Are you fed up of spending a fortune on airfare? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting way to convert welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles which you can use to score discounted or complimentary flights for your dream destinations. With a little creativity and some insider know-how, you’ll travel for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of trading credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. The miles can be used to purchase cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards will also allow you to redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or car rental offers.
How Does it Work?
The key to success in travel hacking is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and to establish frequent flyer miles on a select group of airlines. When it’s time to make a booking, evaluate the cost. If the price is under $300, it’s best to pay in cash and use your miles to pay for a more expensive flight. If your flights begin to climb higher than $500, it’s best to look into those frequent flyer accounts and determine which airline offers you the best deal. All it boils down to is the number of miles or points in your travel bank for every airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to hacking travel? The first step is opening a credit card with a sign-up bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards that offer 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 excellent 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 have to meet the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to get the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so make sure to check for this information. Then you can begin to rack up miles and using them to plan your dream trip!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your goals?
Once you’ve accumulated your points balance, it’s time to cash them in for some nice travel! Different credit card companies will have different methods for redeeming your rewards, here are some examples from some of the companies I have experience with:
Escape through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you have an Chase cards, you can redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within it, you’ll get access to virtually every airline, and you can make use of a combination of money and points to book your trip. You can book your flight entirely on points if you have the funds to pay for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t possess enough points for the entire cost, you are able to purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with the credit card of your choice.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United, you have the option to pay with either points or dollars? Butbe aware, if you do not have enough points you cannot combine dollars and points for flights. No worries though, if you’re only a couple of points short, United also offers the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience with extra legroom as well as free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to United’s that allows customers to book using either JetBlue points or dollars, however, not both. But, JetBlue offers a distinct feature where you can join your points with your relatives to earn points twice as fast. 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 like me or my travel companion Becca You’re probably quite thrifty and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to reach the required amount to qualify for a credit card bonus. But don’t fret because we’ve been there and are 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, go for it! Make sure you pay a fee, usually about 3 percent. It might be worth it in the long run if the bonus is high enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another excellent way to meet the spending limit is to pay for a medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills in the near future then ask your relatives if you could pay their medical bills and they will reimburse you.
Pay off the loan
If you have any loans take into consideration repaying them using an credit card. Be sure to pay off the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Discuss your family with them and determine if they’ve got any major expenses in the near future which you could help pay for. Just make sure you have confidence in the person you are talking to and they understand why you’re doing it.
If you’re celebrating the holidays you should consider purchasing all of your gifts with cards from your credit account. So you’ll be able to hit that minimum spend and be ready for giving gifts. Make sure that you’re not paying more than you already planning to.
There are a lot of methods to get the most of the travel credit card. You can accumulate miles or points that you can be used towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few more ways to maximize your rewards
Make travel reservations using your credit card
When you’re planning your next vacation, make use of the travel credit card for booking your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as any other travel-related expenses. In addition, you’ll be able to hit the required amount for your credit card bonus and earn points, but you’ll also earn points or miles on the expenses.
Utilize your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday expenses
Another way to hit the minimum spend in order to accumulate points using your credit card to pay every day expenses. This can include things like food, gas or even your phone bill. Make sure you pay the balance off in full every month to ensure you don’t accrue interest charges.
Benefit from bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or bonus points for specific types of purchases, like eating out or traveling. Make sure you review your credit card’s rewards program and avail any bonus categories that match with your spending routines.
Consider a balance transfer
If you are currently in outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, consider transferring that balance onto a travel credit card with a 0% introductory APR for balance transfer. This will let you pay off your debts without accruing interest. It will also aid in achieving the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus.
Utilize your miles and points prudently
If you’ve amassed a large amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize the points or miles wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card and compare the worth of various redemption options. For example using your points to book a flight directly with the airline might give you a better value than using them for an gift card.
Another suggestion is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer rewards to different loyalty program. This will let you enjoy a greater variety of choices and more freedom when it comes to redeeming your rewards. For example, you may be able to transfer your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or reward program for hotels. This gives an access larger variety of hotels, flights, and other travel perks which are not offered through your credit card’s rewards program.
In addition, you should find out if your credit card offers some perks that could reduce your travel costs. Some cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that can be very beneficial when traveling.
If you’re traveling with a friend, both of you can earn rewards using your credit card. Make sure you don’t share the costs on the same card. Also, make sure to track your rewards in a separate manner.
Overall, the key to maximizing your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program on your credit card and to ensure you’re using this program in the most efficient method possible. Utilizing a combination of the strategies I’ve outlined that you can earn rewards quickly, redeem rewards for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide assortment of travel-related perks.