Are you fed up of spending a fortune on airfare? Well, good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting way to convert bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles which can be used to get discounted or even free flights to your desired destinations. With a little bit of imagination and some knowledge, you can travel for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. These miles can then be used to pay for discount or no-cost flights. Some credit cards also permit you to use miles for hotel stays and rental car discounts.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for successful hacking travel is taking advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and establishing a frequent flyer mile program on a select group of airlines. When you are ready to make a booking, evaluate the cost. 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 over $500, you’ll need to check those frequent flyer accounts to determine which airline offers you the most value. All it boils down to is the amount of miles or points you have in your travel savings account for every airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets of travel hacking? Your first task is opening the credit card that comes that comes with a welcome bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that provide many benefits and features. 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 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 or debit card, you’ll need to reach the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to qualify for the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so be sure to look up this information. From there it’s all about building up miles and using them to book your dream trip!
Ready to jet-set with your points?
Now that you’ve built up the points balance, you’re ready to use them towards sweet vacation! Different credit card companies have different methods of redeeming your rewards, here are a few examples from some of the providers I have experience with:
Getaway with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own a Chase card, you can redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. In this portal you’ll have access to almost every airline and you can combine the points as well as cash in order to book your travel. You can book your flight entirely with points if you’ve enough balance! Sometimes even if you do not be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for entire cost, you are able to book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using every credit card.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United, you have the option of paying using either points or dollars? But, be careful in case you don’t have enough points you aren’t able to combine dollars and points on the same flight. If you’re just a few point short United also offers the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience , with more legroom as well as free snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines that allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue either dollars or points, but not both. However, JetBlue has a unique feature that lets you combine your points with family members to accrue points twice as quickly. Just make sure you can establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack into the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me or my travel buddy Becca, you’re probably pretty economical and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to hit the minimum spend for credit card bonuses. Don’t worry 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 your rent with credit card, go for it! Make sure you be charged a fee, typically around 3 percent. It may be worth it over the long term when the bonus is large enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another way to reach the minimum spend is to pay for the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills coming up then ask your relatives if you could pay them for theirs, and they can reimburse you.
Repay a loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan, consider making payments on them with an credit card. Be sure to pay off the balance on your credit card in full , so that you don’t end up with additional debt.
Ask your family members for help
Discuss your family with them and determine if they’ve got any major expenses in the near future that you can help pay 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 this.
If it’s the holiday season you should consider purchasing all your gifts with your credit card. In this way, you’ll reach the minimum spending requirement and be ready for giving gifts. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you already planning to.
There are many ways to get the most of the travel credit card. earn miles or points to use towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few more suggestions for maximising your rewards:
Book travel expenses with 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 meet the minimum amount of spending required for your credit card as well, but you’ll also earn points or miles for those expenditures.
Make use of your credit card to pay for everyday costs
Another way to meet the minimum spending requirement in order to accumulate points by making use of your credit card for every day costs. This can include things like food, gas and even your telephone bill. Be sure to pay off the balance in full every month to ensure you don’t accumulate interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide bonus points or miles for certain types of purchases, like eating out or travelling. Make sure you review your rewards program on your credit card and avail the bonus categories that are in line with your spending routines.
Think about the possibility of transferring your balance
If you have existing debt on a credit card, consider transferring that balance onto the travel credit card which has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfer. This will enable you to pay off the debt without accruing interest and simultaneously assist you in reaching the minimum spending requirement for the credit card’s bonus.
Utilize your miles and points carefully
When you’ve earned a significant amount of points or miles make sure you use them in a responsible manner. Check out the rewards program on your credit card, and evaluate the worth of various redemption options. For example using points to book a ticket directly with the airline could provide you with a greater value than using them for a gift card.
Another option is to get an rewards card that permits you to transfer rewards to different loyalty program. This will allow you to have a wider range of options and greater freedom when it comes to making use of your rewards. For example, you may be able to transfer your rewards to the frequent flyer program of an airline or a reward program for hotels. This gives the benefit of a larger selection of hotels, flights, and other travel perks that may not be available 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 someone else, both of you can earn rewards with your credit card. Be aware that you cannot divide the cost with the same card. Also, make sure to keep track of your rewards 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 using your credit card in the most effective method possible. By using an array of methods I’ve described, you’ll be able to earn rewards quickly, redeem them for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad range of travel perks.