Are you fed up of spending an enormous amount on flights? Well, good news! Travel hacking is the answer to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting method to convert welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles, which you can use to obtain discounted or free flights to your desired destinations. With a little bit of imagination and some knowledge, you can travel for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. These miles can later be used to purchase discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards permit you to use miles to pay for hotel stays or car rental discounts.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for successful travel hacking is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and building out frequent flyer miles with a limited number of airlines. When it comes time to book a flight consider the cost. If the flight is less than $300, it’s generally better to pay cash and use your miles to pay to book a higher-priced flight. When the flights start getting above $500, you’ll want to review the frequent flyer account to find out which airline will give you the best price. All it boils down to is the number of points or miles you have in your travel bank for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to hacking travel? First step to open a credit card that comes with a welcome bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards with many benefits and features. It depends on the type of airline, spending habits and what features are crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards excellent to use for hacking 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 hit the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to receive the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so be sure to check for this information. From there you can begin to rack up miles and using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your points?
Once you’ve accumulated the points balance, it’s time to cash them in for some sweet getaway! Different credit card companies will offer different ways to redeem your rewards, here are some examples from a few of the ones I’ve had experience with:
Getaway by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have an Chase cards, you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through the 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 travel. You can book your flight entirely with points if you’ve the balance for it! Sometimes even if you do not possess enough points for the total cost, you are able to purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with the credit card of your choice.
Are you fed up of paying full price for your flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United you can choose the option of paying using dollars or points? Be careful that if you don’t have enough points, you aren’t able to combine points and dollars for one flight. If you’re a few point short United also offers the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides an enjoyable and comfortable travel experience that includes extra legroom as well as free snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to United’s that allows you to book with either JetBlue either dollars or points, but not both. The difference is that JetBlue has a unique feature that allows you to pool your points together with family members to accrue points twice as fast. Just make sure you can establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack into the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me and my travel companion Becca You’re probably quite thrifty and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to hit the required amount to qualify for a credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried because we’ve been there and we’re here to share some of our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able pay your rent using credit card, go for it! Just 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 way to reach the minimum spend is to cover an medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills coming up, ask your relatives if you could pay them for theirs, and they can reimburse you.
Make a payment to pay off the loan
If you have any loans take into consideration making payments on them with your credit card. Just make sure you pay off the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask family for help
Talk to your family and look into any large expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to have confidence in the person you are talking to and they know why you’re doing this.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season you should consider purchasing all of your gifts with your credit card. This way you can meet the minimum spending limit and also be ready for giving gifts. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you were thinking of.
There are a lot of methods to get the most from the travel credit card and earn miles or points to be used towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few more ways to maximize your rewards:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, use your travel credit card for booking your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as any other travel-related expenses. You’ll not only be able to meet the minimum spend for your credit card bonus, but you’ll also be earning points or miles to cover the expenditures.
Utilize your credit card to pay for all your daily expenses
Another method to reach the minimum spending requirement and earn points is making use of your credit card for every day costs. This could be things like gas, groceries or even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay the balance off in full each month so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Benefit from bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer bonus points or miles on certain kinds of purchases, such as dining or travel. Make sure you review your credit card’s rewards program and take advantage of any bonus categories that align with your spending routines.
Take into consideration the possibility of transferring your balance
If you are currently in debt on a high-interest credit card, consider transferring the balance to the travel credit card which has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfer. This will allow you to pay off the debt without accruing interest. It will also help you hit the minimum amount required to earn the credit card’s bonus.
Make use of your miles or points wisely
If you’ve amassed a large amount of points or miles make sure you use them wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card, and evaluate the value of different redemption options. For example you can use your points to book a ticket directly with the airline might give you a better value than using them to purchase a gift card.
Another option is to get rewards cards that allow you to transfer points to other loyalty programs. This allows you to get a wider selection of options and greater flexibility in you want to redeem your rewards. For example, you may be eligible to transfer your reward to an airline’s frequent flyer program or a reward program for hotels. This gives you access to a larger selection of hotels, flights, and other travel perks that aren’t available through your credit card’s rewards program.
Additionally, try to discover the card’s benefits. certain benefits that will help you save money on travel costs. Many cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that can be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a friend, both of you can earn rewards using your own credit card. Make sure you don’t share the costs on the same card and make sure to keep track of your rewards separately.
The key to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to understand your credit card’s rewards program and ensure that you’re using your credit card in the most efficient method possible. Utilizing a combination of the methods I’ve described in this article, you’ll be able get rewards in a short time, use them for travel experiences that are worth it, and enjoy a wide variety of travel benefits.