Are you tired of paying an enormous amount on flights? Well, good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s a fun way to convert welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles which you can use to score discounted or complimentary flights for your desired destinations. With a bit of creativity and some insider information, you’ll be jet-setting for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about 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. Some credit cards 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 to establish a frequent flyer mile program with a limited number of airlines. When it comes time to make a booking consider the cost. If the flight is under $300, it’s usually better to pay in cash and use your miles to pay for a more expensive flight. When the flights start getting over $500, you’ll need to check the frequent flyer account and see which airline can give you the best deal. It all boils down to the amount of miles or points in your travel account for every airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to travel hacking? First step opening a credit card with a sign-up offer. There are many great credit cards that provide various advantages and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, your habits with spending and what features are important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards great 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 reach the minimum spend limit in order to receive the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so make sure to check for the details. From there you can begin to rack miles and using them to plan your dream vacation!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your ideas?
Once you’ve accumulated your points balance, it’s time to cash them in for some sweet travel! Different credit card companies have different methods for redeeming your points, but here are a few examples from some of the providers I’ve had experience with:
Getaway by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of a Chase card, you are able to redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through the portal, you’ll get access to virtually every airline, and you can use a combination of money and points to pay for your next trip. You can book your flight entirely 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 entire price, you can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using any credit card.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for your flight tickets? Did you not know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option of paying using either points or dollars? But, be careful in case you do not have enough points you aren’t able to combine dollars and points for one flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re a few point short United gives you the option of buying additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience , with more legroom as well as free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to United’s which allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue either dollars or points however, not both. The difference is that JetBlue has a unique feature that allows you to join your points with your family members and earn points twice as fast. Just make sure you can prove you’re really family before trying to hack into the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel companion Becca You’re probably quite economical and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to reach the required amount to qualify for credit card bonuses. However, don’t be worried because we’ve been there and we’re here to share some of our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able to pay your rent using credit card, go for it! Be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually at least 3 percent. It may be worth it in the long run when the bonus is large enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another way to reach the spending limit is to pay for a medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses coming up Ask your family members to pay for theirs and they’ll pay you back.
Repay the loan
If you’re a borrower, consider paying them off with your credit card. Make sure to pay off the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Discuss your family with them and determine if they’ve got any large expenses coming up which you could help pay for. Just make sure you have confidence in the person you are talking to and they are aware of the reason for doing this.
If you’re celebrating the holidays you should consider purchasing all of your gifts with cards from your credit account. So you’ll be able to hit that minimum spend and also be ready for giving gifts. Make sure that you’re not paying more than you already contemplating to.
There are plenty of ways to make the most out of using your credit or debit card for travel. earn miles or points to be used towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are some additional ideas for maximizing your rewards
Make travel reservations using your credit card
When you’re planning your next vacation, make use of the travel credit card for booking your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as any other travel expenses. In addition, you’ll be able to meet the required amount to earn your credit card reward as well, but you’ll also earn points or miles for those expenses.
Utilize your credit card to pay for all your daily expenditures
Another method to reach the minimum spend in order to accumulate points making use of your credit card to pay daily costs. This could include things like food, gas or even your phone bill. Be sure to 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 miles or bonus points on certain kinds of purchases, including dining or travel. Check out your rewards program on your credit card and make use of any bonus categories that align with your spending routines.
Think about the possibility of transferring your balance
If you are currently in debt on a high-interest credit card, think about transferring the balance to the travel credit card which has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfer. This will enable you to pay off the debt without accruing interest. It will also aid in achieving the minimum spending requirement for the credit card bonus.
Use your points or miles wisely
When you’ve earned a significant amount of points or miles Make sure to utilize the points or miles wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card, and evaluate the worth of various redemption options. For example, using points to book a flight directly through the airline may offer better return than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer your points to other loyalty programs. This will let you get a wider selection of choices and more flexibility when making use of your rewards. For example, you may be capable of transferring your reward to the frequent flyer program of an airline or a hotel rewards program. This can give you access to a wider range of flights, hotels as well as other travel perks that aren’t available through the rewards program of your credit card.
Additionally, try to find out if your credit card offers any perks that can help you save money on travel costs. Many cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that are extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
If you’re traveling with a companion each of you will be able to earn rewards using your own credit card. Just remember that you can’t share the costs on the same card, and be sure to keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
The key to maximizing your rewards for travel is to be aware of your credit card’s rewards program and to ensure you’re making use of it in the most efficient method possible. Through a combination of the strategies I’ve outlined that you can earn rewards quickly, redeem them for travel experiences that are worth it, and enjoy a wide variety of travel benefits.