Are you tired of spending an enormous amount on flights? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting method to convert welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles, which you can use to score discounted or free flights to your ideal destinations. With a bit of imagination and some know-how, you’ll be jet-setting for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of swapping credit card sign-up bonus and rewards for airline miles. These miles can later be used to pay for cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards let you redeem miles for hotel stays and car rental discounts.
How Does it Work?
The key to success in hacking travel is taking advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and establishing frequent flyer miles on a select group of airlines. When it’s time to make a booking consider the cost. If the cost is under $300, it’s best to pay cash and save your miles to book a higher-priced flight. If your flights begin to climb over $500, you’ll need to review those frequent flyer accounts and determine which airline offers you the most value. All it boils down to is the amount of points or miles you have in your travel account for each airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to hacking travel? Your first task is to open a credit card that comes with a welcome bonus. There are many great credit cards with various advantages and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, your habits with spending and what features are crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit card options that can be great for travel hacking:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
After you’ve been accepted for a credit or debit card, you’ll need to hit the minimum spend limit in order to get the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of guidelines, so make certain to verify the details. Then you can begin to rack up miles, and then using them to book your dream trip!
Ready to jet-set with your points?
After you’ve accrued your points amount, it’s time to use them towards sweet travel! Different credit card companies offer different ways to redeem your rewards, here are a few examples from some of the ones I’ve worked with:
Escape with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own a Chase credit card, then you are able to use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In it, you’ll get access to almost every airline. You can use a combination of the points as well as cash in order to pay for your trip. You can even book 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 entire cost, you are able to purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using every credit card.
Are you tired of paying full price for flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United You have the option to pay with dollars or points? Be careful in case you do not have enough points you cannot combine dollars and points for the same flight. No worries though, if you’re just a few points away, United gives you the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience , with more space and complimentary snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is like United’s, allowing customers to book using either JetBlue dollar or points however, not both. However, JetBlue has a unique feature that allows you to join your points with your relatives to earn points twice as quickly. Just make sure you can establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me and my travel companion Becca I’m sure you’re pretty thrifty and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to hit the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried, we’ve been through it 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 using credit card, then do it! Be prepared to be charged a fee, typically about 3 percent. It may be worth it over the long term if the bonus is high enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another way to reach the minimum spend is to cover the medical bills. If you do not have any medical expenses coming up, ask your family members if you can pay for theirs and they will repay you.
Make a payment to pay off a loan
If you’re a borrower take into consideration repaying them using your credit card. Be sure to pay the credit card balance completely so that you don’t accrue additional 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. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to trust the person and they understand why you’re doing it.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season you should consider purchasing all your gifts with your credit card. This way you can meet the minimum spending limit and be ready for gift giving. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you already contemplating to.
There are plenty of methods to get the most of your travel credit card. earn miles or points to spend on airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few additional ideas for maximizing your rewards
Make travel reservations using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, 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 hit the minimum amount of spending required to qualify for a credit card reward and earn points, but you’ll also earn points or miles on those costs.
Use your credit card for everyday costs
Another way to hit the minimum spend and earn points is by using your credit card to pay every day expenses. This can include items like groceries, gas, and even your phone bill. Be sure to pay the balance off in full every month to ensure you don’t accumulate interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or bonus points for certain types of purchases, including eating out or travelling. Make sure you review your rewards program on your credit card and take advantage of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending routines.
Think about the possibility of transferring your balance
If you are currently in outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer the balance to a travel credit card with a 0% introductory APR for balance transfer. This will allow you to pay off your debt without accruing interest and simultaneously assist you in reaching 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 miles or points make sure you use them wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card, and evaluate the worth of various redemption options. For example using your points to book a ticket directly with the airline could offer better value than using them for a gift card.
Another option is to get a rewards card that allows you to transfer rewards to different loyalty program. This will let you have a wider range of choices and more freedom when it comes to making use of your rewards. For instance, you might be capable of transferring your rewards to the frequent flyer program of an airline or a reward program for hotels. This can give you access to a larger selection of hotels, flights and other travel benefits that aren’t accessible through your credit card’s rewards program.
Also, discover whether your credit card has some perks that could help you save money on travel expenses. Many cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection, and other benefits that could 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 divide the cost with the same card. Also, make sure you keep track of your rewards separately.
Overall, the key to reaping the maximum benefits from your rewards for travel is to be aware of your credit card’s rewards program and ensure that you’re using this program in the most efficient method. By using all of the methods I’ve described in this article, you’ll be able get rewards in a short time, use rewards for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide variety of travel benefits.