Are you fed up of spending a fortune on airfare? Good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting way to convert welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles, which you can use to get discounted or even free flights to your desired destinations. With a little bit of creativity and some insider information, you’ll fly for no cost in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about trading credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. These miles can then be used to buy discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards will also let you redeem miles towards hotel stays or rental car offers.
How Does it Work?
The key to successful travel hacking is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and to establish a frequent flyer mile program on a select group of airlines. When it’s time to make a booking consider the cost. If the flight is under $300, it’s best to pay in cash and save your miles to book a higher-priced flight. If the prices start to rise higher than $500, it’s best to review those frequent flyer accounts and find out which airline will give you the most value. It all comes down to the number of points or miles you have in your travel bank for every airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets of travel hacking? The first step is to open an account that comes with a welcome bonus. There are many great credit cards that offer various benefits and features. It is all dependent on the airline, your spending habits, and what features are crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards that are excellent 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 get the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so make sure to check for the details. From there you can begin to rack miles and using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to set sail with your ideas?
Once you’ve accumulated the points balance, you’re ready to cash them in for some nice getaway! Different credit card companies will have different methods of redeeming your points, but here are a few examples from some of the ones I’ve had experience with:
Take a trip by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have a Chase card, you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through it, you’ll get access to nearly every airline, and you can use a combination of the points as well as cash in order to pay for your trip. You can even book entirely with points if you’ve the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you do not have enough points to cover the total cost, you are able to 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 not know that when you book directly through United, you have the option of paying with either points or dollars? Be careful that if you don’t have enough points, you can’t combine points and dollars for one flight. If you’re just a few points away, United also offers the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience with extra legroom and free snacks. Plus, their booking process is like United’s, allowing customers to book using either JetBlue either dollars or points, but not both. But, 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. Make sure to establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack into the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me and my travel companion Becca You’re probably quite frugal and it can be difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to hit the minimum spend for the credit card bonus. But don’t fret as we’ve done it 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 your rent with a credit card, do it! Make sure you pay a cost, which is usually at least 3 percent. It may be worth it in the long run when the bonus is large enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another great way to hit the spending limit is to cover a medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills due Ask your family members to pay them for theirs, and they will pay you back.
Make a payment to pay off a loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan you owe, think about paying them off with the credit card you have. Just make sure you pay off the credit card balance completely so that you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Discuss your family with them and see if they have any big expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Make sure that you are able to are able to trust the person and that they understand why you’re doing this.
If you’re celebrating the holidays, consider buying all your gifts using your credit card. In this way, you’ll reach the minimum spending requirement and also be ready to give gifts. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you thinking of.
There are a lot of ways to make the most from the travel credit card and earn miles or points to spend on flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are some additional ways to maximize your rewards:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, make use of the travel credit card for booking your flight, hotel, rental car, and other travel costs. Not only will you achieve the minimum amount of spending required to qualify for a credit card, however, you’ll also earn points or miles to cover the expenses.
Use your credit card for all your daily expenditures
Another way to meet the minimum spending requirement in order to accumulate points by using your credit card to pay daily expenses. This can include things like gas, groceries and even your telephone bill. Be sure to pay the balance off in full each month so you don’t accumulate interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or points in exchange for certain types of purchases, such as eating out or travelling. Be sure to review your rewards program on your credit card and make use of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending routines.
Think about a balance transfer
If you have existing debt on a credit card, think about transferring the balance to a travel credit card with the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfer. This will enable you to pay off your debt without accruing interest. It will also help you hit the minimum spending requirement for the credit card bonus.
Utilize your miles and points wisely
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of points or miles make sure you use them wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card and compare the value of different redemption options. For example, using your points to book a ticket directly with the airline could give you a better value than using them to purchase an gift card.
Another option is to get a rewards card that allows you to transfer your reward points into other loyalty programmes. This allows you to get a wider selection of choices and more flexibility when redeeming your rewards. For example, you may be capable of transferring your rewards to the frequent flyer program of an airline or a Hotel rewards programme. This will give the benefit of a greater variety of hotels, flights and other travel benefits that may not be offered through the rewards program on your credit card.
In addition, you should determine whether your credit card has any perks that can save you money on travel-related costs. Some cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that are very beneficial when traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a friend and both of you earn rewards using your own credit card. Make sure you don’t share the costs on the same card and make sure you keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
The key to making the most of your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program on your credit card and ensure that you’re making use of this program in the most efficient way possible. Utilizing a combination of the strategies I’ve listed that you can get rewards in a short time, use them for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide range of travel perks.