Are you fed up of spending a fortune on airfare? Good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting method to convert bonus and sign-up incentives into miles which you can use to obtain discounted or cheap flights from your ideal destinations. With a little bit of creativity and some insider know-how, you’ll travel for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about trading credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. These miles can later be used to purchase cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards permit you to use miles to pay for hotel stays or car rental deals.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for success in 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 it’s time to make a booking, evaluate the cost. If the price is less than $300, it’s usually better to pay in cash and save your miles to book a higher-priced flight. When the flights start getting above $500, you’ll want to look into your frequent flyer accounts to determine which airline offers you the best deal. It all boils down to the number of points or miles in your travel bank for every airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets of travel hacking? Your first task is to open an account with a sign-up offer. There are plenty of great credit cards that provide a variety of benefits and features. It depends on the type of airline, your spending habits, and the features that are most essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards that are perfect for travel hacking:
- 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 spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to qualify for the bonus. Each card has its own guidelines, so make sure to check for this information. From there it’s all about building miles and using them to book your dream vacation!
Ready to jet-set with your goals?
Once you’ve accumulated your points amount, it’s time to redeem them for some delicious getaway! Different credit card companies will offer different ways to redeem your points. Here are some examples from a few of the ones I have experience with:
Getaway by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own an Chase cards, you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through this portal you’ll have access to virtually every airline and you can use a combination of money and points to book your next trip. You can book your flight entirely with points if you’ve enough balance! Sometimes, even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for full cost, you are able to book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using every credit card.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for your flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option to pay with either points or dollars? Butbe aware, if you do not have enough points you aren’t able to combine dollars and points on one flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re only a couple of point short United provides the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue offers a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience , with more legroom as well as free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to United’s that allows you to book with either JetBlue dollar or points but not both. However, JetBlue offers a distinct feature where you can combine your points with your family members and earn points twice as fast. Make sure to establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me or my travel buddy Becca You’re probably quite thrifty and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum spend for credit card bonuses. But don’t fret because we’ve been there 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 to pay for your rent with credit card, go for it! Just be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually about 3 percent. It could be worthwhile in the end when the bonus is large enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another great way to hit the required spending is to pay for the medical bills. If you do not have any medical expenses coming up, ask your family members if you can pay for theirs and they’ll reimburse you.
Pay off a loan
If you have any loans take into consideration making payments on them with an credit card. Be sure to pay off the credit card balance in full so you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Discuss your family with them and look into any large expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Make sure that you are able to have confidence in the person you are talking to and they understand why you’re taking the initiative.
If it’s the holiday season you should consider purchasing all your gifts using your credit card. In this way, you’ll reach the minimum spending requirement and be ready for giving gifts. Be sure to avoid spending more than you thinking of.
There are plenty of methods to get the most from using your credit or debit card for travel. You can accrue points or miles to spend on flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few additional ideas for maximizing your rewards:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, make use of the travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel, rental car, and any other travel expenses. Not only will you be able to meet the minimum spend for your credit card bonus, but you’ll also earn points or miles on the costs.
Utilize your credit card to pay for all your daily expenses
Another way to hit the minimum amount of spending and earn points is using your credit card for daily expenses. This can include items like groceries, gas or even your phone bill. Be sure to pay the balance off in full every month to ensure you don’t accumulate interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or points in exchange for certain types of purchases, such as dining or travel. Make sure you review the rewards program of your credit card and take advantage of any bonus categories that align with your spending routines.
Consider the possibility of transferring your balance
If you are currently in outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer the balance to a travel credit card with a 0% introductory APR for balance transfers. This will enable you to pay off the debt without accruing interest, and also help you hit the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus.
Make use of your miles or points wisely
If you’ve amassed a large amount of miles or points make sure you use them in a responsible manner. Examine the rewards program of your credit card, and evaluate the benefits of different redemption options. For example you can use points to book a flight directly through the airline may offer better value than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another option is to get an rewards card that permits you to transfer your rewards to different loyalty program. This allows you to have a wider range of choices and more flexibility in making use of your rewards. For instance, you might be capable of transferring your reward to the frequent flyer program of an airline or a hotel rewards program. This will give the benefit of a greater range of flights, hotels and other travel benefits which are not available through the rewards program on your credit card.
In addition, you should discover the card’s benefits. any perks that can help you save money on travel expenses. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that are very beneficial when traveling.
If you’re traveling with a friend, both of you can earn rewards using your credit card. Be aware that you cannot divide the cost with the same card, and be sure to track 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 make sure you’re making use of it in the most efficient method. By using a combination of the strategies I’ve outlined in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards quickly, redeem them for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad variety of travel benefits.