Are you tired of paying a fortune on airfare? Good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s a fun way to convert bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles, that can then be used to score discounted or free flights to your desired destinations. With a bit of creativity and some insider information, you’ll travel for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of swapping credit card sign-up bonus and incentives for airline miles. These miles can later be used to pay for discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards let you redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or rental car offers.
How Does it Work?
The secret to success in hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and establishing a frequent flyer mile program on a select group of airlines. When it comes time to book a flight take a look at the price. If the flight is under $300, it’s usually better to pay cash and save your miles to take a more costly flight. When the flights start getting above $500, you’ll want to look into your 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 you have in your travel savings account for each airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets of travel hacking? First step to open the credit card that comes with a sign-up offer. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that provide many features and benefits. It depends on the type of airline, spending habits and what features are important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few 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 or debit card, you’ll need to reach the minimum spend limit in order to get the bonus. Every card has different guidelines, so make certain to verify this information. Then you can begin to rack up miles, and using them to plan your dream vacation!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your points?
Once you’ve accumulated the points balance, it’s time to redeem them for some nice travel! Different credit card providers will have different methods for redeeming your points, but here are some examples from some of the companies I’ve had experience with:
Take a trip by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own a Chase card, you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In this portal you’ll have access to nearly every airline and you can combine the points as well as cash in order to pay for your trip. You can even book completely on points if you have enough balance! Sometimes even if you don’t possess enough points for the total cost, you still can 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 flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United, you have the option to pay with either points or dollars? Be careful that if you don’t have enough points, you can’t combine dollars and points for the same flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re only a couple of point short United gives you the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience with extra legroom and free snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to United’s which allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue either dollars or points but not both. However, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature where you can join your points with your relatives to earn points twice as fast. Be sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re 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 a credit card bonus. 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 a credit card, do it! Be prepared to pay a fee, usually about 3%. It might be worth it in the end when the bonus is large enough.
Pay 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 Ask your relatives if you could pay for theirs and they will pay you back.
Repay a loan
If you have any loans you owe, think about paying them off with your credit card. Just make sure you pay off the balance on your credit card in full , so that you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Ask your family members to see if they have any major expenses in the near future which you could help pay for. Make sure that you are able to have confidence in the person you are talking to and they understand why you’re doing it.
If it’s the holiday season take into consideration buying all your gifts with cards from your credit account. In this way, you’ll meet the minimum spending limit and also be prepared to give gifts. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you were already thinking of.
There are a lot of methods to get the most out of the travel credit card. You can earn miles or points to use towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few additional suggestions for maximising the rewards you earn:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a vacation, make use of the travel credit card to book your hotel, flight, rental car, and other travel costs. You’ll not only be able to meet the required amount to qualify for a credit card as well, but you’ll also earn points or miles for the expenditures.
Utilize your credit card to pay for everyday costs
Another way to hit the minimum amount of spending to earn rewards is using your credit card for daily costs. This could include things like gas, groceries or even your phone bill. Make sure you pay off the balance in full every month to ensure you don’t pay interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer bonus points or miles on certain kinds of purchases, including dining or travel. Make sure you review the rewards program of your credit card and avail any bonus categories that align with your spending routines.
Consider the possibility of transferring your balance
If you’re in the middle of a outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, consider transferring that balance to a travel credit card with an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will allow you to pay off the debt without accruing interest, and also assist you in reaching the minimum spending requirement for the credit card 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. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and then compare the value of different redemption options. For instance, using your points to book a ticket directly with the airline might offer better value than using them to purchase an gift card.
Another tip is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will let you enjoy a greater variety of choices and more flexibility in you want to redeem your rewards. For example, you may be able to transfer your rewards to an airline’s frequent flyer program or reward program for hotels. This gives an access larger variety of hotels, flights and other travel benefits that may not be offered through the rewards program of your credit card.
Also, determine the card’s benefits. any perks that can help you save money on travel expenses. Many cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that can be very beneficial when traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a friend each of you will be able to earn rewards using your credit card. Make sure you don’t split the cost on the same card. Also, make sure to keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
The key to reaping the maximum benefits from your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program on your credit card and make sure you’re making use of your credit card in the most effective method. By using a combination of the strategies I’ve outlined that you can earn rewards quickly, redeem them for travel experiences that are worth it and take advantage of a broad variety of travel benefits.