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 a fun way to convert welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles, which you can use to obtain discounted or complimentary flights for your desired destinations. With a little bit of creativity and some insider knowledge, you can travel for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about trading credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can then be used to pay for discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards will also allow you to redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or car rental offers.
How Does it Work?
The key to success in travel hacking is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and building out a frequent flyer mile program on a select group of airlines. When it’s time to make a booking, evaluate the cost. If the price is under $300, it’s best to pay in cash and use your miles to pay to take a more costly flight. If the prices start to rise over $500, you’ll need to review your frequent flyer accounts and find out which airline will give you the most value. It all comes down to the number of miles or points you have in your travel savings account for each airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets of travel hacking? The first step is to open an account with a sign-up offer. There are plenty of great credit cards that provide a variety of benefits and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, your habits with spending and what features are essential 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
If you’ve been approved for a credit or debit card, you’ll have to meet the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to get the bonus. Every card has different rules, so make sure to look up the details. Then you can begin to rack miles and using them to book your dream trip!
Ready to jet-set with your points?
Once you’ve accumulated your points amount, it’s time to redeem them for some sweet vacation! Different credit card companies will have different methods for redeeming your points. Here are some examples from a few of the companies I have experience with:
Getaway with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of an Chase card, you are able to redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within it, you’ll get access to nearly every airline, and you can combine the points as well as cash in order to pay for your travel. 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 entire price, you can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using any credit card.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for your flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United You have the option of paying using dollars or points? Be careful, if you do not have enough points you cannot combine dollars and points for the same flight. No worries though, if you’re a few point short United also offers the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience , with more space and complimentary snacks. Plus, their booking process is like United’s that allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue points or dollars but not both. However, JetBlue offers a distinct feature that allows you to combine your points with family members to accrue points twice as fast. Be sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack into the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me and 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 amount required to earn credit card bonuses. Don’t worry because we’ve been there and are here to share our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able pay your rent using credit card, go for it! Be prepared to be charged a fee, typically about 3 percent. It could be worthwhile over the long term in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another way to reach the spending limit is to cover an medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills in the near future then ask your relatives if you could pay for theirs and they will repay you.
Pay off a loan
If you’re a borrower, consider repaying them using the credit card you have. Just make sure you pay off the balance on your credit card in full , so that you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Ask your family members to look into any major expenses in the near future that you can help pay for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to are able to trust the person and that they are aware of the reason for taking the initiative.
If you’re celebrating the holidays you should consider purchasing all of your gifts with your credit card. This way you can reach the minimum spending requirement and also be ready to give gifts. Be sure to avoid spending more than you were thinking of.
There are plenty of ways to get the most out of the 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
Make travel reservations using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, use you travel credit card for booking your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as any other travel expenses. Not only will you be able to meet the minimum amount of spending required for your credit card bonus as well, but you’ll also earn points or miles for those expenditures.
Utilize your credit card to pay for all your daily expenditures
Another way to meet the minimum spending requirement and earn points is by using your credit card for every day expenditures. This could be items like groceries, gas and even your telephone bill. Make sure you pay off the balance in full each month so you don’t pay interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer bonus points or miles for specific types of purchases, such as dining or travel. Be sure to review your credit card’s rewards program and make use of any bonus categories that match with your spending routines.
Consider a balance transfer
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a credit card, think about transferring that balance onto a travel credit card with the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfer. This will enable you to pay off your debt without accruing interest, and also assist you in reaching the minimum spending requirement for the credit card bonus.
Utilize your miles and points wisely
When you’ve earned a significant amount of miles or points make sure you use them in a responsible manner. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and then compare the value of different redemption options. For instance, using your points to purchase a flight directly with the airline could provide you with a greater value than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer rewards to different loyalty program. This will allow you to have a wider range of choices and more flexibility in redeeming your rewards. For instance, you might be able to transfer your reward to the frequent flyer program of an airline or Hotel rewards programme. This will give you access to a larger range of flights, hotels, and other travel perks that aren’t offered through the rewards program of your credit card.
In addition, you should find out whether your credit card has some perks that could help you save money on travel costs. Some cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that could be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a companion each of you will be able to get rewards on your own credit card. Just remember that you can’t share the costs on the same card, and be sure you keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
The key to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to understand your credit card’s rewards program and make sure you’re using it in the most efficient method. Utilizing all of the strategies I’ve outlined in this article, you’ll be able get rewards in a short time, use rewards for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide variety of travel benefits.