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 way to convert welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles, that can then be used to get discounted or even cheap flights from your ideal destinations. With a bit of imagination and a little bit of insider information, you’ll be jet-setting for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about trading credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. The miles can be used to buy cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards will also permit you to use miles to pay for hotel stays or rental car deals.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for successful travel hacking is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and establishing a frequent flyer mile program on a select group of airlines. When it comes time to make a booking, evaluate the cost. If the price is less than $300, it’s usually better to pay cash and use your miles to pay for a more expensive flight. If your flights begin to climb higher than $500, it’s best to check the frequent flyer account to determine which airline offers you the best deal. All it boils down to is the amount of points or miles in your travel account for each airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to travel hacking? Your first task is to open the credit card that comes with a sign-up offer. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that provide various features and benefits. It is all dependent on the airline, spending habits and the features that are most crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards perfect for travel hacking:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
After you’ve been accepted for a credit card, you’ll need to hit the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to receive the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so make sure to check for this information. From there you can begin to rack miles and then using them to book your dream trip!
Ready to jet-set with your points?
After you’ve accrued your points balance, it’s time to use them towards delicious travel! Different credit card providers will have different methods of redeeming your points, but here are some examples from a few of the companies I’ve had experience with:
Take a trip through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you’re a holder of an Chase card, you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through the portal, you’ll get access to nearly every airline and you can combine the points as well as cash in order to pay for your travel. You can book your flight entirely with points if you’ve the balance for it! Sometimes even if you do not be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for total cost, you still can buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using any credit card.
Are you tired of paying full price for your flight tickets? Did you know that when you book directly through United You have the option of paying with either points or dollars? But, be careful, if you do not have enough points you aren’t able to combine dollars and points on one flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re only a couple of points short, United gives you the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience , with more legroom as well as free snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines, allowing you to book with either JetBlue dollar 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 family members and earn points twice as quickly. Be sure to establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel buddy Becca You’re probably quite thrifty and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to hit the required amount to qualify for a credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried, we’ve been through it and we’re here to share our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big 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 may be worth it over the long term if the bonus is high enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the minimum spend is to pay for the medical bills. If you do not have any medical expenses due then ask your relatives if you could pay their medical bills and they’ll pay you back.
Pay off the loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan you owe, think about repaying them using your credit card. Make sure to pay off the credit card balance in full , 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 major expenses in the near future which you could help pay for. Just make sure you trust the person and they know why you’re doing this.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season you should consider purchasing all of your gifts with cards from your credit account. In this way, you’ll reach the minimum spending requirement and also be ready for gift giving. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you were already thinking of.
There are plenty of ways to get the most out of your travel credit card and accumulate miles or points that you can use towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are some additional ideas for maximizing your rewards:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, use your travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel, rental car, and any other travel expenses. Not only will you be able to meet the required amount for your credit card reward, but you’ll also be earning points or miles to cover those costs.
Make use of your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday costs
Another way to meet the minimum spending requirement in order to accumulate points making use of your credit card to pay for everyday expenditures. This could include things like gas, groceries or even your phone bill. Make sure you pay off the balance in full each month so you don’t pay interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or bonus points for specific types of purchases, like eating out or travelling. Check out the rewards program of your credit card and take advantage of any bonus categories that match with your spending routines.
Think about the possibility of transferring your balance
If you have existing outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, think about transferring 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 help you hit the minimum spend for the credit card’s bonus.
Use your points or miles carefully
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize them in a responsible manner. Review the rewards program for your credit card and then compare the value of different redemption options. For example you can use points to book a ticket directly with the airline might give you a better value than using them to purchase an gift card.
Another tip is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer points to other loyalty programs. This will let you get a wider selection of choices and more flexibility when you want to redeem your rewards. For instance, you might be capable of transferring your rewards to an airline’s frequent flyer program or Hotel rewards programme. This can give the benefit of a larger variety of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks that may not be offered through the rewards program of your credit card.
Also, find out the card’s benefits. any perks that can reduce your travel expenses. Many cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection and other benefits that could be very beneficial when traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with someone else, both of you can earn rewards with your credit card. Make sure you don’t divide the cost with the same card, and be sure you keep track of your rewards separately.
Overall, the key to maximizing your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program on your credit card and to ensure you’re using it in the most effective method. By using all of the methods I’ve described, you’ll be able to earn rewards fast, exchange them for travel experiences that are worth it and take advantage of a broad assortment of travel-related perks.