Are you tired of spending a fortune on airfare? Good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting method to convert bonus and sign-up incentives into miles which can be used to obtain discounted or complimentary flights for your ideal destinations. With a bit of imagination and some knowledge, you can travel for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can later be used to purchase discount or no-cost flights. Some credit cards also permit you to use miles towards hotel stays or rental car discounts.
How Does it Work?
The key to successful hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and establishing a frequent flyer mile program on a select group of airlines. When it comes time to book a flight consider 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 above $500, you’ll want to look into those frequent flyer accounts and see which airline can give you the best price. All it boils down to is the amount of miles or points you have in your travel savings account for each airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to hacking travel? Your first task is to open a credit card that comes with a welcome bonus. There are many great credit cards with many advantages and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, your spending habits, and the features that are most crucial 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
If you’ve been approved for a credit card you’ll need to reach the minimum spend limit in order to qualify for the bonus. Every card has different rules, so be sure to look up this information. From there it’s all about building up miles and using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your ideas?
Once you’ve accumulated the points balance, it’s time to redeem them for some delicious getaway! Different credit card companies will have different methods of redeeming your rewards, here are some examples from some of the providers I have experience with:
Escape by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have a Chase credit card, then you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within it, you’ll get access to virtually every airline. You can make use of a combination of the points as well as cash in order to book your travel. You can even book entirely on points if you have the balance for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for full price, you can buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using every credit card.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for your flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option to pay with dollars or points? But, be careful, if you do not have enough points you cannot combine points and dollars for one flight. If you’re a few point short United gives you the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience with extra space and complimentary snacks. Additionally, their booking process is like United’s that allows customers to book using either JetBlue points or dollars however, not both. But, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that allows you to join your points with family members to accrue points twice as quickly. Make sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack into the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re anything like me and my travel companion Becca I’m sure you’re pretty economical and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to reach the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus. But don’t fret, we’ve been through it and we’re here to share our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able to pay for your rent with a credit card, do it! Just be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually about 3 percent. It might be worth it in the long run in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the spending limit is to cover a medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills coming up then ask your relatives if you could pay them for theirs, and they can repay you.
Make a payment to pay off the loan
If you’re a borrower take into consideration repaying them using an credit card. Just make sure you pay off the credit card balance completely so that you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask family for help
Ask your family members to determine if they’ve got any major expenses in the near future which you could help pay for. Just make sure you trust the person and they know why you’re taking the initiative.
If you’re celebrating the holidays, consider buying all your gifts with your credit card. So you’ll be able to meet the minimum spending limit and also be prepared to give gifts. Just make sure you’re not paying more than you already planning to.
There are many methods to get the most of the travel credit card and accumulate miles or points that you can spend on airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few additional ideas for maximizing your rewards
Book travel expenses with your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, use the travel credit card to book your hotel, flight, rental car, and any other travel-related expenses. You’ll not only be able to hit the minimum amount of spending required to qualify for a credit card reward and earn points, however, you’ll also earn points or miles for the costs.
Utilize your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday expenses
Another way to meet the minimum spending requirement in order to accumulate points by making use of your credit card to pay everyday costs. This could be items like groceries, gas and even your telephone bill. Make sure you pay the balance off each month in full so you don’t accumulate interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer bonus points or miles on certain kinds of purchases, such as dining or travel. Check out your credit card’s rewards program and make use of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending habits.
Consider the possibility of transferring your balance
If you have existing 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 transfers. This will let you pay off the debt without accruing interest. It will also help you hit the minimum spend for the credit card’s bonus.
Utilize your miles and points wisely
When you’ve earned a significant amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize the points or miles wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card and then compare the value of different redemption options. For instance, using points to book a flight directly through the airline may offer better value than using them for a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer your reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will allow you to get a wider selection of choices and more flexibility when making use of your rewards. For instance, you might be capable of transferring your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or reward program for hotels. This will give you access to a larger selection of hotels, flights and other travel benefits which are not available through the rewards program of your credit card.
In addition, you should discover the card’s benefits. some perks that could reduce your travel costs. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that could be very beneficial when traveling.
If you’re traveling with someone else and both of you earn rewards using your credit card. Make sure you don’t split the cost on the same card. Also, make sure to track the rewards you earn separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do to making the most of your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program on your credit card and make sure you’re using your credit card in the most effective method. Through an array of strategies I’ve outlined, you’ll be able to earn rewards quickly, redeem them for travel experiences that are worth it and take advantage of a broad variety of travel benefits.