Are you tired of spending a fortune on airfare? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking is the answer 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 obtain discounted or cheap flights from your desired destinations. With a bit of creativity and some insider knowledge, you can be jet-setting 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 buy discount or no-cost flights. Some credit cards also allow you to redeem miles for hotel stays and car rental deals.
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 with a limited number of airlines. When you are ready to make a booking take a look at the price. If the cost is less than $300, it’s usually better to pay cash and save your miles for a more expensive flight. When the flights start getting over $500, you’ll need to check the frequent flyer account and find out which airline will give you the most value. All it boils down to is the amount of points or miles you have in your travel savings account for each airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets of travel hacking? Your first task is opening an account that comes with a welcome bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that offer various features and benefits. It all depends on your preferred airline, your spending habits, and what features are important 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
If you’ve been approved for a credit or debit card, you’ll need to hit the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to get the bonus. Each card has its own guidelines, so make sure to look up the details. From there 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 points?
Once you’ve accumulated the points amount, it’s time to use them towards nice getaway! Different credit card providers will have different methods for redeeming your points. Here are a few examples from some of the providers I’ve had experience with:
Take a trip through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you’re a holder of a Chase credit card, then you are able to redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through it, you’ll have access to almost every airline. You can make use of a combination of points and cash to book your travel. You can book your flight entirely using points if you’ve got the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you don’t possess enough points for the entire cost, you are able to purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using any credit card.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option of paying using either points or dollars? Be careful in case you don’t have enough points, you cannot combine dollars and points for one flight. If you’re a few point short United provides the option of buying additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue offers a comfortable and enjoyable travel experience that includes extra space and complimentary snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is like United’s that allows you to book with either JetBlue points or dollars however, not both. The difference is that JetBlue offers a distinct feature that allows you to combine 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 like me and my travel buddy Becca I’m sure you’re pretty frugal and it can be difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum amount required to earn credit card bonuses. Don’t worry, we’ve been through it and are here to share our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able to pay for your rent with credit card, go for it! Be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually about 3%. It might be worth it in the end when the bonus is large enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the required spending is to cover the medical bills. If you do not have any medical expenses in the near future, ask your relatives if you could pay their medical bills and they’ll pay you back.
Pay off the loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan, consider making payments on them with your credit card. Just make sure you pay the credit card balance completely so that you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Discuss your family with them and determine if they’ve got any big expenses coming up which you could help pay for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to trust the person and they know why you’re doing this.
If you’re celebrating the holidays you should consider purchasing all your gifts with cards from your credit account. In this way, you’ll meet the minimum spending limit and also be prepared for gift giving. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you contemplating to.
There are many methods to get the most of using your credit or debit card for travel. earn miles or points to use towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few more suggestions for maximising your rewards
Book travel expenses with your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, use your travel credit card for booking your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as any other travel-related expenses. In addition, you’ll be able to meet the required amount to qualify for a credit card, but you’ll also be earning points or miles on those expenses.
Make use of your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday expenditures
Another way to hit the minimum spend and earn points is utilising your credit cards for everyday expenditures. This could be things like food, gas or even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay off the balance in full every month to ensure you don’t accumulate interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or bonus points for specific types of purchases, like eating out or traveling. Make sure you review your credit card’s rewards program and avail the bonus categories that are in line with your spending routines.
Consider the possibility of transferring your balance
If you’re in the middle of a outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer that balance to a travel credit card with a 0% introductory APR for balance transfer. This will allow you to pay off the debt without accruing interest. It will also assist you in reaching the minimum spend for the credit card bonus.
Make use of your miles or points wisely
When you’ve earned a significant amount of points or miles Make sure to utilize the points or miles wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card and then compare the benefits of different redemption options. For instance, using your points to book a ticket directly with the airline might provide you with a greater value than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer points to other loyalty programs. This will let you have a wider range of choices and more freedom when it comes to making use of your rewards. For instance, you might be able to transfer your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a Hotel rewards programme. This gives the benefit of a greater variety of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks that aren’t accessible through your credit card’s rewards program.
Additionally, try to find out if your credit card offers certain benefits that will save you money on travel-related expenses. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that could be very beneficial when traveling.
When you travel with a friend, both of you can earn rewards using your credit card. Make sure you don’t divide the cost with the same card, and be sure to track your rewards separately.
Overall, the key to making the most of your rewards for travel is to be aware of your credit card’s rewards program and ensure that you’re making use of this program in the most effective method possible. Through an array of strategies I’ve listed in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards fast, exchange them for travel experiences that are worth it, and enjoy a wide range of travel perks.