Are you tired of spending an enormous amount on flights? Well, good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s a fun way to convert credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles, which you can use to obtain discounted or complimentary flights for your dream destinations. With a little imagination and some know-how, you’ll be jet-setting for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can then be used to pay for cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards will also permit you to use miles towards hotel stays or car rental offers.
How Does it Work?
The key to success in travel hacking is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and establishing frequent flyer miles for a specific group of airlines. When you are ready to book a flight consider the cost. If the cost is less than $300, it’s generally better to pay cash and save your miles to take a more costly flight. When the flights start getting higher than $500, it’s best to look into the frequent flyer account and see which airline can give you the best deal. All it boils down to is the number of points or miles in your travel bank for every airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to travel hacking? Your first task is to open a credit card that comes with a welcome bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that offer various benefits and features. It depends on the type of airline, spending habits and what features are important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards excellent 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 minimum spend limit in order to receive the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so be sure to look up the details. From there, it’s all about racking up miles, and using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your points?
Once you’ve accumulated your points balance, you’re ready to cash them in for some nice travel! Different credit card providers will have different methods for redeeming your rewards, here are some examples from some of the ones I have experience with:
Escape with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of a Chase cards, you are able to redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within the portal, you’ll have access to nearly every airline and you can use a combination of the points as well as cash in order to book your travel. You can even book entirely using points if you’ve got the balance for it! Sometimes even if you don’t have enough points to cover the total cost, you still can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using the credit card of your choice.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United You have the option of paying using either points or dollars? Be careful, if you don’t have enough points, you cannot combine dollars and points for one flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re just a few points away, United gives you the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides a comfortable and enjoyable travel experience that includes extra legroom as well as free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to that of United Airlines, allowing passengers to book flights using JetBlue points or dollars, but not both. The difference is that JetBlue offers a distinct feature where you can pool your points together with your family members and earn points twice as fast. Make sure to establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack into the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
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 in order to meet the minimum amount required to earn credit card bonuses. However, don’t be worried because we’ve been there and we’re here to share some of our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able pay your rent with credit card, then do it! Be prepared to pay a fee, usually around 3%. It could be worthwhile in the long run when the bonus is large enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the required spending is to cover an medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills coming up Ask your family members to pay them for theirs, and they’ll repay you.
Pay off a loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan take into consideration paying them off with the credit card you have. Just make sure you pay off the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Ask your family members to determine if they’ve got any big expenses coming up which you could help pay for. Just make sure you trust the person and they understand why you’re 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. So you’ll be able to meet the minimum spending limit and be ready to give gifts. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you were planning to.
There are plenty of ways to make the most out of using your credit or debit card for travel. You can accumulate miles or points that you can use towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are some additional suggestions for maximising your rewards
Book travel expenses with your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, make use of the travel credit card for booking your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as other travel costs. You’ll not only be able to meet the minimum spend to qualify for a credit card reward and earn points, but you’ll also earn points or miles for these expenses.
Make use of your credit card to pay for everyday expenditures
Another method to reach the minimum spend and earn points is by using your credit card to pay everyday expenditures. This can include things like gas, groceries and even your telephone bill. Make sure you pay off the balance in full each month so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Benefit from bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or points in exchange on certain kinds of purchases, such as eating out or traveling. Make sure you review your rewards program on your credit card and make use of any bonus categories that match with your spending habits.
Take into consideration a balance transfer
If you are currently in debt on a credit card, consider transferring that balance to an account with a travel credit card that has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfers. This will let you pay off the debt without accruing interest, and also help you hit the minimum amount required to earn the credit card’s bonus.
Use your points or miles carefully
When you’ve earned a significant amount of points or miles make sure you use them wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card, and evaluate the worth of various redemption options. For instance using your points to book a ticket directly with the airline might give you a better value than using them to purchase an gift card.
Another suggestion is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer your rewards to different loyalty program. This will let you have a wider range of choices and more freedom when it comes to making use of your rewards. For example, you may be able to transfer your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or Hotel rewards programme. This will give you access to a larger range of flights, hotels, and other travel perks which are not accessible through your credit card’s rewards program.
Also, find out if your credit card offers any perks that can help you save money on travel costs. Many cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that could be very beneficial when traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with someone else each of you will be able to earn rewards using your credit card. Make sure you don’t share the costs on the same card, and be sure you keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do to reaping the maximum benefits from your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program on your credit card and make sure you’re using this program in the most efficient way possible. Through all of the strategies I’ve listed, you’ll be able to get rewards in a short time, use them for travel experiences that are worth it and take advantage of a broad range of travel perks.