Are you tired of paying a fortune on airfare? Well, good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting way to convert sign-up bonuses and incentives into miles which you can use to get discounted or even complimentary flights for your desired destinations. With a little bit of imagination and a little bit of insider know-how, you’ll travel for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. The miles can be used to purchase cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards will also permit you to use miles to pay for hotel stays or car rental deals.
How Does it Work?
The key to successful hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and to establish a frequent flyer mile program for a specific group of airlines. When it comes time to make a booking take a look at the price. If the price is less than $300, it’s usually better to pay in cash and save your miles to book a higher-priced flight. When the flights start getting over $500, you’ll need to review the frequent flyer account to determine which airline offers you the best deal. All it boils down to is the amount of miles or points in your travel account for every airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets of travel hacking? Your first task is to open an account that comes with a welcome bonus. There are many great credit cards with various features and benefits. It is all dependent on the airline, your spending habits, and the features that are most crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards perfect to hack travel
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
Once you’ve been approved for a credit card, you’ll need to reach the limit of spending minimum in order to receive the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so be certain to verify the details. From there you can begin to rack up miles, and then using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to set sail with your goals?
Now that you’ve built up the points amount, it’s time to cash them in for some nice travel! Different credit card companies will have different methods for redeeming your points, but here are some examples from a few of the providers I’ve worked with:
Take a trip with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have a Chase credit card, then you can redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within this portal you’ll get access to nearly every airline, and you can make use of a combination of points and cash to book your next trip. You can book your flight entirely using points if you’ve got the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you do not be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for entire cost, you are able to purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with any credit card.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United you can choose the option to pay with either points or dollars? Butbe aware, if you don’t have enough points, you cannot combine points and dollars for one flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re just a few points short, United provides the option of buying additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience with extra legroom and free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines that allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue dollar or points however, not both. The difference is that JetBlue has a unique feature where you can join your points with your relatives to earn points twice as fast. Just make sure you can verify that you are a family member before trying to hack the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel companion Becca You’re probably quite thrifty and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to reach the minimum spend for the credit card bonus. But don’t fret, we’ve been through 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 pay your rent with credit card, then do it! Be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually about 3%. It could be worthwhile in the end if the bonus is high enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another great way to hit the required spending is to cover an medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills coming up, ask your relatives if you could pay their medical bills and they’ll repay you.
Make a payment to pay off the loan
If you have any loans, consider paying them off with an credit card. Make sure to pay the credit card balance completely so that you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask family for help
Discuss your family with them and see if they have any major expenses in the near future that you can contribute for. Just make sure you trust the person and they are aware of the reason for doing this.
If you’re celebrating the holidays take into consideration buying all your gifts using your credit card. In this way, you’ll hit that minimum spend and also be ready for gift giving. Make sure that you’re not paying more than you already thinking of.
There are a lot of ways to get the most from the travel credit card and accumulate miles or points that you can use towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few more ideas for maximizing your rewards
Make travel reservations using your credit card
When you’re planning your next vacation, make use of you travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as any other travel-related expenses. Not only will you be able to hit the required amount for your credit card as well, but you’ll also be earning points or miles for the costs.
Utilize your credit card to pay for everyday costs
Another way to hit the minimum spending requirement in order to accumulate points utilising your credit cards to pay daily costs. This could be things like food, gas or even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay the balance off in full every month to ensure you don’t accumulate interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer bonus points or miles for certain types of purchases, including eating out or traveling. Make sure you review your rewards program on your credit card and avail any bonus categories that match with your spending habits.
Take into consideration the possibility of transferring your balance
If you have existing debt on a credit card, consider transferring that balance to an account with a travel credit card that has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfers. This will allow you to pay off your debts without accruing interest. It will also aid in achieving the minimum spend for the credit card bonus.
Utilize your miles and points carefully
If you’ve amassed a large amount of points or miles, be sure to use them wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card, and evaluate the worth of various redemption options. For example using points to book a flight directly through the airline may give you a better value than using them for a gift card.
Another option is to get a rewards card that allows you to transfer your points to other loyalty programs. This will allow you to enjoy a greater variety of options and greater flexibility in making use of your rewards. For instance, you might be able to transfer your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or hotel rewards program. This will give you access to a wider range of flights, hotels as well as other travel perks that aren’t accessible through your credit card’s rewards program.
Additionally, try to find out if your credit card offers any perks that can reduce your travel costs. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that are very beneficial when traveling.
If you’re traveling with a friend each of you will be able to earn rewards using your own credit card. Just remember that you can’t divide the cost with the same card and make sure to keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
The key to making the most of your travel rewards is to understand your credit card’s rewards program and to ensure you’re making use of this program in the most effective method possible. By using an array of methods I’ve described in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards quickly, redeem them for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad assortment of travel-related perks.