Are you fed up of spending an enormous amount on flights? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting method to convert welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles, which you can use to score discounted or complimentary flights for your desired destinations. With a little bit of imagination and a little bit of insider know-how, you’ll travel for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. The miles can be used to purchase discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards allow you to redeem miles towards hotel stays or car rental deals.
How Does it Work?
The key to success in travel hacking is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and building out frequent flyer miles on a select group of airlines. When you are ready to book a flight take a look at the price. If the cost is under $300, it’s generally better to pay cash and save your miles for a more expensive flight. If your flights begin to climb above $500, you’ll want to look into your frequent flyer accounts and find out which airline will give you the most value. It all comes down to the number of miles or points in your travel account for every airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets of travel hacking? The first step is opening the credit card that comes that comes with a welcome bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards that provide a variety of advantages and features. It depends on the type of airline, spending habits and the features that are most crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit card options that can be perfect 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 reach the minimum spend limit in order to get the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so be certain to verify this information. Then it’s all about building up miles and then using them to book your dream vacation!
Ready to jet-set with your ideas?
Now that you’ve built up the points balance, it’s time to use them towards nice getaway! Different credit card companies have different methods for redeeming your points, but here are some examples from some of the companies I have experience with:
Escape through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you’re a holder of a Chase card, you are able to redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through this portal you’ll have access to nearly every airline. You can use a combination of the points as well as cash in order to book your travel. You can even book entirely 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 entire 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 the full cost for your flight tickets? Did you realize that when booking directly through United, you have the option of paying with dollars or points? But, be careful in case you don’t have enough points, you can’t combine dollars and points on the same flight. If you’re only a couple of points short, United gives you the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience , with more legroom and free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is like United’s, allowing customers to book using either JetBlue either dollars or points, but not both. But, JetBlue offers a distinct feature that allows you to combine your points with family members to accrue points twice as fast. Be sure to establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me and my travel buddy Becca I’m sure you’re pretty frugal and it can be challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to reach the minimum spend for credit card bonuses. However, don’t be worried, we’ve been through it and we’re here to share our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able to pay for your rent using credit card, then do it! Just be prepared to pay a fee, usually at least 3%. It may be worth it over the long term in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another great way to hit the required spending is to pay for the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills due then ask your relatives if you could pay for theirs and they will reimburse you.
Pay off a loan
If you have any loans you owe, think about paying them off with an credit card. Be sure to pay off the balance on your credit card in full , so that you don’t accrue additional debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Discuss your family with them and see if they have any big expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Make sure that you are able to trust the person and they know why you’re taking the initiative.
If you’re celebrating the holidays take into consideration buying all your gifts using cards from your credit account. In this way, you’ll hit that minimum spend and be ready for giving gifts. Be sure to avoid spending more than you already contemplating to.
There are many ways to get the most out of your travel credit card. earn miles or points to use towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are some additional suggestions for maximising your rewards:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a vacation, make use of 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 required amount for your credit card bonus, but you’ll also be earning points or miles on the expenditures.
Utilize your credit card to pay for everyday expenses
Another way to meet the minimum amount of spending to earn rewards is by making use of your credit card to pay for every day costs. This can include items like groceries, gas and even your telephone bill. Just make sure to pay off the balance in full every month to ensure you don’t accrue interest charges.
Make the most of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide bonus points or miles for specific types of purchases, including eating out or travelling. Check out your credit card’s rewards program and take advantage of any bonus categories that match with your spending routines.
Consider the possibility of transferring your balance
If you are currently in debt on a credit card, consider transferring that balance to a travel credit card with a 0% introductory APR for balance transfers. This will enable you to pay off the debt without accruing interest. It will also assist you in reaching the minimum spending requirement for the credit card’s bonus.
Use your points or miles wisely
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points, be sure to use them in a responsible manner. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and compare the value of different redemption options. For example you can use points to book a ticket directly through the airline may provide you with a greater return than using them for an gift card.
Another option is to get a rewards card that allows you to transfer your reward points into other loyalty programmes. This allows you to enjoy a greater variety of options and greater flexibility when you want to redeem your rewards. For example, you may be capable of transferring your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a hotel rewards program. This can give an access wider selection of hotels, flights, and other travel perks which are not available through the rewards program on your credit card.
Additionally, try to determine whether your credit card has certain benefits that will help you save money on travel expenses. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that are extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a companion and both of you earn rewards using your own credit card. Make sure you don’t divide the cost with the same card. Also, make sure you keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
The key to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to understand your credit card’s rewards program and to ensure you’re making use of your credit card in the most effective way possible. Utilizing an array of methods I’ve described that you can earn rewards quickly, redeem them for travel experiences that are worth it and benefit from a wide assortment of travel-related perks.