Are you tired of spending a fortune on airfare? Good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting method to convert bonus and sign-up incentives into miles which can be used to score discounted or free flights to your ideal destinations. With a little bit of imagination and some information, you’ll travel for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. The miles can be used to buy discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards allow you to redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or rental car deals.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for successful hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and to establish frequent flyer miles for a specific group of airlines. When it’s time to make a booking take a look at the price. If the flight is less than $300, it’s best to pay cash and use your miles to pay to take a more costly flight. When the flights start getting above $500, you’ll want to review those frequent flyer accounts to find out which airline will give you the best deal. It all comes down to the amount of miles or points you have in your travel savings account for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to hacking travel? The first step is to open a credit card that comes with a welcome bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards that offer many advantages and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, your habits with spending and the features that are most crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit card options that can be great to use for hacking travel:
- 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 spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to receive the bonus. Every card has different guidelines, so make sure to check for this information. From there you can begin to rack miles and using them to book your dream trip!
Ready to jet-set with your ideas?
Now that you’ve built up your points balance, it’s time to use them towards nice getaway! Different credit card companies will have different methods for redeeming your rewards, here are some examples from some of the providers I have experience with:
Take a trip through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you’re a holder of an Chase cards, you can redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. In the portal, you’ll have access to nearly every airline, and you can make use of a combination of money and points to book your next trip. You can book your flight entirely with points if you’ve the balance for it! Sometimes even if you do not have enough points to cover the full price, you can buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using any credit card.
Are you fed up of paying full price for your flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United you can choose the option to pay with dollars or points? Be careful in case you do not have enough points you aren’t able to combine dollars and points on the same flight. No worries though, if you’re a few point short United also offers the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides an enjoyable and comfortable travel experience that includes extra legroom and free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is like United’s which allows customers to book using either JetBlue points or dollars, however, not both. But, JetBlue has a unique feature that lets you pool your points together with family members to accrue points twice as quickly. Just make sure you can prove you’re really family before trying to hack the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me or my travel companion Becca I’m sure you’re pretty thrifty and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to reach the required amount to qualify for credit card bonuses. But don’t fret because we’ve been there and are here to share some of our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able to pay your rent with credit card, go for it! Make sure you pay a cost, which is usually at least 3%. It might be worth it over the long term if the bonus is high enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the minimum spend is to pay for a medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills due then ask your relatives if you could pay for theirs and they can repay you.
Pay off a loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan take into consideration repaying them using your credit card. Be sure to pay off the credit card balance completely so that you don’t end up with additional debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Talk to your family and determine if they’ve got any large expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Be sure to be sure that you’re 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, consider buying all of your gifts with cards from your credit account. So you’ll be able to reach the minimum spending requirement and be ready to give gifts. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you were thinking of.
There are many ways to make the most of your travel credit card. You can accrue points or miles to spend on the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few more ways to maximize the rewards you earn:
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 other travel costs. In addition, you’ll be able to meet the minimum spend for your credit card bonus, but you’ll also be earning points or miles to cover these expenses.
Utilize your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday expenses
Another way to hit the minimum amount of spending and earn points is by making use of your credit card for everyday costs. This can include items like groceries, gas, and even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay off the balance in full each month so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Take advantage of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or bonus points for specific types of purchases, such as eating out or travelling. Check out your credit card’s rewards program and take advantage of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending habits.
Take into consideration a balance transfer
If you have existing debt on a credit card, you might want to transfer the balance to an account with a travel credit card that has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will enable you to pay off your debts without accruing interest and simultaneously assist you in reaching the minimum spending requirement for the credit card bonus.
Make use of your miles or points prudently
When you’ve earned a significant amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize the points or miles wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card, and evaluate the worth of various redemption options. For instance, using points to book a flight directly with the airline might give you a better return than using them for a gift card.
Another tip is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer your reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will allow you to have a wider range of choices and more flexibility in you want to redeem your rewards. For instance, you might be eligible to transfer your rewards to an airline’s frequent flyer program or a hotel rewards program. This can give an access larger selection of hotels, flights, and other travel perks which are not accessible through your credit card’s rewards program.
In addition, you should discover the card’s benefits. some perks that could help you save money on travel costs. Many cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that can be invaluable when you travel.
If you’re traveling with a friend each of you will be able to get rewards on your own credit card. Just remember that you can’t split the cost on the same card. Also, make sure you keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do to reaping the maximum benefits from your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program on your credit card and ensure that you’re making use of it in the most efficient method possible. Through all of the methods I’ve described in this article, you’ll be able get rewards in a short time, use rewards for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide assortment of travel-related perks.