting over $500, you’ll need to review those frequent flyer accounts to determine which airline offers you the most value. All it boils down to is the number of points or miles in your travel account for every airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to travel hacking? The first step is opening a credit card that comes with a welcome bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards with various features and benefits. It all depends on your preferred airline, your habits with spending and what features are crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards perfect to hack 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 need to reach the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to receive the bonus. Each card has its own guidelines, so make sure to check for this information. From there 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 balance, you’re ready to use them towards delicious getaway! Different credit card companies offer different ways to redeem your rewards, here are a few examples from some of the ones I’ve had experience with:
Getaway by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of a Chase card, you are able to redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through the portal, you’ll get access to nearly every airline and you can make use of a combination of points and cash to pay for your next trip. You can even book completely using points if you’ve got the funds to pay for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for full price, you can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with every credit card.
Are you fed up of paying full price 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 for flights. No worries though, if you’re only a couple of points away, United provides the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience , with more legroom and free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to United’s which allows customers to book using either JetBlue points or dollars however, not both. But, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature where you can pool your points together with family members to accrue 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 quite frugal and it can be challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum spend for the credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried as we’ve done it and are here to share our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able to pay for your rent with credit card, then do it! Just be prepared to pay a fee, usually at least 3%. It might be worth it over the long term if the bonus is high enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the minimum spend is to cover the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills in the near future then ask your family members to pay their medical bills and they’ll repay you.
Make a payment to pay off a loan
If you have any loans you owe, think about making payments on them with the credit card you have. Make sure to pay the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t accrue additional debt.
Ask family for help
Ask your family members to look into any large expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Just make sure you are able to trust the person and that they know why you’re doing it.
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 to give gifts. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you already thinking of.
There are plenty of ways to make the most of using your credit or debit card for travel and accrue points or miles to be used towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few additional ideas for maximizing your rewards
Book travel expenses with your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, use you travel credit card to book your flight, hotel, rental car, and any other travel expenses. Not only will you be able to meet the minimum spend for your credit card bonus and earn points, but you’ll also be earning points or miles on these costs.
Make use of your credit card to pay for all your daily expenses
Another way to meet the minimum spend to earn rewards is by making use of your credit card to pay for every day expenditures. This could include things like food, gas, and even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay off the balance in full every month to ensure you don’t accumulate interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide bonus points or miles for certain types of purchases, including eating out or traveling. Check out the rewards program of your credit card and take advantage of any bonus categories that align with your spending routines.
Think about a balance transfer
If you’re in the middle of a outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, think about transferring the balance to a travel credit card with the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfer. This will allow you to pay off the debt without accruing interest and simultaneously aid in achieving the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus.
Utilize your miles and points prudently
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points, be sure to use the points or miles wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card, and evaluate the value of different redemption options. For instance, using points to book a flight directly through the airline may give you a better value than using them for a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer rewards to different loyalty program. This allows you to enjoy a greater variety of options and greater flexibility when making use of your rewards. For instance, you might be capable of transferring your reward to an airline’s frequent flyer program or a hotel rewards program. This will give an access greater variety of hotels, flights, and other travel perks that may not be available through the rewards program on your credit card.
Also, determine whether your credit card has some perks that could reduce your travel costs. Many cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection and other benefits that could be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
When you travel with someone else and both of you earn rewards with your own credit card. Be aware that you cannot split the cost on the same card, and be sure you keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
In the end, the most important thing to do to making the most of your travel rewards is to know the rewards program on your credit card and to ensure you’re making use of your credit card in the most effective method. Utilizing a combination of the strategies I’ve outlined in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards fast, exchange them for travel experiences that are worth it, and enjoy a wide assortment of travel-related perks.