Are you tired of spending a fortune on airfare? Well, 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 you can use to score discounted or free flights to your ideal destinations. With a little creativity and some insider know-how, you’ll travel for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. These miles can later be used to purchase discount or no-cost flights. Some credit cards also let you redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or car rental deals.
How Does it Work?
The secret to successful hacking travel is taking advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and building out a frequent flyer mile program with a limited number of airlines. When it’s time to book a flight, evaluate the cost. If the flight is under $300, it’s generally better to pay in cash and use your miles to pay to book a higher-priced flight. If your flights begin to climb over $500, you’ll need to review your frequent flyer accounts to see which airline can give you the best deal. It all boils down to the number of points or miles you have in your travel savings account for each airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to travel hacking? Your first task is to open a credit card with a sign-up offer. There are many great credit cards that offer a variety of benefits and features. It is all dependent on the airline, spending habits and the features that are most essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards excellent for travel hacking:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
If 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 make sure to check for this information. Then you can begin to rack miles and then using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your ideas?
After you’ve accrued the points amount, it’s time to redeem them for some sweet travel! Different credit card companies have different methods for redeeming your points. Here are a few examples from some of the ones I’ve had experience with:
Take a trip with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have an Chase card, you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In this portal you’ll get access to almost every airline and you can combine money and points to book your trip. You can even book entirely with points if you’ve the funds to pay for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t have enough points to cover the total price, you can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance 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 can choose the option of paying with either points or dollars? But, be careful, if you don’t have enough points, you can’t combine dollars and points on one flight. If you’re just a few point short United also offers the option of buying additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience , with more legroom as well as free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to that of United Airlines, allowing customers to book using either JetBlue either dollars or points but not both. The difference is that JetBlue offers a distinct feature where you can join your points with your relatives to earn points twice as fast. Be 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 like me or my travel companion Becca, you’re probably pretty frugal and it can be difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars in order to meet the required amount to qualify for a credit card bonus. But don’t fret because we’ve been there and we’re here to share some of our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able to pay for your rent with credit card, go for it! Be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually at least 3 percent. It might be worth it in the long run in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another way to reach the minimum spend is to cover a medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses coming up Ask your family members to pay for theirs and they can pay you back.
Make a payment to pay off the loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan you owe, think about making payments on them with an credit card. Be sure to pay off the balance on your credit card in full , so that you don’t end up with additional debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Discuss your family with them and look into any big expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Make sure that you are able to are able to trust the person and that they understand why you’re doing it.
If you’re celebrating the holidays, consider buying all your gifts with your credit card. So you’ll be able to reach the minimum spending requirement and also be ready for giving gifts. Be sure to avoid spending more than you were thinking of.
There are a lot of ways to get the most out of the travel credit card and earn miles or points to spend on airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are some additional suggestions for maximising your rewards
Book travel expenses with your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, make use of 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 spend to qualify for a credit card reward and earn points, but you’ll also earn points or miles to cover the costs.
Utilize your credit card to pay for all your daily expenditures
Another way to meet the minimum amount of spending to earn rewards is by using your credit card to pay daily expenses. This could be things like food, gas and even your telephone bill. Be sure to pay off the balance each month in full so you don’t pay interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or bonus points for specific types of purchases, such as dining or travel. Make sure you review your credit card’s rewards program and avail any bonus categories that align with your spending habits.
Think about a balance transfer
If you have existing debt on a high-interest credit card, think about transferring that balance onto an account with a travel credit card that has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfers. This will let you pay off your debt without accruing interest, and also assist you in reaching the minimum amount required to earn the credit card’s bonus.
Use your points or miles prudently
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of points or miles Make sure to utilize the points or miles wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card, and evaluate the value of different redemption options. For instance you can use points to book a ticket directly through the airline may provide you with a greater value than using them to purchase a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer your reward points into other loyalty programmes. This allows you to enjoy a greater variety of options and greater freedom when it comes to making use of your rewards. For example, you may be capable of transferring your reward to the frequent flyer program of an airline or reward program for hotels. This gives you access to a greater range of flights, hotels as well as other travel perks that may not be accessible through your credit card’s rewards program.
In addition, you should determine whether your credit card has certain benefits that will save you money on travel-related costs. A lot of credit cards provide 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 and both of you earn rewards using your credit card. Make sure you don’t divide the cost with the same card and make sure to keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
The key to maximizing your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program on your credit card and make sure you’re using it in the most effective way possible. Utilizing an array of methods I’ve described that you can get rewards in a short time, use rewards for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad range of travel perks.