Are you tired of paying a fortune on airfare? 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, which you can use to score discounted or free flights to your dream destinations. With a little bit of imagination and a little bit of insider know-how, you’ll travel for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of trading credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. These miles can then be used to pay for discounted or even free flights. Some credit cards also allow you to redeem miles towards hotel stays or rental car offers.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for success in hacking travel is taking advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and building out a frequent flyer mile program with a limited number of airlines. When it’s time to make a booking take a look at the price. If the price is under $300, it’s usually better to pay in cash and save your miles to book a higher-priced flight. If the prices start to rise over $500, you’ll need to look into the frequent flyer account and determine which airline offers you the most value. It all comes down to the number of miles or points in your travel account for each airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to travel hacking? Your first task is to open an account with a sign-up bonus. There are many great credit cards that provide many advantages and features. It is all dependent on the airline, your habits with spending and the features that are most crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit card options that can be excellent to hack travel
- 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 reach the limit of spending minimum in order to get the bonus. Every card has different rules, so make sure to check for the details. From there it’s all about building miles and using them to book your dream trip!
Ready to jet-set with your goals?
After you’ve accrued your points balance, you’re ready to redeem them for some sweet travel! Different credit card providers will have different methods for redeeming your points. Here are some examples from some of the ones I’ve had experience with:
Escape through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you own an Chase credit card, then you are able to use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within this portal you’ll have access to nearly every airline. You can make use of a combination of the points as well as cash in order to pay for your next trip. You can even book entirely on points if you have the funds to pay for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t have enough points to cover the full cost, you still can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using the credit card of your choice.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United You have the option of paying using dollars or points? Butbe aware, if you don’t have enough points, you cannot combine dollars and points on the same flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re just a few points away, United gives you the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience , with more legroom as well as free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to that of United Airlines that allows you to book with either JetBlue points or dollars but not both. However, JetBlue has a unique feature that lets you join your points with your relatives to earn points twice as fast. Just make sure you can prove you’re really family before trying to hack the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re anything like me and my travel buddy Becca I’m sure you’re pretty thrifty and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum spend for the credit card bonus. Don’t worry, we’ve been through it and we’re here to share our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able to pay your rent using credit card, go for it! Just be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually around 3 percent. It might be worth it in the long run when the bonus is large enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the minimum spend is to pay for an medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses coming up Ask your family members if you can pay for theirs and they will 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. Be sure to pay off the balance on your credit card in full , so that you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Ask your family members to see if they have any big expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to are able to trust the person and that they understand why you’re doing it.
If you’re celebrating the holidays you should consider purchasing all of your gifts with cards from your credit account. So you’ll be able to hit that minimum spend and also be ready to give gifts. Be sure to avoid paying more than you thinking of.
There are a lot of methods to get the most from the travel credit card. You can accumulate miles or points that you can spend on the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few more ideas for maximizing your rewards
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, make use of your travel credit card for booking your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as other travel costs. In addition, you’ll achieve the minimum spend to earn your credit card reward, however, you’ll also earn points or miles on these expenditures.
Use your credit card for everyday costs
Another way to hit the minimum spend in order to accumulate points by using your credit card for every day expenditures. This could include items like groceries, gas or even your phone bill. Make sure you pay off the balance in full every month to ensure you don’t accrue interest charges.
Make the most of 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 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 the possibility of transferring your balance
If you are currently in debt on a credit card, think about transferring the balance to the travel credit card which has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfers. This will enable you to pay off your debts without accruing interest. It will also help you hit the minimum spending requirement for the credit card’s bonus.
Make use of your miles or points carefully
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 evaluate the benefits of different redemption options. For example, using points to purchase a flight directly with the airline might provide you with a greater value than using them for a gift card.
Another tip is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer reward points into other loyalty programmes. This allows you to have a wider range of options and greater flexibility in redeeming your rewards. For example, you may be capable of transferring your rewards to an airline’s frequent flyer program or a Hotel rewards programme. This can give an access larger range of flights, hotels, and other travel perks that aren’t available through the rewards program of your credit card.
Additionally, try to determine whether your credit card has any perks that can help you save money on travel expenses. Some cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection, and other benefits that are very beneficial when traveling.
If you’re traveling with someone else each of you will be able to earn rewards with your own credit card. Make sure you don’t divide the cost with the same card. Also, make sure to keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do to maximizing your travel rewards is to understand your credit card’s rewards program and to ensure you’re using your credit card in the most efficient method. By using an array of strategies I’ve listed that you can earn rewards quickly, redeem rewards for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide variety of travel benefits.