Are you fed up of spending a fortune on airfare? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting method to turn credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles, that can then be used to get discounted or even free flights to your desired destinations. With a little bit of imagination and some know-how, you’ll be jet-setting for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can later be used to purchase cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards let you redeem miles towards hotel stays or car rental discounts.
How Does it Work?
The key to 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 it’s time to book a flight, evaluate the cost. If the flight is less than $300, it’s generally better to pay cash and use your miles to pay to take a more costly flight. If your flights begin to climb above $500, you’ll want to check the frequent flyer account to find out which airline will give you the best price. It all comes down to the amount of miles or points in your travel bank for every airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to hacking travel? The first step is to open the credit card that comes that comes with a welcome bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that offer various advantages and features. It depends on the type of airline, your habits with spending and the features that are most crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards that are 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 need to hit the minimum spend limit in order to receive the bonus. Every card has different rules, so be sure to check for this information. From there it’s all about building up miles, and then using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your points?
After you’ve accrued your points balance, you’re ready to cash them in for some delicious travel! Different credit card providers will offer different ways to redeem your points, but here are a few examples from some of the providers I have experience with:
Escape through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you have a Chase cards, you are able to redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within this portal you’ll have access to virtually every airline. You can combine money and points to book your next trip. You can even book entirely on points if you have the balance for it! Sometimes even if you do not be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for total price, you can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using any credit card.
Are you fed up of paying full price for flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option of paying with dollars or points? But, be careful, if you do not have enough points you aren’t able to combine dollars and points for flights. Don’t worry, though, if you’re just a few point short United provides the option of buying additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience , with more space and complimentary snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines, allowing you to book with either JetBlue points or dollars, but not both. However, JetBlue has a unique feature that lets you combine your points with your family members and earn points twice as quickly. Just make sure you can establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re anything like me and my travel companion Becca You’re probably quite frugal and it can be daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to hit the required amount to qualify for credit card bonuses. But don’t fret as we’ve done 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 pay your rent using credit card, go for it! Just be prepared to pay a fee, usually about 3%. It could be worthwhile over the long term if the bonus is high enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the required spending is to cover the medical bills. If you do not have any medical expenses coming up then ask your family members to pay them for theirs, and they will repay you.
Pay off a loan
If you’re a borrower take into consideration making payments on them with an credit card. Be sure to pay off the balance on your credit card in full so you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask family for help
Talk to your family and determine if they’ve got any big expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Make sure that you are able to trust the person and they understand why you’re doing it.
If it’s the holiday season take into consideration buying all your gifts with the credit card you have. This way you can reach the minimum spending requirement and be ready to give gifts. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you already contemplating to.
There are many ways to get the most of your travel credit card and accumulate miles or points that you can use towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few additional ideas for maximizing your rewards:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, make use of your travel credit card to pay for your hotel, flight, rental car, and any other travel-related expenses. Not only will you be able to meet the minimum amount of spending required for your credit card, but you’ll also be earning points or miles to cover these expenditures.
Make use of your credit card to pay for all your daily expenses
Another way to hit the minimum amount of spending in order to accumulate points by making use of your credit card to pay every day expenditures. This could include things like gas, groceries and even your telephone bill. Be 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 eating out or traveling. Be sure to review your credit card’s rewards program and avail any bonus categories that match 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, think about transferring that balance to a travel credit card with an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfers. This will let you pay off your debts without accruing interest. It will also assist you in reaching the minimum spending requirement for the credit card bonus.
Use your points or miles carefully
If you’ve amassed a large amount of miles or points, be sure to use the points or miles wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card and then compare the worth of various redemption options. For instance using points to purchase a flight directly with the airline might provide you with a greater value than using them to purchase the purchase of a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer points to other loyalty programs. This will let you have a wider range of options and greater freedom when it comes to making use of your rewards. For instance, you might be eligible to transfer your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or Hotel rewards programme. This gives an access larger range of flights, hotels and other travel benefits which are not accessible through the rewards program of your credit card.
In addition, you should determine the card’s benefits. some perks that could save you money on travel-related expenses. Some cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection and other benefits that are very beneficial when traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a friend each of you will be able to earn rewards with your credit card. Just remember that you can’t share the costs on the same card. Also, make sure to track your rewards separately.
Overall, the key to maximizing your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program of your credit card and to ensure you’re using it in the most efficient method. Utilizing a combination of the strategies I’ve listed that you can earn rewards quickly, redeem rewards for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide variety of travel benefits.