Are you fed up of spending a fortune on airfare? Good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting method to convert bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles which can be used to obtain discounted or free flights to your ideal destinations. With a little 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 all about trading credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can then be used to pay for discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards allow you to redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or rental car offers.
How Does it Work?
The secret to success in travel hacking is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and building out a frequent flyer mile program on a select group of airlines. When you are ready to book a flight take a look at the price. If the price is less than $300, it’s generally better to pay in cash and save your miles for a more expensive flight. When the flights start getting over $500, you’ll need to check those frequent flyer accounts to find out which airline will give you the best price. It all comes down to the amount of points or miles in your travel bank for each airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to travel hacking? Your first task is to open an account with a sign-up bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards that offer a variety of benefits and features. It is all dependent on the airline, your 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 great to use for hacking travel:
- 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 get the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so be sure to look up the details. Then it’s all about building miles and using them to book your dream trip!
Ready to jet-set with your ideas?
Now that you’ve built up the points balance, it’s time to redeem them for some delicious getaway! Different credit card companies have different methods of redeeming your rewards, here are some examples from some of the providers I’ve worked with:
Getaway by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of an Chase card, you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within the portal, you’ll have access to nearly every airline, and you can use a combination of money and points to pay for your travel. You can book your flight entirely on points if you have the funds to pay for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for total cost, you still can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using any credit card.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for your flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United, you have the option to pay with either points or dollars? Butbe aware in case you don’t have enough points, you can’t combine dollars and points for one flight. No worries though, if you’re just a few points short, United provides the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience , with more legroom and free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to that of United Airlines, allowing passengers to book flights using JetBlue points or dollars, however, not both. But, JetBlue offers a distinct feature where you can combine your points with family members to accrue points twice as fast. Just make sure you can prove you’re really family before trying to hack into the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me or my travel companion Becca, you’re probably pretty 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 as we’ve done it and we’re here to share our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able to pay your rent with credit card, go for it! Be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually about 3%. It may be worth it in the long run when the bonus is large enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another great way to hit the minimum spend is to pay for a medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses in the near future Ask your family members if you can pay them for theirs, and they will pay you back.
Make a payment to pay off the loan
If you’re a borrower you owe, think about repaying them using an credit card. Be sure to pay the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask family for help
Talk to your family and determine if they’ve got any big expenses coming up which you could help pay for. Just make sure you are able to trust the person and that they know why you’re taking the initiative.
If it’s the holiday season take into consideration buying all of your gifts with cards from your credit account. So you’ll be able to 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 ways to get the most out of your travel credit card. You can earn miles or points to spend on the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are some additional ways to maximize your rewards
Book travel expenses with your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a vacation, make use of your travel credit card for booking your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as other travel costs. Not only will you be able to hit the required amount for your credit card, but you’ll also earn points or miles on these expenditures.
Utilize your credit card to pay for everyday expenses
Another way to meet the minimum amount of spending to earn rewards is making use of your credit card for daily costs. This can include things like gas, groceries, and even your phone bill. Make sure you pay off the balance in full each month so you don’t accumulate interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or points in exchange on certain kinds of purchases, including dining or travel. Make sure you review the rewards program of your credit card and avail the bonus categories that are in line with your spending habits.
Think about a balance transfer
If you are currently in outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, consider transferring that balance onto the travel credit card which has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfers. This will let you pay off your debt without accruing interest. It will also aid in achieving the minimum spend for the credit card bonus.
Utilize your miles and points carefully
If you’ve amassed a large amount of miles or points, be sure to use the points or miles wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card, and evaluate the value of different redemption options. For example, using points to purchase a flight directly through the airline may provide you with a greater value than using them to purchase a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer your reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will let you have a wider range of options and greater flexibility when making use of your rewards. For instance, you might be capable of transferring your reward to the frequent flyer program of an airline or a Hotel rewards programme. This can give an access greater selection of hotels, flights and other travel benefits that aren’t accessible through the rewards program of your credit card.
Also, discover the card’s benefits. some perks that could help you save money on travel expenses. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection, and other benefits that can be invaluable when you travel.
When you travel with a friend and both of you earn rewards using your credit card. Just remember that you can’t split the cost on the same card, and be sure to track your rewards separately.
Overall, the key to making the most of your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program of your credit card and ensure that you’re using it in the most efficient method possible. By using an array of methods I’ve described that you can earn rewards quickly, redeem them for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide variety of travel benefits.