Are you fed up of spending an enormous amount on flights? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting way to convert credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles that can then be used to get discounted or even free flights to your dream destinations. With a 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 swapping credit card sign-up bonus and incentives for airline miles. The miles can be used to buy discounted or even free flights. Some credit cards also let you redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or rental car discounts.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for success in travel hacking 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’s time to make a booking, evaluate the cost. If the cost is under $300, it’s generally better to pay cash and save your miles for a more expensive flight. If the prices start to rise above $500, you’ll want to review the frequent flyer account and see which airline can give you the most value. It all comes down to the number of miles or points in your travel bank for every airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to travel hacking? The first step is opening an account with a sign-up bonus. There are many great credit cards that provide many benefits and features. It is all dependent on the airline, your spending habits, and what features are crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards that are excellent for travel hacking:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
Once you’ve been approved for a credit or debit card, you’ll need to reach the limit of spending minimum in order to receive the bonus. Every card has different rules, so be certain to verify the details. From there, it’s all about racking up miles, and using them to plan your dream trip!
Are you ready to set sail with your points?
Now that you’ve built up your points balance, it’s time to redeem them for some nice getaway! Different credit card companies will have different methods for redeeming your points. Here are some examples from a few of the companies I’ve worked with:
Getaway by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have an Chase cards, you are able to redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within the portal, you’ll get access to nearly every airline and you can use a combination of points and cash to book your next trip. You can even book completely using points if you’ve got the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you do not have enough points to cover the entire cost, you are able to purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with every credit card.
Are you tired of paying full price for your flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United You have the option of paying using dollars or points? Butbe aware, if you don’t have enough points you aren’t able to combine points and dollars for the same flight. No worries though, if you’re just a few points away, United provides the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience with extra space and complimentary snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is like United’s that allows customers to book using either JetBlue dollar or points but not both. The difference is that JetBlue offers a distinct feature that lets you join your points with family members to accrue points twice as quickly. Be sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack into the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re anything like me and my travel buddy Becca, you’re probably pretty thrifty and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum spend for credit card bonuses. However, don’t be worried as we’ve done it and we’re here to share our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able pay your rent using credit card, then do it! Make sure you pay a cost, which is usually at least 3%. It may be worth it in the end in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another way to reach the required spending is to pay for a medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses coming up Ask your relatives if you could pay them for theirs, and they’ll repay you.
Make a payment to pay off the loan
If you’re a borrower take into consideration making payments on them with your credit card. Be sure to pay the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask family for help
Ask your family members to see if they have any major expenses in the near future that you can contribute for. Just make sure you have confidence in the person you are talking to and they know why you’re taking the initiative.
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 reach the minimum spending requirement and be ready for gift giving. Be sure to avoid spending more than you planning to.
There are a lot of methods to get the most of the travel credit card. accumulate miles or points that you can use towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few more ideas for maximizing 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 hotel, flight, rental car, and any other travel expenses. In addition, you’ll be able to meet the required amount for your credit card bonus, however, you’ll also earn points or miles for the expenditures.
Use your credit card for all your daily costs
Another way to hit the minimum spending requirement to earn rewards is by using your credit card to pay for daily costs. This could be things like food, gas and even your telephone bill. Be sure to pay the balance off in full each month so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Make the most of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer bonus points or miles for specific types of purchases, such as eating out or traveling. Make sure you review your credit card’s rewards program and avail any bonus categories that align with your spending routines.
Consider a balance transfer
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a credit card, consider transferring that balance to a travel credit card with the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfer. This will enable you to pay off your debt without accruing interest. It will also assist you in reaching the minimum spend for the credit card’s bonus.
Utilize your miles and points prudently
When you’ve earned a significant amount of points or miles Make sure to utilize them wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and then compare the value of different redemption options. For instance using points to book a flight directly with the airline could give you a better return than using them for a gift card.
Another option is to get an rewards card that permits you to transfer your rewards to different loyalty program. This will let you enjoy a greater variety of choices and more flexibility when making use of your rewards. For instance, you might be eligible to transfer your rewards to an airline’s frequent flyer program or a hotel rewards program. This will give the benefit of a wider selection of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks that aren’t accessible through the rewards program of your credit card.
Also, find out the card’s benefits. certain benefits that will help you save money on travel expenses. Many cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that could be invaluable when you travel.
If you’re traveling with a friend and both of you earn rewards with your credit card. Just remember that you can’t share the costs on the same card. Also, make sure you keep track of your rewards separately.
The key to maximizing your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program of your credit card and to ensure you’re using your credit card in the most efficient method possible. Through a combination of the strategies I’ve listed, you’ll be able to earn rewards fast, exchange them for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide assortment of travel-related perks.