Are you tired of spending a fortune on airfare? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking is the answer to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting method to convert welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles that can then be used to obtain discounted or cheap flights from your desired destinations. With a bit of creativity and some insider knowledge, you can be jet-setting for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about swapping credit card sign-up bonus and rewards for airline miles. The miles can be used to pay for cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards will also permit you to use miles towards hotel stays or car rental deals.
How Does it Work?
The key to success in hacking travel is taking advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and to establish a frequent flyer mile program for a specific group of airlines. When you are ready to book a flight consider 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 the prices start to rise above $500, you’ll want to look into the frequent flyer account to see which airline can give you the most value. It all boils down to the number of points or miles you have in your travel bank for each airline.
Begin by Getting 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 offer. There are plenty of great credit cards that offer various features and benefits. It depends on the type of airline, your habits with spending and what features are essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit card options that can be excellent for travel hacking:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
After you’ve been accepted for a credit or debit 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 certain to verify the details. Then, it’s all about racking up miles, and then using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your goals?
Now that you’ve built up your points balance, you’re ready to redeem them for some delicious getaway! Different credit card providers will offer different ways to redeem your points. Here are some examples from some of the companies I’ve worked with:
Getaway with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of a Chase card, you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within this portal you’ll get access to nearly every airline. You can use a combination of points and cash to book your next trip. You can even book completely using points if you’ve got the balance for it! Sometimes even if you do not be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for entire cost, you are able to buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using any credit card.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United, you have the option to pay with either points or dollars? Butbe aware that if you don’t have enough points you aren’t able to combine points and dollars for one flight. No worries though, if you’re only a couple of points short, United provides the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides a comfortable and enjoyable travel experience that includes extra space and complimentary snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to that of United Airlines that allows customers to book using either JetBlue points or dollars, however, not both. The difference is that JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that allows you to pool your points together with family members to accrue points twice as quickly. Make sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack into the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me or my travel buddy Becca I’m sure you’re pretty frugal and it can be daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum amount required to earn credit card bonuses. But don’t fret, we’ve been through it and are here to share our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able to pay your rent using a credit card, do it! Be prepared to be charged a fee, typically at least 3%. It could be worthwhile 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 a medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills coming up then ask your family members to pay their medical bills and they will repay you.
Make a payment to pay off the loan
If you have any loans take into consideration paying them off with your credit card. Be sure to pay the credit card balance completely so that you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask family for help
Ask your family members to determine if they’ve got any big expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Just make sure you are able to trust the person and that they understand why you’re taking the initiative.
If it’s the holiday season take into consideration buying all your gifts with the credit card you have. In this way, you’ll hit that minimum spend and also be ready for gift giving. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you contemplating to.
There are plenty of ways to get the most from the travel credit card. accrue points or miles to spend on airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few more ways to maximize your rewards
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, use your travel credit card for booking your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as any other travel-related expenses. You’ll not only be able to hit the required amount to earn your credit card reward and earn points, but you’ll also be earning points or miles for the costs.
Utilize your credit card to pay for all your daily costs
Another method to reach the minimum amount of spending in order to accumulate points making use of your credit card to pay everyday expenditures. This can include things like food, gas, and even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay off the balance in full every month to ensure you don’t pay interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or points in exchange on certain kinds of purchases, like eating out or traveling. Be sure to review your credit card’s rewards program and avail any bonus categories that align with your spending habits.
Consider a balance transfer
If you are currently in debt on a high-interest credit card, think about transferring the balance to an account with a travel credit card that has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfers. This will allow you to pay off your debts without accruing interest, and also assist you in reaching the minimum spend for the credit card’s bonus.
Make use of your miles or points wisely
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize the points or miles wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and then compare the benefits of different redemption options. For example using points to purchase a flight directly through the airline may give you a better value than using them for an gift card.
Another suggestion is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will let you get a wider selection of choices and more flexibility in redeeming your rewards. For instance, you might be eligible to transfer your reward to the frequent flyer program of an airline or a hotel rewards program. This gives an access larger range of flights, hotels, and other travel perks which are not offered through the rewards program of your credit card.
Additionally, try to find out the card’s benefits. some perks that could save you money on travel-related costs. Many cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection and other benefits that could be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a friend and both of you get rewards on your credit card. Just remember that you can’t split the cost on the same card, and be sure to track your rewards separately.
Overall, the key to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to know the rewards program of your credit card and make sure you’re using this program in the most effective method possible. Through an array of methods I’ve described, you’ll be able to earn rewards quickly, redeem them for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide range of travel perks.