Are you tired of spending an enormous amount on flights? Well, good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting method to convert sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles which you can use to obtain discounted or cheap flights from your ideal destinations. With a bit of imagination and a little bit of insider know-how, you’ll travel for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. The miles can be used to buy cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards will also allow you to redeem miles towards 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 for a specific group of airlines. When it’s time to book a flight, evaluate the cost. If the flight is less than $300, it’s generally better to pay in cash and save your miles to take a more costly flight. If the prices start to rise higher than $500, it’s best to review the frequent flyer account to find out which airline will give you the most value. All it boils down to is the number of miles or points in your travel account for every airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets of travel hacking? Your first task is to open a credit card that comes with a welcome bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards with many advantages and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, your habits with spending and the features that are most essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit card options that can be excellent for travel hacking:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
If you’ve been approved for a credit card, you’ll have to meet the minimum spend limit in order to get the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of guidelines, so make certain to verify this information. Then, it’s all about racking up 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, you’re ready to cash them in for some sweet getaway! Different credit card companies will offer different ways to redeem your points. Here are some examples from a few of the companies I have experience with:
Take a trip with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of a Chase card, you are able to redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through this portal you’ll have access to virtually every airline and you can use a combination of the points as well as cash in order to book your trip. You can book your flight entirely with points if you’ve enough balance! Sometimes even if you do not possess enough points for the total cost, you still can buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using the credit card of your choice.
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 with either points or dollars? But, be careful in case you don’t have enough points you aren’t able to combine dollars and points on one flight. No worries though, if you’re a few points short, United provides the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers a comfortable and enjoyable travel experience that includes extra legroom as well as free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is like United’s which allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue points or dollars, however, not both. However, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature where you can join your points with your family members and earn points twice as quickly. 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 anything like me and 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 required amount to qualify 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 a huge one! If you’re able to pay for your rent using credit card, then do it! Make sure you pay a cost, which is usually at least 3%. It might be worth it in the end if the bonus is high enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another excellent way to meet the minimum spend is to cover an medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills coming up then ask your family members if you can pay for theirs and they’ll pay you back.
Repay a loan
If you’re a borrower you owe, think about repaying them using an credit card. Just make sure you pay the credit card balance completely so that you don’t end up with additional debt.
Ask family for help
Discuss your family with them and see if they have any large expenses coming up which you could help pay for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to have confidence in the person you are talking to and they understand why you’re doing it.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season take into consideration buying all of your gifts with your credit card. In this way, you’ll reach the minimum spending requirement and be ready for giving gifts. Make sure that you’re not paying more than you already planning to.
There are plenty of ways to make the most out of the travel credit card. accumulate miles or points that you can be used towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are some additional ideas for maximizing the rewards you earn:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, use your travel credit card to pay for your hotel, flight, rental car, and any other travel-related expenses. You’ll not only be able to meet the minimum spend for your credit card reward and earn points, but you’ll also earn points or miles for those expenditures.
Utilize your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday expenditures
Another method to reach the minimum spending requirement in order to accumulate points by making use of your credit card for every day costs. This could include items like groceries, gas and even your telephone bill. Be sure to pay off the balance in full each month so you don’t accumulate interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or points in exchange for specific types of purchases, like eating out or travelling. Check out the rewards program of your credit card and avail the bonus categories that are in line with your spending habits.
Think about the possibility of transferring your balance
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a high-interest credit card, think about transferring the balance to an account with a travel credit card that has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will let you pay off the debt without accruing interest and simultaneously help you hit the minimum amount required to earn the credit card’s bonus.
Use your points or miles wisely
When you’ve earned a significant amount of points or miles Make sure to utilize them wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card, and evaluate the benefits of different redemption options. For instance, using your points to purchase a flight directly with the airline might give you a better return than using them for a gift card.
Another option is to get a rewards card that allows you to transfer your reward points into other loyalty programmes. This allows you to get a wider selection of choices and more freedom when it comes to 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 gives you access to a larger selection of hotels, flights, and other travel perks which are not available through the rewards program on your credit card.
Also, find out whether your credit card has certain benefits that will reduce your travel costs. Many cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection and other benefits that could be very beneficial when traveling.
If you’re traveling with someone else, both of you can earn rewards using your own credit card. Be aware that you cannot divide the cost with the same card. Also, make sure to track your rewards separately.
The key to making the most of your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program of your credit card and to ensure you’re making use of your credit card in the most effective way possible. By using a combination of the strategies I’ve outlined, you’ll be able to get rewards in a short time, use rewards for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide range of travel perks.