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 problems. It’s a fun way to convert sign-up bonuses and incentives into miles which you can use to get discounted or even free flights to your ideal destinations. With a bit of imagination and some information, you’ll be jet-setting for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. The miles can be used to pay for discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards permit you to use miles towards hotel stays or car rental deals.
How Does it Work?
The secret to successful hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and building out frequent flyer miles with a limited number of airlines. When it’s time to make a booking, evaluate the cost. If the price is under $300, it’s generally better to pay cash and use your miles to pay to take a more costly flight. When the flights start getting above $500, you’ll want to check your frequent flyer accounts and find out which airline will give you the best deal. 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
Are you interested in learning the secrets of travel hacking? First step opening the credit card that comes that comes with a welcome bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards that offer many features and benefits. It all depends on your preferred airline, your spending habits, and the features that are most crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards that are great for travel hacking:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
Once you’ve been approved for a credit or debit card, you’ll have to meet the limit of spending minimum in order to receive the bonus. Every card has different rules, so be sure to check for the details. Then it’s all about building up miles, and using them to plan your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your ideas?
Now that you’ve built up the points balance, you’re ready to cash them in for some sweet vacation! Different credit card companies will have different methods for redeeming your points. Here are some examples from a few of the providers I’ve worked with:
Take a trip by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have a Chase credit card, then you are able to redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within 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 even book entirely using points if you’ve got the balance for it! Sometimes even if you do not possess enough points for the entire cost, you still can buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with any 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 either points or dollars? Butbe aware that if you don’t have enough points you cannot combine points and dollars on the same flight. If you’re only a couple of point short United also offers the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue offers an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience , with more legroom and free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to United’s that allows you to book with either JetBlue dollar or points but not both. But, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature where you can combine your points with your family members and earn points twice as quickly. Just make sure you can verify that you are a family member before trying to hack the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re like me or my travel buddy Becca I’m sure you’re pretty thrifty and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum amount required to earn credit card bonuses. However, don’t be worried, we’ve been through it 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 a credit card, do it! Be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually about 3 percent. 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 excellent way to meet the minimum spend is to pay for the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills due then ask your family members if you can pay for theirs and they will reimburse you.
Repay a loan
If you’re a borrower you owe, think about making payments on them with your credit card. Be sure to pay off the credit card balance in full so you don’t accrue additional debt.
Ask your family members for help
Talk to your family and determine if they’ve got any large expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to trust the person and they know why you’re taking the initiative.
If it’s the holiday season, consider buying all your gifts with the credit card you have. In this way, you’ll reach the minimum spending requirement and be ready to give gifts. Be sure to avoid paying more than you contemplating to.
There are a lot of ways to make the most from using your credit or debit card for travel. accumulate miles or points that you can be used towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are some additional ideas for maximizing your rewards
Book travel expenses with your credit card
If you’re planning a vacation, make use of the travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel, rental car, and any other travel-related expenses. Not only will you be able to hit the required amount to earn your credit card bonus, however, you’ll also earn points or miles to cover those expenses.
Use your credit card to pay for your everyday costs
Another way to hit the minimum spending requirement and earn points is by using your credit card for every day costs. This could be things like gas, groceries, and even your phone bill. Make sure you pay the balance off in full every month to ensure you don’t accrue interest charges.
Make the most of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide bonus points or miles on certain kinds of purchases, such as eating out or travelling. Be sure to review the rewards program of your credit card and make use of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending habits.
Take into consideration a balance transfer
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a high-interest credit card, consider transferring that balance onto the travel credit card which has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfers. This will let you pay off the debt without accruing interest, and also aid in achieving the minimum amount required to earn the credit card’s bonus.
Use your points or miles wisely
If you’ve amassed a large amount of points or miles make sure you use the points or miles wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and then compare the value of different redemption options. For example, using your points to book a flight directly with the airline could offer better value than using them for a gift card.
Another tip is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer your points to other loyalty programs. This allows you to enjoy a greater variety of choices and more freedom when it comes to you want to redeem your rewards. For example, you may be eligible to transfer your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a Hotel rewards programme. This will give you access to a wider range of flights, hotels as well as other travel perks that may not be offered through the rewards program on your credit card.
Also, discover the card’s benefits. certain benefits that will help you save money on travel expenses. Some cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that are very beneficial when traveling.
When you travel with someone else each of you will be able to earn rewards with your credit card. Just remember that you can’t divide the cost with the same card, and be sure you keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
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 it in the most effective method. By using an array of strategies I’ve listed, you’ll be able to get rewards in a short time, use them for travel experiences that are worth it, and enjoy a wide variety of travel benefits.