Are you tired of spending a fortune on airfare? Good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting way to convert sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles which can be used to score discounted or cheap flights from your dream destinations. With a little imagination and a little bit of insider know-how, you’ll be jet-setting for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about swapping credit card sign-up bonus and incentives for airline miles. These miles can later be used to pay for discounted or even free flights. Some credit cards also permit you to use miles towards hotel stays or rental car discounts.
How Does it Work?
The secret to success in travel hacking is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and establishing a frequent flyer mile program with a limited number of airlines. When it comes time to make a booking consider the cost. If the cost is under $300, it’s usually better to pay in cash and use your miles to pay for a more expensive flight. When the flights start getting above $500, you’ll want to check your frequent flyer accounts to see which airline can give you the most value. It all boils down to the amount of points or miles in your travel account for each airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets of travel hacking? First step opening an account with a sign-up offer. There are plenty of great credit cards with many benefits and features. It is all dependent on the airline, spending habits and what features are essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some 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 have to meet the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to get the bonus. Each card has its own guidelines, so make certain to verify 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 ideas?
Once you’ve accumulated your points amount, it’s time to use them towards delicious travel! Different credit card companies will have different methods for redeeming your points. Here are some examples from a few of the ones I’ve worked with:
Take a trip with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have a Chase cards, you are able to redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. In this portal you’ll get access to nearly every airline. You can combine the points as well as cash in order to pay for your next trip. You can even book entirely using points if you’ve got the balance for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t possess enough points for the entire cost, you are able to book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using every credit card.
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 with either points or dollars? Butbe aware, if you don’t have enough points you can’t combine dollars and points on flights. No worries though, if you’re only a couple of points away, United provides the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides an enjoyable and comfortable travel experience that includes extra legroom as well as free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is like United’s which allows customers to book using either JetBlue either dollars or points, but not both. However, JetBlue has a unique feature where you can pool your points together with your family members and earn points twice as fast. Make sure to 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 I’m sure you’re pretty economical and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the required amount to qualify for a credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried as we’ve done 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 your rent using credit card, go for it! Make sure you be charged a fee, typically about 3 percent. It might be worth it over the long term when the bonus is large enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the required spending is to pay for the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills due then ask your family members to pay them for theirs, and they will reimburse you.
Pay off a loan
If you have any loans, consider paying them off with the credit card you have. Be sure to pay the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Talk to your family and look into 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 understand why you’re taking the initiative.
If you’re celebrating the holidays, consider buying all of your gifts with cards from your credit account. This way you can hit that minimum spend and also be prepared for gift giving. Be sure to avoid spending more than you already planning to.
There are plenty of ways to make the most out of your travel credit card and accrue points or miles to spend on flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few additional suggestions for maximising your rewards
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, use the travel credit card for booking your flight, hotel, rental car, and other travel costs. You’ll not only achieve the minimum spend to qualify for a credit card bonus, but you’ll also earn points or miles on these costs.
Utilize your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday expenditures
Another way to meet the minimum spending requirement and earn points is by utilising your credit cards to pay everyday expenditures. This could be things like gas, groceries or even your phone bill. Make sure you pay off the balance in full every month to ensure you don’t pay interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or bonus points on certain kinds of purchases, like dining or travel. Check out your credit card’s rewards program and make use of any bonus categories that align with your spending routines.
Take into consideration a balance transfer
If you have existing outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, consider transferring the balance to a travel credit card with the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfer. This will enable you to pay off your debts without accruing interest, and also assist you in reaching the minimum spend for the credit card bonus.
Make use of your miles or points carefully
When you’ve earned a significant amount of miles or points make sure you use them in a responsible manner. Review the rewards program for your credit card and compare the value of different redemption options. For example, using points to book a flight directly through the airline may provide you with a greater value than using them for a gift card.
Another tip is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer your rewards to different loyalty program. This will allow you to have a wider range of options and greater flexibility when redeeming your rewards. For instance, you might be able to transfer your rewards to an airline’s frequent flyer program or Hotel rewards programme. This can give an access larger selection of hotels, flights, and other travel perks which are not accessible through the rewards program on your credit card.
Also, discover the card’s benefits. any perks that can reduce your travel costs. Some cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection and other benefits that can be very beneficial when traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with someone else each of you will be able to earn rewards with your credit card. Just remember that you can’t share the costs on the same card and make sure to keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
Overall, the key to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to know the rewards program on your credit card and ensure that you’re making use of this program in the most effective method. Utilizing a combination of the strategies I’ve outlined, you’ll be able to earn rewards quickly, redeem them for travel experiences that are worth it and take advantage of a broad range of travel perks.