Are you fed up of spending a fortune on airfare? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s a fun way to convert bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles, that can then be used to score discounted or cheap flights from your ideal destinations. With a bit of imagination and some knowledge, you can be jet-setting for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. The miles can be used to buy discounted or even free flights. Some credit cards also permit you to use miles to pay for hotel stays or car rental offers.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for successful hacking travel is taking advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and to establish a frequent flyer mile program with a limited number of airlines. When it comes time to make a booking, evaluate the cost. If the cost is less than $300, it’s usually better to pay in cash and use your miles to pay to book a higher-priced flight. When the flights start getting above $500, you’ll want to check your frequent flyer accounts to determine which airline offers you the most value. It all boils down to the number of miles or points you have in your travel savings account for each airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets of travel hacking? The first step is to open the credit card that comes that comes with a welcome bonus. There are many great credit cards that provide a variety of benefits and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, your spending habits, and what features are important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards that are perfect for travel hacking:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
Once you’ve been approved for a credit or debit card, you’ll need to hit the limit of spending minimum in order to receive the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so be certain to verify the details. Then it’s all about building up miles and using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your ideas?
After you’ve accrued the points amount, it’s time to cash them in for some sweet travel! Different credit card companies will offer different ways to redeem your rewards, here are a few examples from some of the ones I have experience with:
Escape by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own an Chase credit card, then you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through it, you’ll have access to almost 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 don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for full cost, you are able to book flights using the 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 have the option of paying using either points or dollars? But, be careful in case you don’t have enough points, you aren’t able to combine points and dollars for the same flight. If you’re a few points away, United also offers the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience , with more legroom as well as free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is like United’s, allowing customers to book using either JetBlue points or dollars but not both. However, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that lets you join your points with your family members and earn points twice as fast. Be sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel buddy Becca I’m sure you’re pretty economical and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to reach the required amount to qualify for credit card bonuses. But don’t fret because we’ve been there 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 pay your rent using credit card, then do it! Just be prepared to be charged a fee, typically at least 3%. It could be worthwhile in the end in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the required spending is to cover an medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills due Ask your relatives if you could pay their medical bills and they can reimburse you.
Pay off the loan
If you’re a borrower, consider paying them off with the credit card you have. Make sure to pay off the credit card balance in full so you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Ask your family members to see if they have any large expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to trust the person and they are aware of the reason for doing this.
If it’s the holiday season take into consideration buying all of your gifts with your credit card. So you’ll be able to hit that minimum spend and be ready to give gifts. Be sure to avoid spending more than you were already planning to.
There are a lot of ways to get the most out of your travel credit card and earn miles or points to spend on flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few more ideas for maximizing the rewards you earn:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, use the travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as any other travel expenses. You’ll not only be able to hit the minimum amount of spending required to earn your credit card reward as well, but you’ll also earn points or miles for those expenses.
Make use of your credit card to pay for all your daily costs
Another way to meet the minimum amount of spending and earn points is using your credit card to pay for daily costs. This could include items like groceries, gas, and even your phone bill. Be sure to pay the balance off in full every month to ensure you don’t accumulate interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or bonus points on certain kinds of purchases, like eating out or travelling. Make sure you review the rewards program of your credit card and make use of any bonus categories that match with your spending habits.
Think about a balance transfer
If you are currently in debt on a credit card, think about transferring that balance to a travel credit card with the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfers. This will allow you to pay off your debt without accruing interest and simultaneously assist you in reaching the minimum spend for the credit card bonus.
Utilize your miles and points carefully
If you’ve amassed a large amount of miles or points, be sure to use them wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and compare the worth of various redemption options. For instance, using points to book a ticket directly through the airline may offer better value than using them to purchase the purchase of a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will let you have a wider range of options and greater freedom when it comes to you want to redeem your rewards. For instance, you might be capable of transferring your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a reward program for hotels. This will give you access to a wider range of flights, hotels and other travel benefits which are not available through the rewards program on your credit card.
In addition, you should discover the card’s benefits. some perks that could reduce your travel expenses. Many cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that can be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
When you travel with a companion 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 in a separate manner.
The key to maximizing your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program on your credit card and make sure you’re using it in the most effective way possible. By using a combination of the strategies I’ve listed that you can earn rewards fast, exchange them for travel experiences that are worth it, and enjoy a wide range of travel perks.