Are you tired of paying a fortune on airfare? Well, good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting method to convert credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into miles which you can use to get discounted or even cheap flights from your ideal destinations. With a little bit of creativity and some insider know-how, you’ll travel for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about swapping credit card sign-up bonus and incentives for airline miles. The miles can be used to buy cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards will also permit you to use miles for hotel stays and rental car deals.
How Does it Work?
The key to successful travel hacking 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, evaluate the cost. If the flight is less than $300, it’s generally better to pay in cash and use your miles to pay to take a more costly flight. If your flights begin to climb higher than $500, it’s best to check your frequent flyer accounts to find out which airline will give you the best price. All it boils down to is the number of points or miles you have you have in your travel savings account for each airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets of travel hacking? First step to open an account with a sign-up offer. There are plenty of great credit cards that offer various advantages and features. It is all dependent on the airline, spending habits and the features that are most crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards excellent for travel hacking:
- 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 qualify for the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of guidelines, so make sure to check for this information. Then you can begin to rack up miles and then using them to book your dream vacation!
Ready to jet-set with your points?
Now that you’ve built up the points balance, you’re ready to redeem them for some delicious travel! Different credit card companies have different methods of redeeming your points, but here are some examples from some of the ones I’ve had experience with:
Take a trip through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you own a Chase cards, you can redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through the portal, you’ll get access to almost every airline. You can make use of a combination of points and cash to book your travel. You can even book entirely with points if you’ve enough balance! Sometimes even if you do not have enough points to cover the full cost, you still can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using the credit card of your choice.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for your flight tickets? Did you know that when you book directly through United, you have the option to pay with either points or dollars? Butbe aware that if you don’t have enough points you can’t combine dollars and points for the same flight. If you’re only a couple of points short, United provides the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience with extra legroom and free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to United’s which allows customers to book using either JetBlue dollar or points, but not both. However, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that lets you combine your points with your relatives to 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, you’re probably pretty thrifty and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to hit the minimum spend for a credit card bonus. Don’t worry as we’ve done it and we’re here to share some of our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able to pay for your rent using credit card, go for it! Just be prepared to be charged a fee, typically around 3%. It could be worthwhile in the long run when the bonus is large enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another great way to hit the spending limit is to cover the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills due then ask your family members if you can pay for theirs and they will repay you.
Repay the loan
If you have any loans, consider making payments on them with your credit card. Just make sure you pay off the balance on your credit card in full , so that you don’t accumulate additional debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Discuss your family with them and see if they have any large expenses coming up which you could help pay 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 it’s the holiday season, consider buying all of 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. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you were already thinking of.
There are many ways to make the most out of using your credit or debit card for travel. accumulate miles or points that you can use towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are some additional ways to maximize the rewards you earn:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, use the travel credit card to book your flight, hotel, rental car, and other travel costs. Not only will you be able to meet the required amount for your credit card, but you’ll also be earning points or miles for the expenditures.
Use your credit card for all your daily expenses
Another method to reach the minimum spending requirement and earn points is using your credit card to pay for daily expenses. This can include things like food, gas or even your phone bill. Be sure to pay off the balance each month in full so you don’t accumulate interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or bonus points for certain types of purchases, such as eating out or travelling. Check out your credit card’s rewards program and take advantage of any bonus categories that align with your spending habits.
Think about a balance transfer
If you’re in the middle of a outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer the balance to the travel credit card which has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfers. This will let you pay off the debt without accruing interest. It will also aid in achieving the minimum spend for the credit card’s bonus.
Use your points or miles wisely
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points, be sure to use the points or miles wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card and compare the worth of various redemption options. For example using your points to book a ticket directly with the airline might provide you with a greater value than using them to purchase an gift card.
Another option is to get a rewards card that allows you to transfer points to other loyalty programs. This allows you to get a wider selection of choices and more flexibility when you want to redeem your rewards. For instance, you might be eligible to transfer your rewards to the frequent flyer program of an airline or reward program for hotels. This can give you access to a larger variety of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks which are not offered through your credit card’s rewards program.
Also, determine the card’s benefits. any perks that can reduce your travel costs. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that can be very beneficial when traveling.
When you travel with a friend each of you will be able to get rewards on your own credit card. Be aware that you cannot split the cost on the same card, and be sure to track your rewards separately.
Overall, the key to making the most of your travel rewards is to know the rewards program on your credit card and to ensure you’re making use of this program in the most effective method possible. By using all of the strategies I’ve outlined in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards fast, exchange rewards for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide variety of travel benefits.