Are you fed up of spending a fortune on airfare? Well, good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel woes. It’s a fun way to convert welcome bonuses and other incentives into miles which you can use to get discounted or even cheap flights from your desired destinations. With a little bit of imagination and a little bit of insider know-how, you’ll be jet-setting for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about trading credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can then be used to buy cheap or free flight tickets. Some credit cards also allow you to redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or rental car offers.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for successful hacking travel is taking advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and building out frequent flyer miles for a specific group of airlines. When you are ready to book a flight take a look at the price. If the cost is less than $300, it’s best to pay in cash and save your miles to take a more costly flight. If the prices start to rise above $500, you’ll want to check the frequent flyer account and determine which airline offers you the best deal. It all comes down to the number of miles or points you have in your travel savings account for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to hacking travel? The first step is to open a credit card with a sign-up bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards with various advantages and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, your spending habits, and the features that are most essential 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
After you’ve been accepted for a credit card, you’ll need to reach the minimum spend limit in order to get the bonus. Every card has different rules, so make sure to check for this information. Then you can begin to rack miles and using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your points?
After you’ve accrued the points balance, it’s time to redeem them for some sweet getaway! Different credit card companies will have different methods for redeeming your points. Here are some examples from some of the ones I’ve had experience with:
Getaway with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have an Chase credit card, then you are able to redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In the portal, you’ll have access to nearly every airline and you can use a combination of the points as well as cash in order to pay for your travel. You can even book completely using points if you’ve got the balance for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t have enough points to cover the 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 either points or dollars? But, be careful, if you don’t have enough points you cannot combine dollars and points for one flight. If you’re a few points short, United gives you the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience , with more legroom and free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to United’s which allows customers to book using either JetBlue dollar or points, however, not both. The difference is that JetBlue has a unique feature where you can join your points with family members to accrue points twice as quickly. Make sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me or my travel companion Becca, you’re probably pretty thrifty and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to reach the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus. Don’t worry, we’ve been through it and we’re here to share our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able to pay your rent using credit card, go for it! Be prepared to pay a fee, usually at least 3 percent. It could be worthwhile in the end when the bonus is large enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the minimum spend is to cover a medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills due then ask your family members to pay them for theirs, and they will reimburse you.
Make a payment to pay off the loan
If you’re a borrower take into consideration making payments on them with an credit card. Make sure to pay the credit card balance in full so you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Talk to your family and determine if they’ve got any major expenses in the near future that you can contribute for. Just make sure you trust the person and they are aware of the reason for doing it.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season you should consider purchasing all your gifts using the credit card you have. In this way, you’ll meet the minimum spending limit and be ready to give gifts. Be sure to avoid paying more than you thinking of.
There are a lot of methods to get the most of the travel credit card. earn miles or points to be used towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few more suggestions for maximising the rewards you earn:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, make use of your travel credit card for booking your flight, hotel, rental car, and any other travel expenses. In addition, you’ll achieve the required amount to earn your credit card reward as well, but you’ll also be earning points or miles for the expenses.
Utilize your credit card to pay for all your daily expenditures
Another way to hit the minimum amount of spending in order to accumulate points by making use of your credit card for daily costs. This can include things like food, gas, and even your phone bill. Make sure you pay the balance off in full every month to ensure you don’t pay interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or points in exchange on certain kinds of purchases, such as eating out or traveling. Check out your rewards program on your credit card and make use of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending routines.
Consider a balance transfer
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer that balance to a travel credit card with the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfers. This will let you pay off the debt without accruing interest and simultaneously help you hit the minimum spend for the credit card bonus.
Use your points or miles prudently
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize 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 could offer better value than using them to purchase the purchase of a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer rewards to different loyalty program. This will let you enjoy a greater variety of options and greater freedom when it comes to you want to redeem your rewards. For example, you may be capable of transferring your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or reward program for hotels. This will give the benefit of a greater selection of hotels, flights and other travel benefits which are not available through the rewards program on your credit card.
Also, find out whether your credit card has any perks that can help you save money on travel expenses. Some cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection and other benefits that can be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
If you’re traveling with a friend, both of you can get rewards on your own credit card. Just remember that you can’t divide the cost with the same card, and be sure you keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
In the end, the most important thing to do to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to know the rewards program on your credit card and ensure that you’re using this program in the most efficient way possible. By using a combination of the strategies I’ve outlined that you can earn rewards fast, exchange rewards for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide range of travel perks.