Are you fed up of spending a fortune on airfare? Well, good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting method to convert welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles, which you can use to obtain discounted or complimentary flights for your ideal destinations. With a little creativity and some insider information, you’ll fly for no cost in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. The miles can be used to buy discount or no-cost flights. Some credit cards also allow you to redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or rental car offers.
How Does it Work?
The key to successful hacking travel is taking advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and to establish frequent flyer miles for a specific group of airlines. When it’s time to make a booking consider the cost. If the cost is less than $300, it’s usually better to pay in cash and use your miles to pay for a more expensive flight. If the prices start to rise higher than $500, it’s best to check your frequent flyer accounts to see which airline can give you the best deal. It all comes down to the amount of points or miles in your travel account for every airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets of travel hacking? Your first task is opening the credit card that comes with a sign-up offer. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards with many features and benefits. It all depends on your preferred airline, spending habits and what features are essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards excellent to use for hacking 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 minimum spend limit in order to qualify for the bonus. Each card has its own guidelines, so make sure to check for the details. From there you can begin to rack up miles and using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your points?
Now that you’ve built up your points balance, it’s time to use them towards sweet vacation! Different credit card providers will offer different ways to redeem your rewards, here are some examples from a few of the providers I’ve had experience with:
Take a trip through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you’re a holder of an Chase credit card, then you are able to use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through it, you’ll get access to nearly every airline and you can combine money and points to pay for your travel. You can even book completely with points if you’ve enough balance! Sometimes even if you don’t possess enough points for the full price, you can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using any credit card.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for your flight tickets? Did you know that when you book directly through United, you have the option of paying using dollars or points? But, be careful in case you do not have enough points you cannot combine points and dollars for flights. If you’re only a couple of point short United provides the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers a comfortable and enjoyable travel experience that includes extra legroom and free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to United’s which allows you to book with either JetBlue dollar or points however, not both. But, JetBlue has a unique feature that lets you combine your points with family members to accrue points twice as fast. Make sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me or my travel companion Becca I’m sure you’re pretty economical and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum spend for a credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried, we’ve been through it and are here to share our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able to pay your rent using a credit card, do it! Just be prepared to pay a fee, usually around 3 percent. It might be worth it in the long run if the bonus is high enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another way to reach the minimum spend is to pay for a medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills coming up Ask your relatives if you could pay them for theirs, and they will reimburse you.
Repay the loan
If you have any loans you owe, think about paying them off with the credit card you have. Make sure to pay the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t accrue additional debt.
Ask family for help
Ask your family members to determine if they’ve got any major expenses in the near future 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 are aware of the reason for doing this.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season you should consider purchasing all your gifts with the credit card you have. In this way, you’ll hit that minimum spend and be ready for giving gifts. Be sure to avoid spending more than you were thinking of.
There are many methods to get the most out of the travel credit card. You can earn miles or points to be used towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few additional ideas for maximizing your rewards:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, use you travel credit card to pay for your hotel, flight, rental car, and any other travel expenses. Not only will you be able to meet the minimum spend to earn your credit card and earn points, however, you’ll also earn points or miles for these expenditures.
Utilize your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday costs
Another method to reach the minimum amount of spending and earn points is utilising your credit cards to pay every day costs. This can include things like gas, groceries and even your telephone bill. Just make sure to pay the balance off each month in full so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or bonus points for certain types of purchases, such as eating out or travelling. Be sure to review your credit card’s rewards program and make use of any bonus categories that align with your spending routines.
Take into consideration the possibility of transferring your balance
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a high-interest 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 enable you to pay off your debts without accruing interest and simultaneously help you hit the minimum spending requirement for the credit card’s bonus.
Utilize your miles and points wisely
If you’ve amassed a large amount of points or miles make sure you use them in a responsible manner. Examine the rewards program of your credit card, and evaluate the value of different redemption options. For example using your points to book a ticket 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 have a wider range of choices and more flexibility in redeeming your rewards. For example, you may be able to transfer your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a reward program for hotels. This will give you access to a larger variety of hotels, flights, and other travel perks that aren’t available through the rewards program on your credit card.
Additionally, try to find out the card’s benefits. certain benefits that will help you save money on travel costs. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that are extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a friend each of you will be able to earn rewards using your credit card. Make sure you don’t divide the cost with the same card, and be sure to keep track of your rewards separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do to making the most of your travel rewards is to know the rewards program on your credit card and to ensure you’re using it in the most effective method. Through a combination of the strategies I’ve listed that you can earn rewards fast, exchange rewards for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad variety of travel benefits.