Are you fed up of spending a fortune on airfare? Well, good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting way to convert bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles, which you can use to get discounted or even free flights to your desired destinations. With a little imagination and some information, you’ll travel for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. The miles can be used to pay for discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards will also permit you to use miles to pay for hotel stays or rental car deals.
How Does it Work?
The secret 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 comes time to make a booking take a look at the price. If the price is less than $300, it’s best to pay in cash and save your miles to take a more costly flight. If your flights begin to climb over $500, you’ll need to look into the frequent flyer account and see which airline can give you the most value. It all boils down to the number of points or miles you have in your travel bank for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to travel hacking? The first step is opening the credit card that comes that comes with a welcome bonus. There are many great credit cards with 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 great to hack 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 get the bonus. Each card has its own guidelines, so make sure to look up this information. From there it’s all about building up miles, and then using them to book your dream vacation!
Ready to jet-set with your goals?
Now that you’ve built up the points amount, it’s time to cash them in for some sweet travel! Different credit card companies will offer different ways to redeem your points. Here are some examples from a few of the companies I have experience with:
Take a trip through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you own a Chase credit card, then you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within it, you’ll get access to nearly every airline, and you can make use of a combination of money and points to pay for your travel. You can book your flight entirely using points if you’ve got the balance for it! Sometimes even if you do not have enough points to cover the total cost, you are able to buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with the credit card of your choice.
Are you tired of paying full price for flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option to pay with either points or dollars? But, be careful, if you don’t have enough points, you cannot combine dollars and points for flights. No worries though, if you’re a few point short United gives you the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers passengers a relaxing and pleasant travel experience that includes extra legroom as well as free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines that allows you to book with either JetBlue dollar or points, however, not both. However, JetBlue has a unique feature where you can join your points with your family members and earn points twice as quickly. Make sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel companion Becca I’m sure you’re pretty frugal and it can be daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to reach the minimum amount required to earn a credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried as we’ve done it and are here to share some of our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able pay your rent using credit card, go for it! Make sure you pay a fee, usually around 3 percent. It might be worth it over the long term when the bonus is large enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another great way to hit the spending limit is to cover a medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses coming up, ask your family members if you can pay them for theirs, and they will pay you back.
Pay off a loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan take into consideration repaying them using your credit card. Be sure to pay off the credit card balance completely so that you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Ask your family members to see if they have any major expenses in the near future that you can contribute for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to have confidence in the person you are talking to and they understand why you’re doing this.
If you’re celebrating the holidays, consider buying all your gifts with cards from your credit account. This way you can meet the minimum spending limit and also be prepared to give gifts. Make sure that you’re not paying more than you thinking of.
There are plenty of methods to get the most of your travel credit card. earn miles or points to spend on 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 your travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel, rental car, and any other travel expenses. Not only will you be able to hit the minimum spend for your credit card bonus, but you’ll also be earning points or miles on these costs.
Use your credit card to pay for your everyday expenses
Another way to meet the minimum amount of spending to earn rewards is using your credit card for daily expenses. This could be things like food, gas and even your telephone bill. Make sure you pay the balance off in full every month to ensure you don’t accumulate interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or bonus points for specific types of purchases, including eating out or traveling. Be sure to review your credit card’s rewards program and make use of any bonus categories that align with your spending routines.
Take into consideration a balance transfer
If you are currently in debt on a high-interest credit card, consider transferring that balance onto the travel credit card which has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will enable you to pay off your debt without accruing interest, and also help you hit the minimum amount required to earn the credit card’s bonus.
Utilize your miles and points carefully
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of points or miles Make sure to utilize them in a responsible manner. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and then compare the worth of various redemption options. For instance you can use your points to purchase a flight directly with the airline could provide you with a greater value than using them for a gift card.
Another tip is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will allow you to have a wider range of options and greater freedom when it comes to redeeming your rewards. For example, you may be capable of transferring your rewards to the frequent flyer program of an airline or a Hotel rewards programme. This will give you access to a wider selection of hotels, flights, and other travel perks which are not available through the rewards program on your credit card.
In addition, you should find out the card’s benefits. some perks that could reduce your travel expenses. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that could be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a friend, both of you can earn rewards using your credit card. Be aware that you cannot share the costs on the same card. Also, make sure to keep track of your rewards separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do to making the most of your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program of your credit card and to ensure you’re using it in the most efficient method possible. By using a combination of the methods I’ve described, you’ll be able to earn rewards fast, exchange rewards for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide assortment of travel-related perks.