Are you tired of spending a fortune on airfare? Good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting way to convert welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles, that can then be used 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 within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about swapping credit card sign-up bonus as well as incentives to earn airline miles. The miles can be used to buy discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards will also permit you to use miles to pay for hotel stays or car rental discounts.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for successful travel hacking is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and to establish frequent flyer miles on a select group of airlines. When it’s time to book a flight take a look at the price. If the cost is under $300, it’s best to pay cash and use your miles to pay to book a higher-priced flight. If the prices start to rise over $500, you’ll need to check your frequent flyer accounts 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 each airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets of travel hacking? The first step is opening the credit card that comes that comes with a welcome bonus. There are many great credit cards that offer various benefits and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, spending habits and the features that are most important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards great to hack 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 hit the minimum spend limit in order to qualify for the bonus. Every card has different rules, so be sure to look up this information. Then it’s all about building miles and then using them to book your dream trip!
Ready to jet-set with your points?
Now that you’ve built up the points balance, it’s time to use them towards delicious travel! Different credit card companies have different methods of redeeming your rewards, here are a few examples from some of the providers I’ve worked with:
Getaway by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have an Chase credit card, then you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within the portal, you’ll have access to virtually every airline. You can combine 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 do not have enough points to cover the total price, you can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using the credit card of your choice.
Are you tired of paying full price for your flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United You have the option of paying with either points or dollars? Be careful in case you do not have enough points you cannot combine dollars and points for flights. Don’t worry, though, if you’re a few points short, United gives you the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers passengers a relaxing and pleasant travel experience that includes extra space and complimentary snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to United’s which allows customers to book using either JetBlue either dollars or points, however, not both. The difference is that JetBlue offers a distinct feature where you can join your points with family members to accrue points twice as fast. Be sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re like me or my travel buddy Becca You’re probably quite thrifty and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum spend for a credit card bonus. Don’t worry, we’ve been through it and are here to share some of our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able pay your rent with a credit card, do it! Make sure you be charged a fee, typically at least 3 percent. It may be worth it in the end in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another great way to hit the minimum spend is to cover a medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses in the near future, ask your family members if you can pay them for theirs, and they’ll pay you back.
Make a payment to pay off a loan
If you’re a borrower, consider repaying them using the credit card you have. Make sure to pay the credit card balance in full so you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Ask your family members to look into any major expenses in the near future that you can help pay for. Just make sure you are able to trust the person and that they know why you’re doing it.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season you should consider purchasing all of your gifts with the credit card you have. This way you can hit that minimum spend and be ready for giving gifts. Be sure to avoid spending more than you were contemplating to.
There are plenty of methods to get the most from the travel credit card. accrue points or miles to spend on flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few additional ways to maximize the rewards you earn:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, use the travel credit card to pay for your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as any other travel expenses. You’ll not only achieve the minimum amount of spending required for your credit card bonus, but you’ll also be earning points or miles for these expenditures.
Utilize your credit card to pay for everyday costs
Another method to reach the minimum amount of spending to earn rewards is utilising your credit cards to pay for every day costs. This can include items like groceries, gas and even your telephone bill. Be sure to pay the balance off in full each month so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Benefit from bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer bonus points or miles for specific types of purchases, including eating out or traveling. Make sure you review your rewards program on your credit card and avail the bonus categories that are in line with your spending routines.
Take into consideration a balance transfer
If you have existing debt on a high-interest credit card, think about transferring the balance to a travel credit card with the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfers. This will allow you to pay off your debts without accruing interest, and also assist you in reaching the minimum spending requirement for the credit card bonus.
Utilize your miles and points carefully
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 worth of various redemption options. For example using your points to book a flight directly through the airline may give you a better value than using them for an gift card.
Another suggestion is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer your rewards to different loyalty program. This allows you to have a wider range of choices and more flexibility in redeeming your rewards. For instance, you might be capable of transferring your rewards to the frequent flyer program of an airline or Hotel rewards programme. This can give the benefit of a wider selection of hotels, flights and other travel benefits that aren’t available through your credit card’s rewards program.
Also, determine whether your credit card has certain benefits that will reduce your travel costs. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection, and other benefits that are extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
If you’re traveling with a friend, both of you can earn rewards with your credit card. Make sure you don’t split the cost on the same card, and be sure you keep track of your rewards separately.
The key to making the most of your travel rewards is to know the rewards program of your credit card and to ensure you’re making use of this program in the most effective way possible. By using a combination of the strategies I’ve outlined in this article, you’ll be able get rewards in a short time, use rewards for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad range of travel perks.