Are you fed up of spending an enormous amount on flights? Well, good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting method to convert sign-up bonuses and incentives into miles which can be used to score discounted or cheap flights from your dream destinations. With a bit of creativity and some insider knowledge, you can travel for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about swapping credit card sign-up bonus and rewards for airline miles. These miles can later be used to buy cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards will also allow you to redeem miles towards hotel stays or rental car deals.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for success in hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and establishing a frequent flyer mile program for a specific group of airlines. When it’s time to book a flight take a look at the price. If the price is less than $300, it’s generally better to pay in cash and use your miles to pay to book a higher-priced flight. If your flights begin to climb higher than $500, it’s best to check those frequent flyer accounts and find out which airline will give you the best price. It all comes down to the number of miles or points you have in your travel savings account for every airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to hacking travel? The first step is to open an account that comes with a welcome bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that provide various features and benefits. It all depends on your preferred airline, your habits with spending and the features that are most essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards 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 have to meet the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to qualify for the bonus. Each card has its own guidelines, so make sure to check for the details. Then you can begin to rack up miles and using them to plan your dream vacation!
Ready to jet-set with your ideas?
Now that you’ve built up the points balance, it’s time to cash them in for some delicious getaway! Different credit card providers will have different methods for redeeming your rewards, here are some examples from some of the providers I’ve worked with:
Escape through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you’re a holder of a Chase card, you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In this portal you’ll get access to almost every airline. You can make use of a combination of money and points to pay for your next trip. You can book your flight entirely with points if you’ve enough balance! Sometimes even if you don’t possess enough points for the entire cost, you still can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with every credit card.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option of paying with either points or dollars? But, be careful that if you don’t have enough points, you aren’t able to combine points and dollars for flights. If you’re a few point short United also offers the option to purchase additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers an enjoyable and comfortable travel experience that includes extra legroom as well as free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines that allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue either dollars or points however, not both. The difference is that JetBlue has a unique feature where you can pool your points together with your relatives to earn points twice as fast. Just make sure you can establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re like me and my travel buddy Becca, you’re probably pretty economical and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to hit the minimum spend for a credit card bonus. Don’t worry, we’ve been through it and we’re 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! Just be prepared to pay a fee, usually at least 3 percent. It might be worth it in the end when the bonus is large enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the minimum spend is to pay for an medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills coming up Ask your relatives if you could pay for theirs and they can reimburse you.
Pay off the loan
If you have any loans take into consideration paying them off with your credit card. Make sure to pay off the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t accrue additional debt.
Ask family for help
Talk to your family and see if they have any big expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Just make sure you trust the person and they are aware of the reason for taking the initiative.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season, consider buying all your gifts using your credit card. This way you can reach the minimum spending requirement and also be ready for gift giving. Be sure to avoid spending more than you were contemplating to.
There are a lot of methods to get the most of using your credit or debit card for travel. earn miles or points to be used towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few additional suggestions for maximising the rewards you earn:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, use you travel credit card for booking your hotel, flight, rental car, and any other travel expenses. Not only will you achieve the minimum spend to earn your credit card bonus, but you’ll also be earning points or miles for the expenditures.
Use your credit card to pay for your everyday expenditures
Another way to meet the minimum amount of spending and earn points is utilising your credit cards for every day costs. This could be things like food, gas, and even your phone bill. Be sure to pay the balance off each month in full so you don’t pay interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or points in exchange on certain kinds of purchases, including eating out or travelling. Be sure to review your rewards program on your credit card and make use of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending habits.
Consider a balance transfer
If you have existing debt on a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer that balance onto the travel credit card which has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfers. This will let you pay off the debt without accruing interest and simultaneously help you hit the minimum spending requirement for the credit card bonus.
Use your points or miles prudently
When you’ve earned a significant amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize them in a responsible manner. Review the rewards program for your credit card and compare the value of different redemption options. For example, using your points to book a flight directly with the airline could offer better return than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another tip is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer rewards to different loyalty program. This allows you to get a wider selection of options and greater freedom when it comes to making use of your rewards. For instance, you might be capable of transferring your rewards to the frequent flyer program of an airline or Hotel rewards programme. This will give you access to a wider range of flights, hotels, and other travel perks which are not accessible through the rewards program of your credit card.
Additionally, try to find out whether your credit card has some perks that could save you money on travel-related expenses. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection, and other benefits that could be invaluable when you travel.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a friend, both of you can get rewards on your credit card. Make sure you don’t share the costs on the same card and make sure to track your rewards in a separate manner.
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 of your credit card and ensure that you’re making use of it 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 enjoy a wide variety of travel benefits.