Are you fed up of spending a fortune on airfare? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting method to convert sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles which you can use to obtain discounted or complimentary flights for your desired destinations. With a bit of 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 about trading credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. These miles can later be used to pay for discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards will also let you redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or car rental offers.
How Does it Work?
The key to success in hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and establishing a frequent flyer mile program on a select group of airlines. When it’s time to book a flight take a look at the price. If the cost is less than $300, it’s best to pay cash and use your miles to pay to book a higher-priced flight. When the flights start getting above $500, you’ll want to review your frequent flyer accounts to determine which airline offers 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
Are you ready to discover the secrets of travel hacking? The first step is opening a credit card with a sign-up bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards that offer various advantages and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, your habits with spending and the features that are most crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards great to hack travel
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
Once you’ve been approved for a credit card you’ll need to reach the minimum spend limit 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 racking miles and using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to set sail with your goals?
After you’ve accrued your points balance, you’re ready to use them towards nice getaway! Different credit card providers will have different methods for redeeming your points, but here are a few examples from some of the companies I’ve had experience with:
Getaway through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you own an Chase cards, you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through the portal, you’ll have access to almost every airline. You can use a combination of money and points to book your trip. You can book your flight entirely using points if you’ve got enough balance! Sometimes even if you don’t possess enough points for the entire price, you can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using the credit card of your choice.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United You have the option of paying using dollars or points? But, be careful, if you don’t have enough points, you aren’t able to combine dollars and points for one flight. If you’re a few point short United provides the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience with extra legroom as well as free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to that of United Airlines which allows you to book with either JetBlue points or dollars, but not both. However, JetBlue offers a distinct feature that allows you to combine your points with your relatives to earn points twice as fast. Be sure to establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me and my travel companion Becca I’m sure you’re pretty economical and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to reach the minimum spend for the credit card bonus. Don’t worry because we’ve been there and are here to share some of our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able to pay for your rent with a credit card, do it! Make sure you be charged a fee, typically around 3%. It might be worth it over the long term if the bonus is high enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another great way to hit the spending limit is to pay for an medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses due then ask your family members to pay them for theirs, and they can pay you back.
Make a payment to pay off the loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan, consider repaying them using the credit card you have. Just make sure you pay off the balance on your credit card in full so you don’t accumulate additional debt.
Ask family for help
Discuss your family with them and see if they have any big expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Make sure that you are able to are able to trust the person and that they are aware of the reason for doing this.
If it’s the holiday season, consider buying all of your gifts with cards from your credit account. This way you can meet the minimum spending limit and also be ready for giving gifts. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you were already contemplating to.
There are a lot of ways to get the most of your travel credit card and earn miles or points to spend on airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few more ideas for maximizing your rewards:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, make use of the travel credit card for booking your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as other travel costs. In addition, you’ll be able to meet the minimum amount of spending required to earn your credit card and earn points, but you’ll also be earning points or miles for these expenditures.
Use your credit card for all your daily costs
Another way to meet the minimum spending requirement and earn points is by using your credit card to pay everyday expenses. This could be things like gas, groceries and even your telephone bill. Just make sure to pay the balance off in full each month so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Benefit from bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or bonus points for specific types of purchases, including eating out or traveling. Make sure you review your credit card’s rewards program and avail any bonus categories that align with your spending habits.
Consider a balance transfer
If you are currently in debt on a credit card, think about transferring that balance onto an account with a travel credit card that has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will let you pay off the debt without accruing interest and simultaneously aid in achieving the minimum amount required to earn the credit card’s bonus.
Utilize your miles and points prudently
When you’ve earned a significant amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize them in a responsible manner. Review the rewards program for your credit card, and evaluate the benefits of different redemption options. For example, using your points to book a flight directly through the airline may give you a better return than using them for a gift card.
Another tip is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer your rewards to different loyalty program. This will allow you to enjoy a greater variety of options and greater freedom when it comes to redeeming your rewards. For example, you may be eligible to transfer your rewards to the frequent flyer program of an airline or a Hotel rewards programme. This gives you access to a wider range of flights, hotels, and other travel perks which are not accessible through the rewards program of your credit card.
Also, find out if your credit card offers some perks that could help you save money on travel expenses. Many cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that are invaluable when you travel.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a friend each of you will be able to earn rewards using your credit card. Be aware that you cannot split the cost on the same card, and be sure to track the rewards you earn separately.
The key to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to know the rewards program on your credit card and to ensure you’re using your credit card in the most efficient way possible. Through a combination of the strategies I’ve listed in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards quickly, redeem them for travel experiences that are worth it and take advantage of a broad assortment of travel-related perks.