Are you tired 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 way to convert credit card 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 imagination and some knowledge, you can fly for no cost within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of trading credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. These miles can then be used to pay for cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards will also allow you to redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or car rental discounts.
How Does it Work?
The key to success in travel hacking is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and establishing frequent flyer miles for a specific group of airlines. When it comes time to book a flight, evaluate the cost. If the cost is less than $300, it’s usually better to pay in cash and use your miles to pay for a more expensive flight. If your flights begin to climb above $500, you’ll want to check those frequent flyer accounts and find out which airline will give you the best deal. It all boils down to the amount of points or miles you have you have in your travel savings account for every airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets of travel hacking? Your first task is to open a credit card that comes with a welcome bonus. There are many great credit cards that offer many features and benefits. It depends on the type of airline, spending habits and what features are crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit card options that can be 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 card, you’ll need to reach the limit of spending minimum in order to receive the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of guidelines, so make sure to look up this information. Then you can begin to rack up miles and using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your goals?
After you’ve accrued your points balance, you’re ready to redeem them for some nice getaway! Different credit card companies offer different ways to redeem your points, but here are a few examples from some of the companies I have experience with:
Escape by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of a Chase card, you are able to use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within it, you’ll have access to almost every airline, and you can combine points and cash to book your trip. You can even book completely using points if you’ve got enough balance! Sometimes even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for full price, you can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with every credit card.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for your flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United You have the option of paying using dollars or points? Butbe aware that if you don’t have enough points, you can’t combine dollars and points for the same flight. No worries though, if you’re a few points short, United also offers the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue provides a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience with extra legroom and free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to United’s, allowing passengers to book flights using JetBlue dollar or points, however, not both. The difference is that JetBlue offers a distinct feature that lets you pool your points together with family members to accrue points twice as fast. Just make sure you can 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 and my travel companion Becca I’m sure you’re pretty economical and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to hit the required amount to qualify for a credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried, we’ve been through it and we’re here to share our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able to pay your rent using a credit card, do it! Make sure you pay a cost, which is usually around 3%. It might be worth it in the end if the bonus is high enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another way to reach the required spending is to cover the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills due, ask your family members if you can pay them for theirs, and they will repay you.
Make a payment to pay off a loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan, consider repaying them using your credit card. Be sure to pay off the credit card balance completely so that you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Talk to your family and look into any big expenses coming up which you could help pay for. Make sure that you are able to are able to trust the person and that they understand why you’re doing it.
If it’s the holiday season you should consider purchasing all your gifts with your credit card. This way you can reach the minimum spending requirement and also be ready for giving gifts. Be sure to avoid paying more than you already contemplating to.
There are many ways to get the most of the travel credit card. You can earn miles or points to use towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few more ideas for maximizing the rewards you earn:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, use you travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel, rental car, and any other travel expenses. In addition, you’ll be able to hit the minimum spend to earn your credit card as well, but you’ll also be earning points or miles for those expenses.
Utilize your credit card to pay for everyday expenditures
Another way to meet the minimum spending requirement in order to accumulate points by using your credit card for everyday expenses. This could be things like food, gas, and even your phone bill. Be sure to pay off the balance in full each month so you don’t accumulate interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide bonus points or miles on certain kinds of purchases, like eating out or traveling. Check out your credit card’s rewards program and take advantage of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending routines.
Consider the possibility of transferring your balance
If you have existing outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer that balance to a travel credit card with an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfers. This will let you pay off the debt without accruing interest, and also assist you in reaching the minimum spending requirement for the credit card’s bonus.
Utilize your miles and points wisely
When you’ve earned a significant amount of points or miles, be sure to use the points or miles wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and compare the benefits of different redemption options. For example using points to book a flight directly with the airline might give you a better return than using them for a gift card.
Another option is to get an rewards card that permits you to transfer your rewards to different loyalty program. This will let you get a wider selection of choices and more flexibility in making use of your rewards. For instance, you might be capable of transferring your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a hotel rewards program. This gives you access to a greater range of flights, hotels as well as other travel perks which are not accessible through your credit card’s rewards program.
Also, find out if your credit card offers some perks that could reduce your travel costs. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that are invaluable when you travel.
When you travel with a companion, both of you can earn rewards with your credit card. Be aware that you cannot divide the cost with the same card, and be sure to track your rewards in a separate manner.
The key to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to know your credit card’s rewards program and make sure you’re making use of this program in the most effective method. Through all of the strategies I’ve listed in this article, you’ll be able get rewards in a short time, use rewards for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide assortment of travel-related perks.