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 way to convert welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles, that can then be used to obtain discounted or free flights to your dream destinations. With a little imagination and a little bit of insider information, 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 and incentives for airline miles. These miles can then be used to purchase discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards will also permit you to use miles towards hotel stays or rental car deals.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for success in hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and to establish frequent flyer miles on a select group of airlines. When you are ready to book a flight, evaluate the cost. If the price is less than $300, it’s best to pay in cash and use your miles to pay for a more expensive flight. If your flights begin to climb over $500, you’ll need to review your frequent flyer accounts and see which airline can give you the most value. It all comes down to the number of points or miles you have in your travel account for each airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to travel hacking? First step opening a credit card with a sign-up offer. There are plenty of great credit cards that provide various advantages and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, your spending habits, and the features that are most essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards perfect 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 need to reach the limit of spending minimum in order to qualify for the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so make sure to check for this information. Then it’s all about building up miles and then using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your ideas?
After you’ve accrued the points amount, it’s time to cash them in for some nice getaway! Different credit card providers will have different methods of redeeming your points. Here are a few examples from some of the ones I’ve had experience with:
Take a trip through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you’re a holder of an Chase credit card, then you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In this portal you’ll get access to almost every airline, and you can use a combination of money and points to book your travel. You can even book entirely using points if you’ve got the balance for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for entire cost, you still can buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with 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? Be careful that 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 only a couple of points away, United also offers the option to purchase additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides a comfortable and enjoyable travel experience that includes extra legroom and free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to United’s which allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue either dollars or points but not both. The difference is that JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that lets you pool your points together with your relatives to earn points twice as fast. Just make sure you can establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel buddy Becca You’re probably quite economical and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to reach the minimum spend for credit card bonuses. However, don’t be worried because we’ve been there and are here to share our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able to pay for your rent with a credit card, do it! Be prepared to be charged a fee, typically about 3%. It could be worthwhile over the long term in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the required spending is to pay for 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 pay you back.
Make a payment to pay off a loan
If you have any loans, consider paying them off with an credit card. Just make sure you pay off the balance on your credit card completely so that you don’t accumulate additional debt.
Ask family for help
Talk to your family and look into any major expenses in the near future that you can contribute for. Make sure that you are able to have confidence in the person you are talking to and they are aware of the reason for doing it.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season take into consideration buying all of your gifts with cards from your credit account. In this way, you’ll reach the minimum spending requirement and also be prepared to give gifts. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you contemplating to.
There are a lot of ways to make the most from using your credit or debit card for travel and accumulate miles or points that you can be used towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few additional suggestions for maximising the rewards you earn:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a vacation, make use of your travel credit card to book your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as other travel costs. You’ll not only be able to meet the minimum spend to qualify for a credit card reward as well, however, you’ll also earn points or miles on these expenditures.
Make use of your credit card to pay for all your daily expenses
Another method to reach the minimum spending requirement in order to accumulate points using your credit card for daily costs. This can include items like groceries, gas, and even your phone bill. Make sure you pay the balance off in full every month to ensure you don’t pay interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide bonus points or miles on certain kinds of purchases, including dining or travel. Check out the rewards program of 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’re in the middle of a debt on a credit card, consider transferring that balance to a travel credit card with the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfer. This will allow you to pay off your debt without accruing interest, and also aid in achieving the minimum spend for the credit card’s bonus.
Make use of your miles or points wisely
When you’ve earned a significant amount of points or miles Make sure to utilize them in a responsible manner. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and compare the value of different redemption options. For example, using points to book a flight directly with the airline could give you a better value than using them to purchase a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will allow you to enjoy a greater variety of choices and more flexibility when you want to redeem your rewards. For instance, you might be capable of transferring your rewards to an airline’s frequent flyer program or hotel rewards program. This will give an access greater variety of hotels, flights, and other travel perks that may not be accessible through the rewards program on your credit card.
In addition, you should discover the card’s benefits. any perks that can help you save money on travel expenses. Many cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that can be very beneficial when traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a companion and both of you earn rewards with your own credit card. Just remember that you can’t split the cost on the same card, and be sure you keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
In the end, the most important thing to do to maximizing your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program of your credit card and to ensure you’re using this program in the most efficient method. By using an array of methods I’ve described in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards quickly, redeem them for travel experiences that are worth it and benefit from a wide range of travel perks.