Are you tired of paying an enormous amount on flights? Good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s a fun way to convert sign-up bonuses and incentives into miles which can be used to get discounted or even complimentary flights for your ideal destinations. With a little bit of imagination and a little bit of insider knowledge, you can be jet-setting for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about trading credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. These miles can later be used to buy discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards permit you to use miles to pay for hotel stays or car rental offers.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for successful travel hacking is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and building out a frequent flyer mile program with a limited number of airlines. When it’s time to make a booking, evaluate the cost. If the cost is under $300, it’s best to pay in cash and use your miles to pay to take a more costly flight. When the flights start getting over $500, you’ll need to review those frequent flyer accounts to find out which airline will give you the best deal. It all boils down to the number of miles or points in your travel bank for every airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to travel hacking? Your first task is opening an account with a sign-up offer. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that provide various advantages and features. It depends on the type of airline, your habits with spending and the features that are most crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards that are perfect to use for hacking travel:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
After you’ve been accepted for a credit card you’ll need to hit the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to qualify for the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so be certain to verify the details. From there you can begin to rack miles and using them to plan your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your points?
Once you’ve accumulated the points balance, it’s time to use them towards delicious vacation! Different credit card companies will have different methods of redeeming your rewards, here are a few examples from some of the ones I’ve worked with:
Escape through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you’re a holder of a Chase cards, you are able to use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In the portal, you’ll get access to almost every airline and you can combine the points as well as cash in order to book your travel. You can book your flight entirely on points if you have the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you don’t have enough points to cover the total cost, you still can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using every credit card.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for your flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United you can choose the option of paying with either points or dollars? Butbe aware that if you don’t have enough points you can’t combine points and dollars for one flight. If you’re just a few point short United gives you the option to purchase additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience with extra legroom and free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to United’s, allowing you to book with either JetBlue either dollars or points, however, not both. However, JetBlue offers a distinct feature that allows you to combine your points with family members to accrue points twice as quickly. Make sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack into the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel companion Becca I’m sure you’re pretty thrifty and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to hit the required amount to qualify for the credit card bonus. Don’t worry because we’ve been there and are here to share some of our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able to pay your rent with credit card, then do it! Make sure you pay a fee, usually about 3%. It could be worthwhile in the long run if the bonus is high enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another great way to hit the minimum spend is to pay for a medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses in the near future Ask your relatives if you could pay them for theirs, and they can pay you back.
Repay a loan
If you have any loans you owe, think about repaying them using your credit card. Make sure to pay off the balance on your credit card in full so you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask family for help
Ask your family members to 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 know why you’re doing it.
If you’re celebrating the holidays take into consideration buying all of your gifts with the credit card you have. So you’ll be able to hit that minimum spend and be ready for giving gifts. Make sure that you’re not paying more than you already thinking of.
There are plenty of ways to make the most of the travel credit card and accrue points or miles to spend on the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few additional ideas for maximizing your rewards:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, use your travel credit card to book your hotel, flight, rental car, and other travel costs. Not only will you be able to meet the minimum amount of spending required to qualify for a credit card reward and earn points, however, you’ll also earn points or miles to cover the expenses.
Use your credit card for all your daily costs
Another method to reach the minimum spend to earn rewards is by making use of your credit card for daily costs. This could be items like groceries, gas or even your phone bill. Be sure to pay the balance off in full every month to ensure you don’t pay interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide bonus points or miles on certain kinds of purchases, like eating out or traveling. Be sure to review your rewards program on your credit card and avail the bonus categories that are in line with your spending routines.
Consider a balance transfer
If you have existing debt on a high-interest credit card, consider transferring the balance to a travel credit card with an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfers. This will enable you to pay off your debt without accruing interest, and also help you hit the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus.
Make use of your miles or points prudently
When you’ve earned a significant amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize the points or miles wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card, and evaluate the value of different redemption options. For instance using your points to book a ticket directly with the airline could provide you with a greater value than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another option is to get an rewards card that permits you to transfer rewards to different loyalty program. This will allow you to have a wider range of options and greater freedom when it comes to redeeming your rewards. For instance, you might be eligible to transfer your reward to the frequent flyer program of an airline or Hotel rewards programme. This gives you access to a wider range of flights, hotels, and other travel perks that aren’t offered through your credit card’s rewards program.
In addition, you should find out the card’s benefits. certain benefits that will save you money on travel-related costs. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that can be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
If you’re traveling with someone else, both of you can earn rewards with your own credit card. Make sure you don’t split the cost on the same card, and be sure to track the rewards you earn separately.
The key to maximizing your travel rewards is to know your credit card’s rewards program and ensure that you’re making use of this program in the most effective way possible. By using an array of strategies I’ve listed in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards quickly, redeem rewards for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide assortment of travel-related perks.