Are you tired of spending a fortune on airfare? Well, good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting method to convert welcome bonuses and other incentives into miles that can then be used to score discounted or cheap flights from your dream destinations. With a bit of imagination and some knowledge, you can fly for no cost within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. These miles can later be used to purchase discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards will also allow you to redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or rental car deals.
How Does it Work?
The key to success in travel hacking is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and establishing a frequent flyer mile program with a limited number of airlines. When it comes time to make a booking consider the cost. If the cost is less than $300, it’s generally better to pay in cash and save your miles to take a more costly flight. If your flights begin to climb higher than $500, it’s best to review those frequent flyer accounts to see which airline can give you the best price. All it boils down to is the number of points or miles you have in your travel bank for each airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to travel hacking? First step to open an account with a sign-up bonus. There are many great credit cards that provide a variety of benefits and features. It is all dependent on the airline, your habits with spending and what features are important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit card options that can be perfect 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 need to hit the limit of spending minimum in order to receive the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so make sure to check for this information. Then you can begin to rack up miles, and using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your goals?
After you’ve accrued your points balance, you’re ready to use them towards sweet getaway! Different credit card companies have different methods of redeeming your points, but here are a few examples from some of the providers I’ve had experience with:
Getaway by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own an Chase card, you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within the portal, you’ll have access to virtually every airline, and you can use a combination of points and cash to book your next trip. You can even book completely with points if you’ve enough balance! Sometimes even if you don’t have enough points to cover the entire price, you can buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using the credit card of your choice.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for your flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United You have the option of paying with either points or dollars? Butbe aware, if you don’t have enough points you can’t combine dollars and points on flights. If you’re just a few points away, United provides the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue provides an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience with extra legroom as well as free snacks. Plus, their booking process is like United’s which allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue either dollars or points, however, not both. The difference is that JetBlue offers a distinct feature that allows you to pool your points together with family members to accrue points twice as fast. Make sure to establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re anything like me and my travel companion Becca You’re probably quite frugal and it can be difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum spend for the credit card bonus. Don’t worry, we’ve been through it 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 pay your rent using a credit card, do it! Make sure you pay a cost, which is usually about 3 percent. It may 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 required spending is to pay for an medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills in the near future, ask your family members to pay their medical bills and they will repay you.
Pay off the loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan you owe, think about paying them off with your credit card. Be sure to pay the credit card balance completely so that you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Discuss your family with them and look into any large expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Make sure that you are able to have confidence in the person you are talking to and they know why you’re doing this.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season, consider buying all your gifts with your credit card. This way you can hit that minimum spend and also be prepared to give gifts. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you were already contemplating to.
There are a lot of ways to get the most from your travel credit card. earn miles or points to use towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are some additional ways to maximize the rewards you earn:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
When you’re planning your next vacation, make use of your travel credit card to book your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as other travel costs. You’ll not only be able to meet the minimum amount of spending required to qualify for a credit card bonus as well, but you’ll also be earning points or miles on those costs.
Make use of your credit card to pay for everyday expenses
Another method to reach the minimum spend and earn points is using your credit card for daily expenditures. This could be things like gas, groceries and even your telephone bill. Make sure you pay off the balance in full every month to ensure you don’t pay interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or bonus points on certain kinds of purchases, including eating out or traveling. Be sure to 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, you might want to transfer that balance onto a travel credit card with an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfers. This will let you pay off the debt without accruing interest and simultaneously aid in achieving the minimum spending requirement for the credit card’s bonus.
Utilize your miles and points prudently
When you’ve earned a significant amount of miles or points make sure you use them wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and compare the benefits of different redemption options. For example using points to book a flight directly with the airline could provide you with a greater value than using them to purchase 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 get a wider selection of options and greater flexibility in you want to redeem your rewards. For example, you may be able to transfer your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a hotel rewards program. This gives you access to a greater selection of hotels, flights and other travel benefits that aren’t available through the rewards program of your credit card.
Also, determine the card’s benefits. some perks that could help you save money on travel costs. Many cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection, and other benefits that could be very beneficial when traveling.
When you travel with a companion, both of you can get rewards on your credit card. Make sure you don’t split the cost on the same card. Also, make sure you keep track of your rewards separately.
Overall, the key to maximizing your travel rewards is to know the rewards program of your credit card and to ensure you’re making use of it in the most effective method. By using a combination of the strategies I’ve outlined, you’ll be able to earn rewards quickly, redeem them for travel experiences that are worth it, and enjoy a wide variety of travel benefits.