Are you tired of spending a fortune on airfare? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting way to convert welcome bonuses and other incentives into miles which can be used to score discounted or complimentary flights for your dream 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 about swapping credit card sign-up bonus and incentives for airline miles. These miles can then be used to buy discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards will also let you redeem miles for hotel stays and car rental discounts.
How Does it Work?
The secret to successful travel hacking is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and to establish frequent flyer miles with a limited number of airlines. When you are ready to book a flight take a look at the price. If the flight is under $300, it’s usually better to pay cash and use your miles to pay to take a more costly flight. If the prices start to rise higher than $500, it’s best to look into those frequent flyer accounts to find out which airline will give you the most value. It all boils down to the amount of miles or points in your travel bank for every airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to travel hacking? Your first task is to open a credit card that comes with a welcome bonus. There are many great credit cards with many advantages and features. It depends on the type of airline, your habits with spending and what features are 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 spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to receive the bonus. Each card has its own guidelines, so make sure to check for this information. From there, it’s all about racking up miles and using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your ideas?
Now that you’ve built up your points balance, you’re ready to cash them in for some sweet vacation! Different credit card providers will offer different ways to redeem your points, but here are some examples from a few of the companies I’ve had experience with:
Getaway through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you’re a holder of an Chase credit card, then you can redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within the portal, you’ll have access to virtually every airline, and you can make use of a combination of the points as well as cash in order to pay for your trip. You can book your flight entirely on points if you have the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you don’t have enough points to cover the entire cost, you are able to purchase flights through 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 can choose the option of paying using dollars or points? Butbe aware in case you don’t have enough points you can’t combine points and dollars for one flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re a few points away, United provides the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue offers an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience with extra space and complimentary snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to that of United Airlines, allowing customers to book using either JetBlue dollar or points but not both. But, JetBlue offers a distinct feature where you can join your points 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 and my travel companion Becca I’m sure you’re pretty thrifty and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to hit the required amount to qualify for a credit card bonus. Don’t worry as we’ve done it and are here to share our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able to pay for your rent using credit card, go for it! Be prepared to be charged a fee, typically around 3 percent. It may be worth it over the long term when the bonus is large enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another way to reach the spending limit is to cover an medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses coming up, ask your family members to pay them for theirs, and they’ll reimburse you.
Pay off the loan
If you have any loans take into consideration making payments on them with the credit card you have. Make sure to pay off the credit card balance in full so you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Ask your family members to 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 it’s the holiday season take into consideration buying all of your gifts with the credit card you have. This way you can hit that minimum spend and also be prepared for giving gifts. Just make sure you’re not paying more than you already thinking of.
There are a lot of methods to get the most from your travel credit card and accrue points or miles to be used towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few more ideas for maximizing your rewards:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, make use of you travel credit card to pay for your hotel, flight, rental car, and other travel costs. You’ll not only achieve the minimum amount of spending required for your credit card, but you’ll also be earning points or miles on the costs.
Utilize your credit card to pay for everyday expenditures
Another way to hit the minimum amount of spending and earn points is making use of your credit card to pay for everyday costs. This could include items like groceries, gas, and even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay the balance off in full each month so you don’t accumulate interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or points in exchange for specific types of purchases, including eating out or traveling. Check out your rewards program on your credit card and take advantage of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending routines.
Take into consideration the possibility of transferring your balance
If you have existing outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer that balance to an account with a travel credit card that has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will enable you to pay off your debt without accruing interest, and also aid in achieving the minimum amount required to earn the credit card’s bonus.
Make use of your miles or points prudently
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of points or miles Make sure to utilize the points or miles wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card and compare the benefits of different redemption options. For instance you can use your points to book a flight directly with the airline might give you a better return than using them for an gift card.
Another suggestion is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer your rewards to different loyalty program. This will allow you to get a wider selection of choices and more flexibility when making use of your rewards. For instance, you might be capable of transferring your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or hotel rewards program. This can give the benefit of a larger range of flights, hotels and other travel benefits that aren’t available through the rewards program on your credit card.
Also, determine the card’s benefits. any perks that can help you save money on travel expenses. Some cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that could be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a friend each of you will be able to get rewards on your credit card. Just remember that you can’t split the cost on the same card and make sure to track the rewards you earn separately.
Overall, the key to reaping the maximum benefits from your rewards for travel is to be aware of your credit card’s rewards program and ensure that you’re making use of this program in the most effective way possible. By using a combination of the strategies I’ve listed that you can earn rewards fast, exchange them for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide variety of travel benefits.