Are you fed up of spending a fortune on airfare? 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 bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles, which can be used to obtain discounted or free flights to your dream destinations. With a bit of imagination and a little bit of insider information, you’ll travel for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about trading credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. These miles can then be used to pay for discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards will also let you redeem miles towards hotel stays or car rental discounts.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for success in travel hacking is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and to establish a frequent flyer mile program with a limited number of airlines. When you are ready to make a booking consider the cost. If the price is under $300, it’s generally better 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 check your frequent flyer accounts to find out which airline will give you the best deal. All it boils down to is the amount of points or miles in your travel account for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to travel hacking? The first step is opening an account that comes with a welcome bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards with a variety of benefits and features. It depends on the type of airline, your habits with spending and the features that are most crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards 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 hit the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to get the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of guidelines, so make sure to look up this information. Then it’s all about building up miles, and using them to book your dream trip!
Ready to jet-set with your points?
Now that you’ve built up your points amount, it’s time to use them towards delicious vacation! Different credit card companies have different methods for redeeming your points. Here are a few examples from some of the providers I have experience with:
Take a trip with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own a Chase credit card, then you are able to use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In 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 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 be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for entire 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 fed up of paying full price for your flight tickets? Did you know that when you book directly through United, you have the option of paying with either points or dollars? Be careful, if you do not have enough points you cannot combine points and dollars for one flight. No worries though, if you’re just a few points short, United also offers the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue provides a comfortable and enjoyable travel experience that includes extra space and complimentary snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is like United’s that allows customers to book using either JetBlue either dollars or points however, not both. But, JetBlue has a unique feature that allows you to combine your points with your relatives to earn points twice as fast. Just make sure you can prove you’re really family before trying to hack into the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me or my travel buddy Becca, you’re probably pretty thrifty and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to hit the required amount to qualify for the credit card bonus. Don’t worry because we’ve been there and we’re 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 your rent with a credit card, do it! Just be prepared to pay a fee, usually around 3%. It might be worth it in the long run when the bonus is large enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the required spending is to cover the medical bills. If you do not have any medical expenses in the near future Ask your relatives if you could pay them for theirs, and they’ll reimburse you.
Make a payment to pay off the loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan, consider repaying them using your credit card. Make sure to pay off the balance on your credit card in full so you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Talk to your family and determine if they’ve got any large expenses coming up which you could 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 doing it.
If it’s the holiday season you should consider purchasing all your gifts using cards from your credit account. In this way, you’ll meet the minimum spending limit and also be prepared to give gifts. Be sure to avoid spending more than you already thinking of.
There are a lot of ways to get the most of the travel credit card. accumulate miles or points that you can spend on flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few more ways to maximize your rewards:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, use you travel credit card to pay for your hotel, flight, rental car, and any other travel expenses. Not only will you be able to hit the minimum spend for your credit card and earn points, however, you’ll also earn points or miles to cover the costs.
Make use of your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday expenses
Another way to hit the minimum spending requirement and earn points is making use of your credit card to pay for every day costs. This could include things like food, gas or even your phone bill. Be sure to pay the balance off in full each month so you don’t pay interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or points in exchange on certain kinds of purchases, like eating out or travelling. Be sure to review your rewards program on your credit card and make use of any bonus categories that match with your spending routines.
Think about a balance transfer
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a high-interest credit card, consider transferring the balance to the travel credit card which has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfers. This will let you pay off your debts without accruing interest and simultaneously aid in achieving the minimum spending requirement for the credit card bonus.
Use your points or miles wisely
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of points or miles Make sure to utilize them wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and compare the benefits of different redemption options. For example using your points to purchase a flight directly through the airline may give you a 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 rewards to different loyalty program. This allows you to have a wider range of choices and more flexibility when redeeming your rewards. For instance, you might be able 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 may not be available through your credit card’s rewards program.
Additionally, try to find out if your credit card offers some perks that could help you save money on travel expenses. 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 each of you will be able to earn rewards with your own credit card. Be aware that you cannot share the costs on the same card and make sure you keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
The key to reaping the maximum benefits from your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program of your credit card and make sure you’re using it in the most effective method possible. Utilizing an array of strategies I’ve listed, you’ll be able to earn rewards fast, exchange them for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad assortment of travel-related perks.