Are you tired of paying an enormous amount on flights? 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 miles which you can use to obtain discounted or complimentary flights for your ideal destinations. With a bit of creativity and some 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 trading credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. These miles can then be used to pay for discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards allow you to redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or car rental discounts.
How Does it Work?
The key to success in hacking travel is taking advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and to establish frequent flyer miles with a limited number of airlines. When it’s time to make a booking take a look at the price. If the flight is less than $300, it’s usually better to pay in cash and use your miles to pay to take a more costly flight. When the flights start getting higher than $500, it’s best to look into your frequent flyer accounts to see which airline can give you the best price. It all comes down to the amount of miles or points in your travel bank for each airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets of travel hacking? First step opening the credit card that comes that comes with a welcome bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that provide various benefits and features. It is all dependent on the airline, your habits with spending and what features are essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards that are 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 need to reach the minimum spend limit in order to qualify for the bonus. Every card has different 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 trip!
Are you ready to set sail with your points?
Now that you’ve built up the points balance, you’re ready to cash them in for some sweet getaway! Different credit card companies offer different ways to redeem your rewards, here are some examples from a few of the providers I have experience with:
Escape by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have a Chase cards, you can redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. In the portal, you’ll have access to almost every airline, and you can use a combination of money and points to book your next trip. You can even book entirely on points if you have enough balance! Sometimes even if you don’t have enough points to cover the full cost, you still can buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using any credit card.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for your flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United, you have the option of paying using dollars or points? But, be careful that if you don’t have enough points, you can’t combine dollars and points on one flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re only a couple of point short United gives you the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue provides passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience , with more space and complimentary snacks. Additionally, their booking process is like United’s which allows you to book with either JetBlue points or dollars but not both. But, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature where you can combine your points with your relatives to earn points twice as quickly. Be sure to establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack into the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re like me and my travel buddy Becca You’re probably quite thrifty and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to hit the minimum amount required to earn credit card bonuses. Don’t worry, we’ve been through 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 with credit card, then do it! Be prepared to be charged a fee, typically at least 3%. It might be worth it in the end in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another way to reach the required spending is to pay for a medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses in the near future then ask your relatives if you could pay for theirs and they can repay you.
Repay the loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan you owe, think about making payments on them with an credit card. Just make sure you pay off the balance on your credit card in full , so that you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Ask your family members to determine if they’ve got any big expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to trust the person and they understand why you’re doing it.
If it’s the holiday season, consider buying all your gifts using cards from your credit account. In this way, you’ll reach the minimum spending requirement and be ready for gift giving. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you were already thinking of.
There are a lot of ways to get the most out of using your credit or debit card for travel. earn miles or points to spend on airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few additional ways to maximize your rewards:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, make use of you travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel, rental car, and any other travel-related expenses. In addition, you’ll be able to hit the minimum amount of spending required to earn your credit card, but you’ll also earn points or miles to cover those expenses.
Make use of your credit card to pay for everyday expenses
Another way to hit the minimum spending requirement and earn points is by utilising your credit cards for every day costs. This could be items like groceries, gas, and even your phone bill. Be sure to pay the balance off in full every month to ensure you don’t accumulate interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or bonus points for specific types of purchases, like eating out or travelling. Check out your rewards program on your credit card and avail any bonus categories that align with your spending routines.
Consider a balance transfer
If you have existing debt on a high-interest credit card, consider transferring the balance to an account with a travel credit card that has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfer. This will allow you to pay off the debt without accruing interest, and also assist you in reaching the minimum amount required to earn the credit card’s bonus.
Make use of your miles or points carefully
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of points or miles Make sure to utilize the points or miles wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and then compare the value of different redemption options. For instance using points to purchase a flight directly with the airline might give you a better value than using them for an gift card.
Another suggestion is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer your points to other loyalty programs. This will allow you to get a wider selection of options and greater flexibility in making use of your rewards. For instance, you might be capable of transferring your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or reward program for hotels. This will give you access to a wider range of flights, hotels, and other travel perks that aren’t offered through the rewards program on your credit card.
Also, find out if your credit card offers any perks that can help you save money on travel costs. Some cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that could be very beneficial when traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a companion and both of you earn rewards using your own credit card. Make sure you don’t divide the cost with the same card and make sure to track the rewards you earn separately.
Overall, the key to making the most of your travel rewards is to know your credit card’s rewards program and ensure that you’re using your credit card in the most efficient way possible. By using all of the strategies I’ve outlined that you can earn rewards quickly, redeem them for travel experiences that are worth it and benefit from a wide assortment of travel-related perks.