Are you fed up of spending a fortune on airfare? Well, good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting method to convert sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles which can be used to obtain discounted or cheap flights from your dream destinations. With a bit of creativity and some insider knowledge, you can fly for no cost within a matter of minutes.
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 later be used to buy cheap or free flight tickets. Some credit cards also allow you to redeem miles towards hotel stays or rental car deals.
How Does it Work?
The key to successful hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and to establish a frequent flyer mile program for a specific group of airlines. When it comes time to make a booking take a look at the price. If the cost is under $300, it’s usually better to pay in cash and save your miles to take a more costly flight. If the prices start to rise above $500, you’ll want to review those frequent flyer accounts and see which airline can give you the most value. All it boils down to is the number of miles or points in your travel bank for each airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to travel hacking? First step to open a credit card with a sign-up offer. There are plenty of great credit cards that provide a variety of advantages and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, your habits with spending and what features are important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit card options that can be excellent to use for hacking travel:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
Once you’ve been approved for a credit or debit card, you’ll need to reach the limit of spending minimum in order to receive the bonus. Every card has different rules, so be sure to check for this information. Then, it’s all about racking up miles and using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to set sail with your ideas?
Once you’ve accumulated the points balance, it’s time to redeem them for some delicious travel! Different credit card companies will offer different ways to redeem your rewards, here are a few examples from some of the providers I’ve had experience with:
Getaway through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you have a Chase card, you are able to redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. In the portal, you’ll have access to nearly every airline. You can combine points and cash to pay for your trip. You can book your flight entirely using points if you’ve got the balance for it! Sometimes even if you do not have enough points to cover the full cost, you are able to purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using every credit card.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for your flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United You have the option to pay with dollars or points? Butbe aware, if you do not have enough points you cannot combine dollars and points on one flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re just a few points short, United provides the possibility of purchasing 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. In addition, their booking procedure is like United’s that allows customers to book using either JetBlue dollar or points, but not both. The difference is that JetBlue offers a distinct feature where you can join your points with your family members and earn points twice as quickly. Make sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me or my travel buddy Becca I’m sure you’re pretty economical and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to hit the minimum spend for the credit card bonus. Don’t worry, we’ve been through it 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! Just be prepared to be charged a fee, typically about 3%. It may be worth it over the long term when the bonus is large enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another way to reach the spending limit 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 for theirs and they can repay you.
Make a payment to pay off the loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan take into consideration making payments on them with an credit card. Be sure to pay off the balance on your credit card in full so you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Talk to your family and determine if they’ve got any major expenses in the near future which you could help pay for. Just make sure you trust the person and they know why you’re doing this.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season, consider buying all your gifts with cards from your credit account. In this way, you’ll reach the minimum spending requirement and also be ready to give gifts. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you were already contemplating to.
There are plenty of ways to get the most out of using your credit or debit card for travel. You can accumulate miles or points that you can be used towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few more suggestions for maximising your rewards:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
When you’re planning your next vacation, make use of the travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel, rental car, and other travel costs. You’ll not only be able to meet the minimum amount of spending required to qualify for a credit card bonus, however, you’ll also earn points or miles on those expenses.
Use your credit card for everyday expenses
Another method to reach the minimum spending requirement and earn points is by making use of your credit card to pay everyday expenses. This can include things like gas, groceries or even your phone bill. Be sure to pay the balance off in full every month to ensure you don’t accumulate interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer bonus points or miles for specific types of purchases, like eating out or traveling. Be sure to review the rewards program of your credit card and make use of any bonus categories that align with your spending habits.
Consider a balance transfer
If you have existing debt on a credit card, you might want to transfer that balance onto the travel credit card which has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfers. This will allow you to pay off your debt without accruing interest, and also help you hit the minimum spend for the credit card’s bonus.
Use your points or miles wisely
If you’ve amassed a large amount of points or miles Make sure to utilize them wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and then compare the value of different redemption options. For example, using your points to purchase a flight directly through the airline may offer better return than using them for an gift card.
Another tip is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer your reward points into other loyalty programmes. This allows you to enjoy a greater variety of options and greater flexibility when redeeming your rewards. For instance, you might be capable of transferring your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or hotel rewards program. This can give you access to a greater variety of hotels, flights, and other travel perks that aren’t available through the rewards program of your credit card.
Additionally, try to find out if your credit card offers some perks that could reduce your travel expenses. Some cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that could be very beneficial when traveling.
If you’re traveling with someone else and both of you get rewards on your credit card. Be aware that you cannot share the costs on the same card, and be sure to keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
Overall, the key to maximizing your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program of your credit card and to ensure you’re using it in the most efficient method possible. Through an array of methods I’ve described, you’ll be able to earn rewards quickly, redeem rewards for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide variety of travel benefits.