Are you tired of paying a fortune on airfare? Good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting method to convert credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into miles which you can use to get discounted or even cheap flights from your dream destinations. With a bit of creativity and some insider knowledge, you can travel for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. The miles can be used to buy cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards will also allow you to redeem miles for hotel stays and car rental deals.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for successful hacking travel is taking advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and establishing frequent flyer miles with a limited number of airlines. When you are ready to make a booking, evaluate the cost. If the flight is under $300, it’s best to pay cash and use your miles to pay to book a higher-priced flight. If your flights begin to climb higher than $500, it’s best to check the frequent flyer account to determine which airline offers you the most value. It all comes down to the amount of points or miles you have in your travel savings account for each airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets of travel hacking? First step to open a credit card that comes with a welcome bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that provide a variety of benefits and features. It depends on the type of airline, spending habits and the features that are most essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit card options that can be 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 minimum spend limit in order to receive the bonus. Every card has different guidelines, so make sure to check for this information. Then you can begin to rack miles and using them to plan your dream vacation!
Ready to jet-set with your ideas?
Now that you’ve built up your points balance, it’s time to redeem them for some sweet getaway! Different credit card providers will have different methods for redeeming your rewards, here are some examples from a few of the ones I have experience with:
Take a trip by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have an Chase card, you are able to redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In this portal you’ll get access to virtually every airline. You can make use of a combination of money and points to book your next trip. You can even book completely using points if you’ve got the balance for it! Sometimes even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for entire price, you can buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using any credit card.
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? Butbe aware, if you don’t have enough points, you cannot combine dollars and points on the same flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re only a couple of points short, United also offers the option to purchase additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue offers an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience , with more legroom and free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to United’s that allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue points or dollars, however, not both. The difference is that JetBlue offers a distinct feature where you can combine your points with family members to accrue points twice as fast. Make sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me and my travel companion Becca, you’re probably pretty frugal and it can be difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars in order to meet the required amount to qualify for credit card bonuses. But don’t fret as we’ve done it and are here to share some of our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able pay your rent with a credit card, do it! Make sure you be charged a fee, typically about 3 percent. It might be worth it in the end if the bonus is high enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another way to reach the required spending is to pay for an medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses in the near future then ask your family members if you can pay them for theirs, and they can pay you back.
Pay off the loan
If you have any loans you owe, think about making payments on them with an credit card. Be sure to pay off the balance on your credit card in full so you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Discuss your family with them and determine if they’ve got any big expenses coming up which you could help pay for. Just make sure you trust the person and they understand why you’re doing it.
If it’s the holiday season you should consider purchasing all your gifts with the credit card you have. In this way, you’ll 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 a lot of methods to get the most of using your credit or debit card for travel and earn miles or points to spend on flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are some additional ways to maximize the rewards you earn:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a vacation, make use of you travel credit card for booking your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as any other travel expenses. In addition, you’ll achieve the minimum spend to earn your credit card bonus as well, but you’ll also be earning points or miles for these expenditures.
Make use of your credit card to pay for everyday expenses
Another way to hit the minimum spend and earn points is by utilising your credit cards for daily costs. This could include things like food, gas and even your telephone bill. Be sure to pay off the balance each month in full so you don’t accumulate interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide bonus points or miles for certain types of purchases, such as eating out or traveling. Check out your credit card’s rewards program and take advantage of any bonus categories that match with your spending routines.
Think about a balance transfer
If you have existing debt on a high-interest credit card, consider transferring that balance to an account with a travel credit card that has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfers. This will enable you to pay off the debt without accruing interest. It will also assist you in reaching the minimum spending requirement for the credit card’s bonus.
Make use of your miles or points carefully
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points make sure you use them wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card and compare the worth of various redemption options. For example, using points to book a ticket directly with the airline could offer better value than using them for an gift card.
Another tip is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer reward points into other loyalty programmes. This allows you to get a wider selection of options and greater flexibility when redeeming your rewards. For instance, you might be capable of transferring your rewards to the frequent flyer program of an airline or a reward program for hotels. This will give an access larger selection of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks which are not offered through your credit card’s rewards program.
In addition, you should find out the card’s benefits. some perks that could save you money on travel-related costs. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that are invaluable when you travel.
Finally, when you’re traveling with someone else, both of you can earn rewards using your credit card. Be aware that you cannot split the cost on the same card, and be sure to keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
Overall, 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 using your credit card in the most efficient method. By using a combination of the strategies I’ve listed that you can get rewards in a short time, use them for travel experiences that are worth it and take advantage of a broad assortment of travel-related perks.