Are you tired of spending an enormous amount on flights? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting way to convert welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles that can then be used to score discounted or cheap flights from your ideal destinations. With a little imagination and a little bit of insider information, you’ll be jet-setting for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. The miles can be used to purchase cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards will also let you redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or car rental discounts.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for successful hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and building out a frequent flyer mile program with a limited number of airlines. When it comes time to book a flight, evaluate the cost. If the cost is under $300, it’s generally better to pay cash and use your miles to pay for a more expensive flight. If the prices start to rise over $500, you’ll need to review the frequent flyer account and find out which airline will give you the best price. It all comes down to the number of points or miles you have in your travel account for each airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to hacking travel? First step opening the credit card that comes with a sign-up bonus. There are many great credit cards that offer a variety of benefits and features. It depends on the type of airline, spending habits and what features are crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards perfect to hack travel
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
If you’ve been approved for a credit card, you’ll need to reach the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to get the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so be sure to check for this information. From there, it’s all about racking miles and using them to plan your dream trip!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your goals?
Now that you’ve built up your points balance, you’re ready to redeem them for some sweet travel! Different credit card companies will have different methods for redeeming your rewards, 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 via the Ultimate Rewards portal. In this portal you’ll get access to almost every airline, and you can make use of a combination of 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 full cost, you still can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with any credit card.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United You have the option to pay with either points or dollars? Butbe aware that if you don’t have enough points, you cannot combine dollars and points on flights. If you’re only a couple of point short United gives you the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue provides a comfortable and enjoyable travel experience that includes extra space and complimentary snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to United’s, allowing you to book with either JetBlue dollar or points but not both. But, JetBlue has a unique feature where you can combine your points with your family members and earn points twice as fast. 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 anything like me and my travel companion Becca You’re probably quite frugal and it can be challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to hit the required amount to qualify for the credit card bonus. Don’t worry as we’ve done it and are here to share some of our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able pay your rent using credit card, then do it! Be prepared to pay a fee, usually at least 3%. It might be worth it in the long run when the bonus is large enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another way to reach the minimum spend is to pay for the medical bills. If you do not have any medical expenses coming up then ask your relatives if you could pay for theirs and they’ll reimburse you.
Make a payment to pay off a loan
If you’re a borrower, consider paying them off with an credit card. Make sure to pay the credit card balance in full so you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Talk to your family and see if they have any big expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Make sure that you are able to have confidence in the person you are talking to and they are aware of the reason for doing this.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season take into consideration buying all your gifts using your credit card. In this way, you’ll hit that minimum spend and also be prepared to give gifts. Make sure that you’re not paying more than you planning to.
There are many methods to get the most out of using your credit or debit card for travel and accrue points or miles to use towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few additional suggestions for maximising your rewards
Make travel reservations using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a vacation, make use of your travel credit card for booking your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as any other travel-related expenses. In addition, you’ll be able to hit the required amount for your credit card reward as well, but you’ll also earn points or miles for those expenses.
Utilize your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday expenses
Another way to meet the minimum spend and earn points is by making use of your credit card to pay everyday expenses. This could include things like gas, groceries and even your telephone bill. Make sure you pay off the balance each month in full so you don’t pay interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or points in exchange for certain types of purchases, like dining or travel. Make sure you review your credit card’s rewards program and make use of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending habits.
Consider the possibility of transferring your balance
If you have existing debt on a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer the balance to a travel credit card with a 0% introductory APR for balance transfers. This will let you pay off your debt without accruing interest. It will also help you hit the minimum spend for the credit card bonus.
Utilize your miles and points prudently
When you’ve earned a significant amount of miles or points, be sure to use the points or miles wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and compare the worth of various redemption options. For example using points to book a flight directly with the airline might provide you with a greater value than using them for an gift card.
Another suggestion is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer your rewards to different loyalty program. This will let you have a wider range of options and greater freedom when it comes to redeeming your rewards. For example, you may be eligible to transfer your rewards to the frequent flyer program of an airline or reward program for hotels. This will give you access to a larger selection of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks that may not be offered through the rewards program on your credit card.
Also, discover the card’s benefits. some perks that could save you money on travel-related costs. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that could be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
If you’re traveling with a friend each of you will be able to get rewards on your own credit card. Make sure you don’t split the cost on the same card and make sure to keep track of your rewards separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do to making the most of your travel rewards is to understand your credit card’s rewards program and to ensure you’re using it in the most efficient method. Utilizing a combination of the strategies I’ve outlined in this article, you’ll be able get rewards in a short time, use them for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide assortment of travel-related perks.