Are you tired of spending a fortune on airfare? Well, good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel problems. It’s a fun way to convert welcome bonuses and other incentives into miles which can be used to get discounted or even cheap flights from your dream destinations. With a little bit of imagination and a little bit of insider information, you’ll travel for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of trading credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can later be used to buy discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards will also let you redeem miles towards hotel stays or car rental deals.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for success in travel hacking is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and to establish frequent flyer miles for a specific group of airlines. When it comes time to make a booking, evaluate the cost. If the cost is less than $300, it’s best to pay in cash and use your miles to pay for a more expensive flight. If the prices start to rise above $500, you’ll want to look into the frequent flyer account and determine which airline offers you the best deal. It all boils down to the number of points or miles you have in your travel savings account for every airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets of travel hacking? Your first task is to open the credit card that comes that comes with a welcome bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards that offer various benefits and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, your spending habits, and the features that are most important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit card options that can be excellent for travel hacking:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
After you’ve been accepted for a credit card, you’ll have to meet the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to get the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so be certain to verify the details. From there, it’s all about racking up miles, and using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your points?
Once you’ve accumulated the points balance, it’s time to cash them in for some sweet travel! Different credit card companies will have different methods for redeeming your points, but here are some examples from a few of the providers I’ve had experience with:
Escape through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you’re a holder of a Chase cards, you are able to use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through this portal you’ll get access to almost every airline. You can use a combination of the points as well as cash in order to book your trip. You can even book completely using points if you’ve got the balance for it! Sometimes even if you don’t possess enough points for the total price, you can buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with every credit card.
Are you tired of paying full price for your flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option to pay with either points or dollars? Be careful that if you don’t have enough points, you can’t combine dollars and points on flights. Don’t worry, though, if you’re a few point short United also offers the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience , with more space and complimentary snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines which allows customers to book using either JetBlue either dollars or points, but not both. The difference is that JetBlue offers a distinct feature where you can combine your points with family members to accrue points twice as quickly. Just make sure you can prove you’re really family before trying to hack into the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me or my travel buddy Becca I’m sure you’re pretty economical and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried as we’ve done it and we’re here to share our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able to pay for your rent with credit card, then do it! Make sure you pay a fee, usually around 3%. It may be worth it in the long run when the bonus is large enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another great way to hit the required spending is to pay for an medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses in the near future Ask your family members to pay for theirs and they will pay you back.
Pay off the loan
If you’re a borrower you owe, think about making payments on them with the credit card you have. Just make sure you pay off the balance on your credit card in full , so that you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Talk to your family and look into any big expenses coming up which you could help pay for. Just make sure you are able to trust the person and that they know why you’re taking the initiative.
If you’re celebrating the holidays, consider buying all your gifts using cards from your credit account. This way you can meet the minimum spending limit and be ready to give gifts. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you already thinking of.
There are many methods to get the most from using your credit or debit card for travel and accrue points or miles to use towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few more ways to maximize the rewards you earn:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, use the travel credit card to book your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as any other travel expenses. You’ll not only achieve the minimum amount of spending required for your credit card, however, you’ll also earn points or miles for the expenditures.
Utilize your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday costs
Another method to reach the minimum spend in order to accumulate points by utilising your credit cards to pay every day expenses. 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 accumulate interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or points in exchange on certain kinds 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 align with your spending habits.
Consider a balance transfer
If you’re in the middle of a outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, think about transferring that balance to the travel credit card which has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfer. This will let you pay off the debt without accruing interest and simultaneously assist you in reaching the minimum spend for the credit card bonus.
Make use of your miles or points wisely
When you’ve earned a significant amount of points or miles, be sure to use them wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card and compare the value of different redemption options. For instance using points to book a ticket directly with the airline might offer better value than using them for a gift card.
Another option is to get a rewards card that allows you to transfer your rewards to different loyalty program. This will allow you to get a wider selection of options and greater flexibility when redeeming your rewards. For instance, you might be able to transfer your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or hotel rewards program. This gives you access to a wider range of flights, hotels and other travel benefits that may not be accessible through the rewards program of your credit card.
Additionally, try to find out the card’s benefits. any perks that can help you save money on travel costs. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that can be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
If you’re traveling with someone else and both of you earn rewards using your credit card. Make sure you don’t split the cost on the same card and make sure to track your rewards 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 making use of it in the most effective method possible. By using a combination of the strategies I’ve listed in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards quickly, redeem them for travel experiences that are worth it and take advantage of a broad variety of travel benefits.