Are you tired of paying a fortune on airfare? Good news! Travel hacking is the answer to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting method to convert welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles which you can use to obtain discounted or free flights to your dream destinations. With a little creativity and some insider knowledge, you can be jet-setting for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. The miles can be used to pay for discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards will also let you redeem miles towards hotel stays or car rental discounts.
How Does it Work?
The key to successful hacking travel is taking advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and establishing a frequent flyer mile program with a limited number of airlines. When it comes time to make a booking consider the cost. If the cost is under $300, it’s generally better to pay in cash and save your miles to book a higher-priced flight. If your flights begin to climb above $500, you’ll want to check the frequent flyer account and find out which airline will give you the best price. It all comes down to the number of points or miles you have you have in your travel savings account for every airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets of travel hacking? The first step is to open an account with a sign-up offer. There are many great credit cards that provide various advantages and features. It is all dependent on the airline, spending habits and what features are essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit card options that can be great to hack travel
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
After you’ve been accepted for a credit card, you’ll need to reach the minimum spend limit in order to qualify for the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so be sure to look up the details. Then, it’s all about racking up miles, and using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your goals?
Once you’ve accumulated your points balance, it’s time to use them towards sweet travel! Different credit card companies will have different methods for redeeming your rewards, here are some examples from some of the providers I have experience with:
Take a trip through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you have an Chase card, you are able to redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within it, you’ll have access to virtually every airline and you can use a combination of money and points to book your trip. You can book your flight entirely on points if you have the balance for it! Sometimes even if you don’t have enough points to cover the entire cost, you are able to book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using the credit card of your choice.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for your flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United, you have the option of paying using either points or dollars? Be careful that if you don’t have enough points you aren’t able to combine dollars and points for one flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re just a few points away, United provides the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience , with more legroom as well as free snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to United’s that allows customers to book using either JetBlue dollar or points, but not both. However, JetBlue has a unique feature that allows you to combine your points with your family members and earn points twice as fast. Make sure to establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack into the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re like me or my travel buddy Becca, you’re probably pretty economical and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to reach the minimum spend for a credit card bonus. But don’t fret 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 to pay your rent with credit card, then do it! Make sure you pay a cost, which is usually around 3%. It may be worth it in the long run if the bonus is high enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another way to reach the required spending is to cover the medical bills. If you do not have any medical expenses in the near future Ask your family members to pay for theirs and they’ll pay you back.
Make a payment to pay off a loan
If you’re a borrower, consider making payments on them with the credit card you have. Just make sure you pay the credit card balance in full so you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Discuss your family with them and see if they have any big expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Just make sure you trust the person and they understand why you’re doing it.
If it’s the holiday season take into consideration buying all your gifts with your credit card. In this way, you’ll hit that minimum spend and also be prepared for giving gifts. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you already contemplating to.
There are a lot of ways to make the most out of your travel credit card. You can earn miles or points to spend on flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are some additional suggestions for maximising the rewards you earn:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a vacation, make use of the travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel, rental car, and any other travel expenses. You’ll not only be able to hit the required amount to qualify for a credit card bonus and earn points, but you’ll also be earning points or miles on the costs.
Make use of your credit card to pay for everyday expenditures
Another way to meet the minimum amount of spending and earn points is by utilising your credit cards for everyday expenditures. This could include items like groceries, gas or even your phone bill. Make sure you pay the balance off in full each month so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer bonus points or miles for specific types of purchases, such as dining or travel. Be sure to review the rewards program of your credit card and take advantage of any bonus categories that match with your spending routines.
Think about the possibility of transferring your balance
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer that balance onto a travel credit card with an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will enable you to pay off your debt without accruing interest. It will also aid in achieving the minimum spending requirement for the credit card’s bonus.
Make use of your miles or points prudently
If you’ve amassed a large amount of points or miles make sure you use them wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and compare the value of different redemption options. For instance, using your points to book a ticket directly with the airline could offer better value than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another option is to get a rewards card that allows you to transfer your points to other loyalty programs. This allows you to have a wider range of choices and more freedom when it comes to redeeming 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 you access to a greater variety of hotels, flights, and other travel perks which are not offered through the rewards program of your credit card.
Also, find out if your credit card offers any perks that can reduce your travel costs. Many cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection, and other benefits that can be very beneficial when traveling.
If you’re traveling with a friend each of you will be able to earn rewards with your credit card. Be aware that you cannot share the costs on the same card and make sure you keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do to reaping the maximum benefits from your rewards for travel is to be aware of your credit card’s rewards program and make sure you’re making use of it in the most efficient way possible. Through an array of methods I’ve described in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards fast, exchange rewards for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide variety of travel benefits.