Are you tired of spending a fortune on airfare? Well, good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s a fun way to convert welcome bonuses and other incentives into miles that can then be used to obtain discounted or complimentary flights for your desired destinations. With a bit of creativity and some insider know-how, you’ll be jet-setting for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of swapping credit card sign-up bonus and rewards for airline miles. These miles can then be used to pay for cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards allow you to redeem miles for hotel stays and rental car 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 establishing a frequent flyer mile program for a specific group of airlines. When you are ready to book a flight consider the cost. If the price is less than $300, it’s usually better to pay in cash and save your miles to book a higher-priced flight. If your flights begin to climb over $500, you’ll need to look into those frequent flyer accounts and find out which airline will give you the best deal. All it boils down to is the amount of points or miles you have in your travel bank for every airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to travel hacking? The first step is to open a credit card with a sign-up bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards that provide various features and benefits. It depends on the type of airline, your habits with spending and what features are essential 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
After you’ve been accepted for a credit or debit card, you’ll need to hit the limit of spending minimum in order to qualify for the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so be sure to look up the details. Then, it’s all about racking up miles, and using them to plan your dream trip!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your points?
Now that you’ve built up the points balance, you’re ready to redeem them for some nice travel! Different credit card companies will have different methods of redeeming your points. Here are some examples from some of the companies I’ve had experience with:
Getaway through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you own a Chase credit card, then you are able to redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through it, you’ll get access to almost every airline, and you can make use of a combination of points and cash to book your trip. You can even book entirely with points if you’ve the funds to pay for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t possess enough points for the full cost, you are able to book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using every credit card.
Are you fed up of paying full price for your flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United You have the option to pay with either points or dollars? Be careful in case you don’t have enough points you aren’t able to combine dollars and points on flights. Don’t worry, though, if you’re just a few points short, United also offers the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience , with more legroom and free snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines that allows customers to book using either JetBlue points or dollars but not both. However, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature where you can combine your points with your family members and earn points twice as fast. 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 and my travel companion Becca I’m sure you’re pretty thrifty and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to reach the minimum amount required to earn a credit card bonus. But don’t fret because we’ve been there and are here to share some of our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able pay your rent using credit card, go for it! Be prepared to pay a fee, usually about 3%. It could be worthwhile over the long term when the bonus is large enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another way to reach the spending limit is to cover the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills in the near future, ask your family members to pay their medical bills and they will repay you.
Pay off the loan
If you have any loans take into consideration repaying them using an credit card. Make sure to pay off the credit card balance in full so you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Talk to your family and determine if they’ve got any major expenses in the near future which you could help pay for. Just make sure you are able to trust the person and that they are aware of the reason for doing it.
If you’re celebrating the holidays take into consideration buying all your gifts with your credit card. So you’ll be able to hit that minimum spend and be ready for gift giving. Be sure to avoid spending more than you already contemplating to.
There are many ways to make the most out of using your credit or debit card for travel. accrue points or miles to be used towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few more suggestions for maximising your rewards:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, make use of your travel credit card to pay for your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as other travel costs. Not only will you achieve the required amount for your credit card, however, you’ll also earn points or miles for the expenses.
Make use of your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday expenditures
Another way to hit the minimum amount of spending and earn points is using your credit card for daily expenses. This could include items like groceries, gas and even your telephone bill. Make sure you pay off the balance in full each month so you don’t pay interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide bonus points or miles for specific types of purchases, including eating out or travelling. Be sure to review your credit card’s rewards program and make use of the bonus categories that are in line 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 the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfer. This will allow you to pay off your debts without accruing interest, and also help you hit the minimum spend for the credit card’s bonus.
Use your points or miles carefully
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of points or miles, be sure to use the points or miles wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and then compare the worth of various redemption options. For example you can use points to book a ticket directly through the airline may give you a better value than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another tip is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer rewards to different loyalty program. This will let you have a wider range of options and greater flexibility in redeeming your rewards. For example, you may be eligible to transfer your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or Hotel rewards programme. This can give you access to a greater range of flights, hotels, and other travel perks that aren’t offered through your credit card’s rewards program.
In addition, you should find out the card’s benefits. some perks that could help you save money on travel expenses. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that can be invaluable when you travel.
When you travel with someone else, both of you can earn rewards using your own credit card. Be aware that you cannot divide the cost with the same card. Also, make sure you keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
In the end, the most important thing to do to making the most of your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program on your credit card and to ensure you’re using it in the most efficient method possible. Utilizing a combination of the methods I’ve described that you can earn rewards fast, exchange them for travel experiences that are worth it and benefit from a wide assortment of travel-related perks.