Are you tired of spending a fortune on airfare? Well, good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting way to convert sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles, which can be used to score discounted or free flights to your desired destinations. With a little bit of creativity and some insider know-how, you’ll be jet-setting for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about trading credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. The miles can be used to pay for cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards will also let you redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or rental car offers.
How Does it Work?
The key to success in hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and to establish frequent flyer miles for a specific group of airlines. When it’s time to make a booking, evaluate the cost. If the cost is under $300, it’s usually better to pay cash and use your miles to pay to book a higher-priced flight. When the flights start getting over $500, you’ll need to review your frequent flyer accounts and find out which airline will give you the best deal. All it boils down to is the number of points or miles you have in your travel account for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets of travel hacking? The first step is opening an account that comes with a welcome bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that provide many features and benefits. It depends on the type of airline, spending habits and the features that are most important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit card options that can be 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 need to reach the limit of spending minimum in order to qualify for the bonus. Every card has different guidelines, so make sure to check for the details. From there, it’s all about racking miles and using them to book your dream vacation!
Ready to jet-set with your points?
Now that you’ve built up the points balance, you’re ready to use them towards sweet getaway! Different credit card providers will have different methods for redeeming your points. Here are a few examples from some of the providers I have experience with:
Getaway through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you own a Chase cards, you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In the portal, you’ll get access to nearly every airline, and you can use a combination of the points as well as cash in order to pay for your next trip. You can even book entirely on points if you have the balance for it! Sometimes even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for total cost, you still can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with every credit card.
Are you fed up of paying full price for your flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United you can choose the option of paying using dollars or points? Butbe aware that if you don’t have enough points you cannot combine dollars and points for one flight. If you’re only a couple of points away, United also offers the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience with extra legroom as well as free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines that allows customers to book using either JetBlue either dollars or points but not both. But, JetBlue has a unique feature where you can join your points with your family members and earn points twice as quickly. Be sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack into the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me or my travel buddy Becca I’m sure you’re pretty frugal and it can be difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to hit the minimum spend for credit card bonuses. However, don’t be worried, we’ve been through it and we’re here to share some of our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able to pay for your rent using a credit card, do it! Just be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually at least 3%. It may be worth it in the end in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another excellent way to meet the minimum spend is to pay for an medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills coming up Ask your family members to pay for theirs and they will reimburse you.
Pay off a loan
If you’re a borrower you owe, think about making payments on them with your credit card. Make sure to pay off the balance on your credit card completely so that you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Ask your family members to determine if they’ve got 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 understand why you’re taking the initiative.
If it’s the holiday season you should consider purchasing all of your gifts with your credit card. So you’ll be able to reach the minimum spending requirement and also be prepared to give gifts. Be sure to avoid paying more than you already thinking of.
There are plenty of methods to get the most out of your travel credit card. accrue points or miles to be used towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few additional suggestions for maximising the rewards you earn:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, use you travel credit card to book your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as other travel costs. Not only will you be able to hit the minimum spend to earn your credit card as well, but you’ll also earn points or miles for these expenditures.
Utilize your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday expenditures
Another method to reach the minimum spending requirement in order to accumulate points making use of your credit card for every day expenses. 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 accrue interest charges.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or points in exchange for specific types of purchases, such as eating out or travelling. Check out your credit card’s rewards program and make use of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending habits.
Take into consideration a balance transfer
If you’re in the middle of a outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, consider transferring the balance to a travel credit card with an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfers. This will enable you to pay off your debts without accruing interest. It will also assist you in reaching the minimum spending requirement for the credit card’s bonus.
Utilize your miles and points carefully
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points, be sure to use them in a responsible manner. Review the rewards program for your credit card, and evaluate the worth of various redemption options. For example, using points to book a flight directly through the airline may provide you with a greater value than using them for an gift card.
Another option is to get an rewards card that permits you to transfer your points to other loyalty programs. This will allow you to enjoy a greater variety of choices and more freedom when it comes to you want to redeem your rewards. For instance, you might be eligible to transfer your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a reward program for hotels. This can give an access larger variety of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks that may not be accessible through the rewards program on your credit card.
In addition, you should determine if your credit card offers any perks that can reduce your travel expenses. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that can be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
If you’re traveling with a friend each of you will be able to earn rewards using your own credit card. Just remember that you can’t share the costs on the same card and make sure to track the rewards you earn separately.
The key to making the most of your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program on your credit card and to ensure you’re making use of this program in the most effective method. By using all of the strategies I’ve listed in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards quickly, redeem them for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide range of travel perks.