Are you fed up of spending a fortune on airfare? Good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting way to turn credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles, that can then be used to get discounted or even free flights to your desired destinations. With a little bit of creativity and some insider information, you’ll be jet-setting for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about swapping credit card sign-up bonus as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can later be used to purchase discounted or even free flights. Some credit cards also allow you to redeem miles for hotel stays and rental car offers.
How Does it Work?
The key to success in travel hacking is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and building out a frequent flyer mile program on a select group of airlines. When it comes time to book a flight, evaluate the cost. If the price is less than $300, it’s usually better to pay cash and use your miles to pay to book a higher-priced flight. When the flights start getting above $500, you’ll want to look into your frequent flyer accounts to determine which airline offers you the most value. It all boils down to the number of miles or points you have in your travel savings 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 to open the credit card that comes with a sign-up bonus. There are many great credit cards with many features and benefits. It depends on the type of airline, spending habits and the features that are most important 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
After you’ve been accepted for a credit card, you’ll have to meet the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to receive the bonus. Every card has different guidelines, so make certain to verify the details. Then, it’s all about racking up miles, and then using them to book your dream trip!
Ready to jet-set with your points?
After you’ve accrued your points balance, you’re ready to cash them in for some sweet travel! Different credit card companies will have different methods for redeeming your rewards, here are some examples from some of the companies I’ve had experience with:
Take a trip by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own a Chase cards, you can redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. In it, you’ll have access to virtually every airline, and you can use a combination of points and cash to pay for your trip. You can even book entirely with points if you’ve the balance for it! Sometimes even if you don’t possess enough points for the full price, you can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with the credit card of your choice.
Are you fed up of paying full price for your flight tickets? Did you know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option of paying using dollars or points? But, be careful that if you do not have enough points you cannot combine points and dollars for one flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re just a few point short 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. Additionally, their booking process is like United’s that allows customers to book using either JetBlue either dollars or points however, not both. The difference is that JetBlue has a unique feature that allows you to combine your points with your family members and earn points twice as fast. Just make sure you can verify that you are a family member before trying to hack into the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re like me or my travel buddy Becca, you’re probably pretty frugal and it can be daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to hit the required amount to qualify for a 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 big one! If you’re able to pay your rent with a credit card, do it! Just be prepared to be charged a fee, typically around 3 percent. It might be worth it in the end in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another great way to hit the spending limit is to cover a medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses in the near future Ask your relatives if you could pay their medical bills and they can pay you back.
Repay a loan
If you’re a borrower, consider making payments on them with the credit card you have. Just make sure you pay off the credit card balance completely so that you don’t accrue additional debt.
Ask family for help
Talk to your family and see if they have any big expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to 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 your credit card. This way you can reach the minimum spending requirement and be ready for gift giving. Be sure to avoid paying more than you contemplating to.
There are many ways to get the most of the travel credit card. accrue points or miles to spend on airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few more suggestions for maximising the rewards you earn:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, use you travel credit card to book your flight, hotel, rental car, and any other travel expenses. Not only will you be able to meet the minimum amount of spending required for your credit card reward, but you’ll also be earning points or miles to cover the costs.
Utilize your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday expenditures
Another method to reach the minimum spending requirement to earn rewards is by making use of your credit card to pay every day costs. This can include items like groceries, gas and even your telephone bill. Just make sure to pay off the balance in full every month to ensure you don’t accrue interest charges.
Benefit from bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer bonus points or miles on certain kinds of purchases, including dining or travel. Make sure you review your rewards program on your credit card and make use of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending routines.
Take into consideration a balance transfer
If you’re in the middle of a outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, think about transferring that balance to an account with a travel credit card that has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will let you pay off your debt without accruing interest. It will also assist you in reaching the minimum spending requirement for the credit card bonus.
Use your points or miles carefully
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of points or miles make sure you use the points or miles wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and then compare the benefits of different redemption options. For example using your points to purchase a flight directly with the airline could give you a better value than using them for a gift card.
Another tip is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer rewards to different loyalty program. This will let you get a wider selection of choices and more freedom when it comes to redeeming your rewards. For example, you may be capable of transferring your reward to an airline’s frequent flyer program or a hotel rewards program. This can give the benefit of a larger range of flights, hotels, and other travel perks which are not offered through the rewards program of your credit card.
Additionally, try to discover the card’s benefits. certain benefits that will help you save money on travel costs. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection, and other benefits that can be invaluable when you travel.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a companion each of you will be able to earn rewards with your own credit card. Just remember that you can’t split the cost on the same card and make sure you keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
Overall, the key to making the most of your travel rewards is to know the rewards program of your credit card and to ensure you’re using this program in the most effective method. Utilizing an array of methods I’ve described in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards fast, exchange them for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad assortment of travel-related perks.