Are you fed up of spending an enormous amount on flights? Good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s a fun way to convert welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles, that can then be used to obtain discounted or free flights to your desired destinations. With a bit of creativity and some insider information, you’ll be jet-setting for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about swapping credit card sign-up bonus as well as incentives to earn airline miles. The miles can be used to pay for discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards let you redeem miles for hotel stays and rental car offers.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for successful travel hacking is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and building out a frequent flyer mile program for a specific group of airlines. When it comes time to book a flight, evaluate the cost. If the price is under $300, it’s best to pay cash and use your miles to pay to book a higher-priced flight. If the prices start to rise over $500, you’ll need to review your frequent flyer accounts and find out which airline will give you the most value. It all comes down to the number of points or miles you have in your travel account for each airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to travel hacking? The first step is opening an account with a sign-up offer. There are plenty of great credit cards that offer many benefits and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, your spending habits, and the features that are most important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards that are great to hack 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 limit of spending minimum in order to get the bonus. Every card has different guidelines, so make sure to look up this information. Then, it’s all about racking miles and using them to book your dream trip!
Ready to jet-set with your ideas?
Now that you’ve built up the points amount, it’s time to redeem them for some sweet vacation! Different credit card companies have different methods for redeeming your points, but here are a few examples from some of the ones I have experience with:
Take a trip with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own an Chase card, you are able to redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In the portal, you’ll get access to nearly every airline. You can make use of a combination of the points as well as cash in order to book your travel. You can even book entirely on points if you have enough balance! Sometimes even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for entire cost, you are able to buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using any credit card.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for your flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United, you have the option of paying using dollars or points? Be careful that if you don’t have enough points you cannot combine points and dollars on the same flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re only a couple of points away, United provides the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience , with more space and complimentary snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is like United’s which allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue points or dollars, however, not both. However, JetBlue has a unique feature where you can join your points with family members to accrue points twice as fast. Make sure to establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me and my travel companion Becca, you’re probably pretty thrifty and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to hit the minimum spend for a credit card bonus. But don’t fret as we’ve done it and are here to share our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able to pay for your rent with credit card, then do it! Just be prepared to be charged a fee, typically around 3%. It might be worth it over the long term when the bonus is large enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another excellent way to meet the spending limit is to pay for an medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses coming up, ask your family members to pay their medical bills and they will reimburse you.
Make a payment to pay off the loan
If you’re a borrower, consider paying them off with your credit card. Be sure to pay off the balance on your credit card in full , so that you don’t end up with additional debt.
Ask your family members for help
Ask your family members to see if they have any major expenses in the near future that you can help pay for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to have confidence in the person you are talking to and they understand 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. This way you can hit that minimum spend and also be ready for giving gifts. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you were already contemplating to.
There are a lot of ways to get the most from your travel credit card and accrue points or miles to spend on airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few more ways to maximize the rewards you earn:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
When you’re planning your next vacation, make use of you travel credit card to book your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as other travel costs. In addition, you’ll be able to hit the required amount to qualify for a credit card reward as well, but you’ll also be earning points or miles on the expenses.
Use your credit card for all your daily costs
Another way to hit the minimum amount of spending to earn rewards is by utilising your credit cards to pay for every day costs. This can include things like gas, groceries and even your telephone bill. Just make sure to pay the balance off in full each month so you don’t accumulate interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or points in exchange for specific types of purchases, including dining or travel. Check out your rewards program on your credit card and take advantage of any bonus categories that match with your spending routines.
Consider the possibility of transferring your balance
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a high-interest credit card, consider transferring that balance to the travel credit card which has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfer. This will enable you to pay off the debt without accruing interest and simultaneously aid in achieving the minimum spending requirement for the credit card bonus.
Make use of your miles or points carefully
When you’ve earned a significant amount of points or miles Make sure to utilize the points or miles wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and compare the benefits of different redemption options. For instance using your points to book a flight directly with the airline could give you a better return than using them for a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer rewards to different loyalty program. This will let you enjoy a greater variety of choices and more freedom when it comes to redeeming your rewards. For instance, you might be able to transfer your reward to the frequent flyer program of an airline or a Hotel rewards programme. This gives the benefit of a wider selection of hotels, flights, and other travel perks that aren’t available through your credit card’s rewards program.
In addition, you should find out whether your credit card has certain benefits that will help you save money on travel expenses. Many cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that are invaluable when you travel.
When you travel with someone else each of you will be able to earn rewards using your credit card. Just remember that you can’t split the cost on the same card. Also, make sure you keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
The key to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program of your credit card and to ensure you’re using this program in the most efficient method possible. By using a combination of the strategies I’ve outlined in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards fast, exchange rewards for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide range of travel perks.