Are you tired of paying a fortune on airfare? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting method to convert bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles which you can use to get discounted or even cheap flights from your desired destinations. With a little imagination and a little bit of insider know-how, you’ll travel for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about swapping credit card sign-up bonus as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can later be used to buy discount or no-cost flights. Some credit cards also allow you to redeem miles towards hotel stays or rental car discounts.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for successful hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and to establish a frequent flyer mile program on a select group of airlines. When it’s time to book a flight take a look at the price. If the cost is under $300, it’s usually better to pay cash and save your miles to book a higher-priced flight. If the prices start to rise higher than $500, it’s best to look into the frequent flyer account to determine which airline offers you the best deal. All it boils down to is the number of points or miles you have in your travel savings account for every airline.
Get 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 plenty of great credit cards that provide many features and benefits. It depends on the type of airline, your habits with spending and what features are essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit card options that can be great for travel hacking:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
If you’ve been approved for a credit card, you’ll need to hit the minimum spend limit in order to qualify for the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so be sure to check for this information. From there, it’s all about racking up miles, and using them to plan your dream trip!
Ready to jet-set with your ideas?
Once you’ve accumulated the points balance, you’re ready to cash them in for some delicious vacation! Different credit card companies have different methods for redeeming your points, but here are some examples from some of the companies I have experience with:
Escape through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you’re a holder of an Chase cards, you are able to use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within this portal you’ll get access to almost every airline, and you can combine money and points to book your next trip. You can book your flight entirely on points if you have the balance for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for total cost, you are able to buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using every credit card.
Are you fed up of paying full price for your flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United, you have the option to pay with either points or dollars? Be careful in case you don’t have enough points you cannot combine points and dollars on one flight. No worries though, if you’re just a few point short United provides the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue offers passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience , with more legroom as well as free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is like United’s which allows customers to book using either JetBlue dollar or points, but not both. The difference is that JetBlue offers a distinct feature that lets you join your points with your relatives to earn points twice as quickly. Make sure to establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack into the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re like me and my travel buddy Becca I’m sure you’re pretty thrifty and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to reach the minimum amount required to earn a credit card bonus. But don’t fret 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 your rent using a credit card, do it! Make sure you be charged a fee, typically about 3 percent. It might be worth it in the long run when the bonus is large enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the minimum spend is to cover the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills coming up then ask your relatives if you could pay them for theirs, and they’ll pay you back.
Repay a loan
If you have any loans, consider repaying them using an credit card. Just make sure you pay off the credit card balance completely so that you don’t accumulate additional debt.
Ask your family members for help
Discuss your family with them and look into any major expenses in the near future which you could help pay for. Just make sure you have confidence in the person you are talking to and they understand why you’re taking the initiative.
If you’re celebrating the holidays you should consider purchasing all your gifts with the credit card you have. This way you can reach the minimum spending requirement and also be ready for gift giving. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you planning to.
There are a lot of methods to get the most from your travel credit card. You can earn miles or points to spend on the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are some additional ideas for maximizing your rewards:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, use you 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 for your credit card bonus, but you’ll also earn points or miles to cover the expenditures.
Utilize your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday expenses
Another way to hit the minimum spending requirement and earn points is making use of your credit card to pay everyday expenses. This could include things like gas, groceries, and even your phone bill. Make sure you pay the balance off each month in full so you don’t accumulate interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or bonus points on certain kinds of purchases, including eating out or traveling. Check out your credit card’s rewards program and take advantage of any bonus categories that align with your spending habits.
Think about the possibility of transferring your balance
If you are currently in outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, think about transferring the balance to an account with a travel credit card that has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfer. This will enable you to pay off your debt without accruing interest, and also assist you in reaching the minimum spending requirement for the credit card’s bonus.
Make use of your miles or points prudently
If you’ve amassed a large amount of miles or points make sure you use them wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card, and evaluate the worth of various redemption options. For example you can use points to book a flight directly through the airline may offer better value than using them to purchase the purchase of a gift card.
Another tip is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will allow you to enjoy a greater variety of choices and more freedom when it comes to 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 reward program for hotels. This gives an access larger range of flights, hotels and other travel benefits which are not accessible through the rewards program on your credit card.
Additionally, try to discover if your credit card offers any perks that can reduce your travel expenses. Many cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that are invaluable when you travel.
When you travel with a friend, both of you can get rewards on your own credit card. Just remember that you can’t divide the cost with the same card and make sure you keep track of your rewards separately.
The key to maximizing your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program on your credit card and ensure that you’re making use of your credit card in the most effective method possible. Utilizing an array of strategies I’ve outlined, you’ll be able to earn rewards fast, exchange rewards for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide variety of travel benefits.