Are you fed up of spending an enormous amount on flights? Well, good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting method to convert welcome bonuses and other incentives into miles which you can use to get discounted or even free flights to your ideal destinations. With a little imagination and some know-how, you’ll travel for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about swapping credit card sign-up bonus and incentives for airline miles. These miles can then be used to pay for cheap or free flight tickets. Some credit cards also let you redeem miles towards hotel stays or rental car discounts.
How Does it Work?
The secret to success in hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and building out frequent flyer miles for a specific group of airlines. When it comes time to make a booking consider the cost. If the price is less than $300, it’s best to pay cash and save your miles to book a higher-priced flight. When the flights start getting higher than $500, it’s best to review your frequent flyer accounts to find out which airline will give you the best deal. It all boils down to the number of points or miles in your travel account for each airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to travel hacking? Your first task is opening an account with a sign-up bonus. There are many great credit cards with many benefits and features. It is all dependent on the airline, spending habits and the features that are most crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards perfect for travel hacking:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
Once you’ve been approved for a credit 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 guidelines, so make sure to check for this information. From there you can begin to rack up miles and using them to book your dream vacation!
Ready to jet-set with your goals?
After you’ve accrued your points balance, you’re ready to use them towards sweet travel! Different credit card companies will have different methods of redeeming your points, but here are some examples from some of the companies I’ve worked with:
Take a trip with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own an Chase cards, you can redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through the portal, you’ll get access to nearly every airline. You can combine money and points to book your trip. You can even book completely with points if you’ve enough balance! Sometimes even if you don’t possess enough points for the entire price, you can buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using every credit card.
Are you tired of paying full price for your flight tickets? Did you realize that when booking directly through United you can choose the option of paying using dollars or points? Butbe aware that if you don’t have enough points you can’t combine dollars and points on the same flight. If you’re only a couple of point short United gives you the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience with extra legroom as well as free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is like United’s that allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue points or dollars, but not both. However, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that allows you to pool your points together with your relatives to earn points twice as fast. Be 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 companion Becca, you’re probably pretty economical and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the required amount to qualify for the credit card bonus. Don’t worry as we’ve done it and we’re here to share some of our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able to pay for your rent using credit card, then do it! Make sure you be charged a fee, typically around 3%. It might be worth it over the long term in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another way to reach the spending limit is to pay for the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills due Ask your family members if you can pay them for theirs, and they’ll pay you back.
Repay a loan
If you have any loans take into consideration repaying them using the credit card you have. Make sure to pay the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t accumulate additional debt.
Ask family for help
Ask your family members to look into any major expenses in the near future that you can help pay for. Just make sure you trust the person and they are aware of the reason for doing it.
If you’re celebrating the holidays you should consider purchasing all of your gifts with cards from your credit account. This way you can hit that minimum spend and be ready for gift giving. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you contemplating to.
There are a lot of methods to get the most from the travel credit card. earn miles or points to use towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few more ideas for maximizing the rewards you earn:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, use you travel credit card to book your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as other travel costs. You’ll not only be able to hit the minimum spend for your credit card bonus as well, but you’ll also be earning points or miles for those expenditures.
Make use of your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday expenditures
Another way to meet the minimum spending requirement and earn points is utilising your credit cards to pay everyday expenses. This can include things like gas, groceries and even your telephone bill. Just make sure to pay the balance off in full each month so you don’t pay interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer 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 avail the bonus categories that are in line with your spending habits.
Consider a balance transfer
If you are currently in debt on a credit card, you might want to transfer that balance onto an account with a travel credit card that has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will allow you to pay off your debt without accruing interest and simultaneously help you hit the minimum spending requirement for the credit card bonus.
Make use of your miles or points wisely
If you’ve amassed a large amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize them in a responsible manner. Review the rewards program for your credit card, and evaluate the benefits of different redemption options. For instance you can use your points to book a flight directly with the airline could give you a better return than using them for a gift card.
Another tip is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer your points to other loyalty programs. This will allow you to get a wider selection of choices and more flexibility in you want to redeem your rewards. For instance, you might be capable of transferring your reward to the frequent flyer program of an airline or a reward program for hotels. This gives you access to a wider selection of hotels, flights and other travel benefits that may not be offered through the rewards program on your credit card.
Additionally, try to discover whether your credit card has some perks that could save you money on travel-related costs. Some cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection, and other benefits that are 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 divide the cost with the same card, and be 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 travel rewards is to know the rewards program on your credit card and ensure that you’re using your credit card in the most effective way possible. Through a combination of the methods I’ve described in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards fast, exchange rewards for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad range of travel perks.