Are you tired of paying an enormous amount on flights? Well, good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s a fun way to convert bonus and sign-up incentives into miles which can be used to score discounted or free flights to your desired destinations. With a bit of imagination and some information, you’ll be jet-setting for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of trading credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. The miles can be used to pay for cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards will also allow you to redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or car rental discounts.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for success in travel hacking is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and to establish a frequent flyer mile program for a specific group of airlines. When you are ready to make a booking take a look at the price. If the cost is less than $300, it’s usually better to pay cash and use your miles to pay to book a higher-priced flight. If the prices start to rise higher than $500, it’s best to look into those frequent flyer accounts to see which airline can give you the best price. It all comes down to the number of miles or points in your travel bank for every airline.
Get 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 many great credit cards that offer many benefits and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, spending habits and the features that are most crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards excellent for travel hacking:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
Once you’ve been approved for a credit card, you’ll have to meet the limit of spending minimum in order to receive the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so make sure to look up the details. From there you can begin to rack miles and then using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your goals?
Once you’ve accumulated your points amount, it’s time to use them towards sweet getaway! Different credit card providers will have different methods of redeeming your points. Here are some examples from a few of the providers I have experience with:
Take a trip with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have a Chase credit card, then you are able to redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within this portal you’ll have access to almost every airline, and you can combine the points as well as cash in order to pay for your next trip. You can even book completely with points if you’ve the balance for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for total cost, you still can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using the credit card of your choice.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for your flight tickets? Did you not know that when you book directly through United, you have the option of paying using either points or dollars? Be careful, if you don’t have enough points you cannot combine dollars and points for one flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re just a few points away, United also offers the option of buying additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience , with more space and complimentary snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines, allowing you to book with either JetBlue points or dollars, however, not both. The difference is that JetBlue offers a distinct feature where you can pool your points together with your family members and earn points twice as quickly. Be sure to establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack into the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me or my travel buddy Becca You’re probably quite economical and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the required amount to qualify for credit card bonuses. Don’t worry as we’ve done it and are here to share our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able to pay for your rent with a credit card, do it! Just be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually around 3%. It might be worth it in the end in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the spending limit is to cover a medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills in the near future Ask your relatives if you could pay their medical bills and they’ll repay you.
Pay off the loan
If you have any loans, consider making payments on them with an credit card. Make sure to pay the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Talk to your family and see if they have any large 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 taking the initiative.
If it’s the holiday season take into consideration buying all of your gifts with your credit card. In this way, you’ll meet the minimum spending limit and also be ready to give gifts. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you were contemplating to.
There are many methods to get the most of the travel credit card. You can accumulate miles or points that you can be used towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are some additional ways to maximize your rewards:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
If you’re planning a vacation, make use of your travel credit card to book your flight, hotel, rental car, and any other travel-related expenses. Not only will you be able to hit the minimum spend for your credit card reward as well, but you’ll also be earning points or miles to cover the expenditures.
Use your credit card to pay for your everyday costs
Another way to hit the minimum spending requirement and earn points is making use of your credit card to pay for everyday costs. This could be things like gas, groceries or even your phone bill. Be sure to pay off the balance each month in full so you don’t accumulate interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or bonus points for specific types of purchases, like eating out or traveling. Be sure to review the rewards program of your credit card and make use of any bonus categories that match with your spending routines.
Think about a balance transfer
If you are currently in debt on a credit card, think about transferring that balance onto a travel credit card with a 0% introductory APR for balance transfers. This will let you pay off the debt without accruing interest and simultaneously help you hit the minimum spend for the credit card’s bonus.
Utilize your miles and points carefully
If you’ve amassed a large amount of miles or points, be sure to use them in a responsible manner. Review the rewards program for your credit card and then compare the value of different redemption options. For example, using your points to purchase a flight directly with the airline might offer better value than using them for a gift card.
Another option is to get rewards cards that allow you to transfer points to other loyalty programs. 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 an airline’s frequent flyer program or hotel rewards program. This can give an access larger selection of hotels, flights, and other travel perks that aren’t accessible through your credit card’s rewards program.
Also, discover if your credit card offers any perks that can reduce your travel expenses. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that can be very beneficial when traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a friend and both of you earn rewards with your own credit card. Be aware that you cannot share the costs on the same card and make sure you keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
Overall, the key to making the most of your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program of your credit card and to ensure you’re making use of it in the most efficient way possible. By using a combination of the strategies I’ve outlined that you can earn rewards fast, exchange them for travel experiences that are worth it and take advantage of a broad variety of travel benefits.