Are you tired of paying a fortune on airfare? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting way to convert credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into miles that can then be used to get discounted or even complimentary flights for your ideal destinations. With a 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 trading 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 let you redeem miles for hotel stays and rental car offers.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for successful travel hacking is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and establishing a frequent flyer mile program on a select group of airlines. When it’s time to book a flight take a look at the price. If the cost is less than $300, it’s usually better to pay in cash and use your miles to pay to book a higher-priced flight. When the flights start getting higher than $500, it’s best to review those frequent flyer accounts to see which airline can give you the best deal. All it boils down to is the amount of points or miles you have in your travel account for each airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets of travel hacking? The first step is to open the credit card that comes with a sign-up bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that provide various features and benefits. It all depends on your preferred airline, your habits with spending and the features that are most important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards perfect to use for hacking travel:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
If 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 rules, so be sure to look up this information. Then you can begin to rack miles and using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your goals?
Now that you’ve built up your points balance, it’s time to cash them in for some nice travel! Different credit card providers will have different methods of redeeming your points. Here are a few examples from some of the providers I’ve worked with:
Getaway through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you have a Chase cards, you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through it, you’ll get access to virtually every airline and you can combine money and points to pay for your trip. You can book your flight entirely on points if you have enough balance! Sometimes even if you do not possess enough points for the full price, you can buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using the credit card of your choice.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for your flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United You have the option of paying with dollars or points? Butbe aware, if you don’t have enough points you cannot combine dollars and points for flights. Don’t worry, though, if you’re a few point short United also offers the option to purchase additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers passengers a relaxing and pleasant travel experience that includes extra space and complimentary snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines that allows you to book with either JetBlue dollar or points however, not both. But, JetBlue has a unique feature that allows you to pool your points together with your relatives to earn points twice as quickly. Make sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel buddy Becca You’re probably quite thrifty and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to reach the minimum spend for the credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried as we’ve done it and we’re here to share some of our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able to pay your rent using credit card, go for it! Make sure you pay a cost, which is usually around 3%. 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 excellent way to meet the required spending is to cover an medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills coming up, ask your family members to pay them for theirs, and they will repay you.
Pay off a loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan take into consideration repaying them using your credit card. Just make sure you pay the credit card balance completely so that you don’t accumulate additional debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Ask your family members to look into any major expenses in the near future which you could help pay for. Make sure that you are able to are able to trust the person and that they understand why you’re taking the initiative.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season, consider buying all of your gifts with the credit card you have. In this way, you’ll reach the minimum spending requirement and be ready for giving gifts. Just make sure you’re not paying more than you contemplating to.
There are plenty of methods to get the most from the travel credit card and accrue points or miles to use towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few more suggestions for maximising your rewards
Book travel expenses with your credit card
If you’re planning a vacation, make use of the travel credit card for booking your hotel, flight, rental car, and any other travel-related expenses. In addition, you’ll achieve the minimum spend for your credit card reward as well, but you’ll also be earning points or miles on these expenditures.
Make use of your credit card to pay for all your daily expenses
Another way to meet the minimum spending requirement to earn rewards is by making use of your credit card to pay daily expenditures. This could include things like food, gas and even your telephone bill. Make sure you pay off the balance in full every month to ensure you don’t pay interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or bonus points for specific types of purchases, including eating out or travelling. Be sure to review your rewards program on your credit card and take advantage of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending routines.
Consider a balance transfer
If you are currently in debt on a credit card, you might want to transfer that balance onto the travel credit card which has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will let you pay off the debt without accruing interest. It will also aid in achieving the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus.
Make use of your miles or points prudently
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of points or miles make sure you use them wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and then compare the benefits of different redemption options. For example you can use points to book a flight directly through the airline may offer better value than using them for a gift card.
Another option is to get rewards cards that allow you to transfer your rewards to different loyalty program. This will let you have a wider range of choices and more flexibility when redeeming your rewards. For instance, you might be capable of transferring your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a reward program for hotels. This can give the benefit of a wider range of flights, hotels and other travel benefits that may not be available through the rewards program of your credit card.
Additionally, try to determine whether your credit card has some perks that could reduce your travel expenses. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection and other benefits that are extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
When you travel with someone else, both of you can get rewards on your own credit card. Make sure you don’t divide the cost with the same card, and be sure to track your rewards in a separate manner.
Overall, the key to maximizing your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program of your credit card and ensure that you’re making use of this program in the most effective method possible. Utilizing all of the methods I’ve described in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards quickly, redeem rewards for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide variety of travel benefits.