Are you tired of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Well, good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting method to convert welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles which can be used to get discounted or even complimentary flights for your ideal destinations. With a little imagination and a little bit of insider information, you’ll fly for no cost 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 let you redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or rental car deals.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for successful travel hacking is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and building out frequent flyer miles on a select group of airlines. When you are ready to make a booking, evaluate the cost. If the flight is less than $300, it’s best to pay cash and save your miles to book a higher-priced flight. If your flights begin to climb above $500, you’ll want to look into those frequent flyer accounts and see which airline can give you the best deal. All it boils down to is the amount of points or miles you have in your travel bank for each airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets of travel hacking? First step opening an account that comes with a welcome bonus. There are many great credit cards that offer a variety of benefits and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, spending habits and what features are essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards great for travel hacking:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
Once you’ve been approved for a credit card you’ll need to reach the limit of spending minimum in order to qualify for the bonus. Every card has different rules, so make sure to look up this information. Then you can begin to rack up miles, and then using them to book your dream vacation!
Ready to jet-set with your ideas?
Once you’ve accumulated your points balance, you’re ready to use them towards delicious vacation! Different credit card companies will have different methods of redeeming your points, but here are a few examples from some of the companies I’ve worked with:
Getaway through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you have a Chase credit card, then you can redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through it, you’ll get access to nearly every airline. You can combine points and cash to book your trip. You can book your flight entirely with points if you’ve the balance for it! Sometimes even if you do not possess enough points for the total cost, you are able to buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with any credit card.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option of paying using either points or dollars? Be careful in case you do not have enough points you aren’t able to combine dollars and points for flights. No worries though, if you’re only a couple of point short United provides the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience , with more legroom and free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is like United’s, allowing you to book with either JetBlue either dollars or points, however, not both. But, JetBlue has a unique feature where you can pool your points together with your relatives to earn points twice as fast. Make sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack into the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me and my travel companion Becca I’m sure you’re pretty frugal and it can be challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to hit 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 our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able pay your rent with credit card, then do it! Just be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually around 3%. It could be worthwhile in the end if the bonus is high enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the spending limit is to cover the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills in the near future, ask your relatives if you could pay their medical bills and they will pay you back.
Pay off the loan
If you’re a borrower, consider paying them off with the credit card you have. Make sure to pay off the balance on your credit card completely so that you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask family for help
Discuss your family with them and determine if they’ve got any big expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Make sure that you are able to are able to trust the person and that they are aware of the reason for taking the initiative.
If it’s the holiday season take into consideration buying all your gifts with the credit card you have. This way you can hit that minimum spend and also be prepared for giving gifts. Just make sure you’re not paying more than you contemplating to.
There are plenty of ways to make the most from your travel credit card. You can accrue points or miles to be used towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are some additional suggestions for maximising the rewards you earn:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, use your travel credit card to book your flight, hotel, rental car, and any other travel expenses. Not only will you achieve the minimum amount of spending required to earn your credit card reward as well, but you’ll also be earning points or miles for these expenses.
Use your credit card to pay for your everyday expenditures
Another way to hit the minimum spend to earn rewards is by making use of your credit card for daily costs. This could include things like gas, groceries, and even your phone bill. Be sure to pay off the balance in full every month to ensure you don’t accrue interest charges.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or points in exchange for certain types of purchases, including 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 habits.
Think about a balance transfer
If you’re in the middle of a outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer that balance to the travel credit card which has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will let you pay off your debts 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 carefully
If you’ve amassed a large amount of points or miles, be sure to use them in a responsible manner. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and compare the worth of various redemption options. For example you can use your points to purchase a flight directly with the airline could offer better return than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer your reward points into other loyalty programmes. This allows you to have a wider range of options and greater flexibility in redeeming your rewards. For instance, you might be eligible to transfer your rewards to the frequent flyer program of an airline or hotel rewards program. This gives you access to a greater range of flights, hotels and other travel benefits that aren’t available through the rewards program of your credit card.
Also, determine if your credit card offers some perks that could save you money on travel-related expenses. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that are extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with someone else, both of you can get rewards on your credit card. Make sure you don’t share the costs on the same card. Also, make sure to keep track of your rewards separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to understand your credit card’s rewards program and to ensure you’re using it in the most efficient method. By using all of the strategies I’ve outlined in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards quickly, redeem rewards for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide variety of travel benefits.