Are you fed up of spending a fortune on airfare? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting method to convert welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles that can then be used to get discounted or even cheap flights from your desired destinations. With a little creativity and some insider knowledge, you can be jet-setting for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can then be used to purchase discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards let you redeem miles for hotel stays and car rental deals.
How Does it Work?
The key to successful travel hacking is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and establishing frequent flyer miles with a limited number of airlines. When it comes time to book a flight take a look at the price. If the price is under $300, it’s usually better to pay in cash and use your miles to pay to book a higher-priced flight. If the prices start to rise over $500, you’ll need to review the frequent flyer account to see which airline can give you the best price. It all comes down to the amount of points or miles you have in your travel savings account for every airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to hacking travel? The first step is to open a credit card that comes with a welcome bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards with various benefits and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, spending habits and the features that are most crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit card options that can be perfect 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 limit of spending minimum in order to get the bonus. Each card has its own guidelines, so make sure to look up the details. From there, it’s all about racking up miles and using them to plan your dream vacation!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your points?
After you’ve accrued your points balance, you’re ready to redeem them for some delicious travel! Different credit card companies will offer different ways to redeem your points. Here are some examples from a few of the ones I have experience with:
Getaway by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of a Chase card, you are able to use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within the portal, you’ll have access to nearly every airline, and you can make use of a combination of the points as well as cash in order to book your next trip. You can book your flight entirely on points if you have enough balance! Sometimes, even if you don’t have enough points to cover the entire cost, you still can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with the credit card of your choice.
Are you tired of paying full price for your flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option to pay with dollars or points? But, be careful in case you don’t have enough points, you can’t combine dollars and points on one flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re a few points short, United also offers the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience with extra space and complimentary snacks. Plus, their booking process is like United’s, allowing passengers to book flights using JetBlue dollar or points however, not both. But, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that allows you to pool your points together with family members to accrue points twice as fast. Just make sure you can prove you’re really family before trying to hack into the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re anything like me and my travel companion Becca, you’re probably pretty thrifty and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to hit the minimum spend for credit card bonuses. But don’t fret, we’ve been through it and are here to share some of our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able pay your rent using credit card, go for it! Make sure you pay a cost, which is usually at least 3 percent. It may be worth it over the long term in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another excellent way to meet the required spending is to pay for an medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses in the near future, ask your relatives if you could pay for theirs and they’ll repay you.
Make a payment to pay off a loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan take into consideration paying them off with an credit card. Just make sure you pay off the balance on your credit card in full , so that you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Discuss your family with them and see if they have any major expenses in the near future which you could help pay 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 doing it.
If you’re celebrating the holidays you should consider purchasing all your gifts using cards from your credit account. So you’ll be able to meet the minimum spending limit and also be prepared for giving gifts. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you already planning to.
There are plenty of ways to get the most out of your travel credit card and accumulate miles or points that you can spend on flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few additional ideas for maximizing your rewards
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, make use of the travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel, rental car, and other travel costs. Not only will you be able to meet the required amount to earn your credit card bonus, however, you’ll also earn points or miles to cover those expenses.
Utilize your credit card to pay for everyday expenses
Another way to meet the minimum amount of spending to earn rewards is by utilising your credit cards for every day costs. This could include items like groceries, gas and even your telephone bill. Make sure you pay the balance off in full each month so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or points in exchange for specific types of purchases, such as dining or travel. Make sure you review the rewards program of your credit card and take advantage of any bonus categories that match with your spending routines.
Consider a balance transfer
If you have existing debt on a credit card, you might want to transfer 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 the 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
If you’ve amassed a large amount of points or miles Make sure to utilize them wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card, and evaluate the worth of various redemption options. For example you can use points to book a flight directly with the airline might provide you with a greater value than using them for a gift card.
Another option is to get an rewards card that permits you to transfer your 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 eligible to transfer your reward to the frequent flyer program of an airline or Hotel rewards programme. This gives you access to a greater range of flights, hotels, and other travel perks that may not be accessible through the rewards program on your credit card.
In addition, you should discover if your credit card offers certain benefits that will save you money on travel-related costs. Some cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection and other benefits that can be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a friend and both of you get rewards on your credit card. Be aware that you cannot divide the cost with the same card and make sure you keep track of your rewards separately.
The key to reaping the maximum benefits from your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program of your credit card and make sure you’re using this program in the most efficient method possible. Through an array of strategies I’ve outlined in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards fast, exchange them for travel experiences that are worth it, and enjoy a wide variety of travel benefits.