Are you tired of paying a fortune on airfare? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting way to convert bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles which you can use to obtain discounted or cheap flights from your dream destinations. With a little imagination and some information, you’ll travel for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. These miles can later be used to purchase discounted or even free flights. Some credit cards also let you redeem miles towards hotel stays or car rental discounts.
How Does it Work?
The secret to successful hacking travel is taking advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and to establish frequent flyer miles with a limited number of airlines. When it’s time to book a flight take a look at the price. If the cost is under $300, it’s best to pay in cash and use your miles to pay to take a more costly flight. If your flights begin to climb over $500, you’ll need to check the frequent flyer account and determine which airline offers you the best price. It all comes down to the number of points or miles you have you have in your travel savings account for each airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to travel hacking? First step opening a credit card with a sign-up bonus. There are many great credit cards with many advantages 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 great 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 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 look up the details. Then you can begin to rack up miles and using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your goals?
Once you’ve accumulated your points balance, you’re ready to redeem them for some nice vacation! Different credit card companies will offer different ways to redeem your points, but here are some examples from a few of the companies I’ve worked with:
Getaway by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have an Chase card, you are able to redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through the portal, you’ll have access to almost every airline. You can use a combination of money and points to pay for your trip. You can even book completely using points if you’ve got the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you do not be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for full cost, you still can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with every credit card.
Are you fed up of paying full price for your flight tickets? Did you know that when you book directly through United, you have the option of paying using dollars or points? Butbe aware in case you don’t have enough points you aren’t able to combine points and dollars on one flight. If you’re only a couple of point short United also offers the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience with extra legroom and free snacks. Plus, their booking process is like United’s that allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue either dollars or points, but not both. The difference is that JetBlue has a unique feature that allows you to join your points with your family members and earn points twice as fast. Make sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re anything like me and my travel buddy Becca, you’re probably pretty 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. However, don’t be worried, we’ve been through it and are 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, go for it! Be prepared to be charged a fee, typically about 3%. It might be worth it in the long run when the bonus is large enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another way to reach the minimum spend is to pay for an medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills in the near future then ask your family members if you can pay their medical bills and they will reimburse you.
Make a payment to pay off the loan
If you have any loans take into consideration repaying them using the credit card you have. Be sure to pay the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t accumulate additional debt.
Ask your family members for help
Talk to your family and look into 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 it.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season take into consideration buying all your gifts using cards from your credit account. In this way, you’ll reach the minimum spending requirement and also be ready for giving gifts. Be sure to avoid spending more than you were already contemplating to.
There are many ways to get the most out of using your credit or debit card for travel. You can 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 the rewards you earn:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, make use of you travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel, rental car, and other travel costs. Not only will you be able to meet the minimum spend for your credit card reward as well, but you’ll also earn points or miles to cover those expenditures.
Make use of your credit card to pay for everyday expenses
Another way to meet the minimum spending requirement and earn points is making use of your credit card to pay for everyday costs. This could include things like food, gas, and even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay the balance off in full every month to ensure you don’t accrue interest charges.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer bonus points or miles for specific types of purchases, such as eating out or traveling. Check out the rewards program of your credit card and make use of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending habits.
Think about a balance transfer
If you have existing outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, consider transferring the balance to a travel credit card with an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfers. This will enable you to pay off your debt without accruing interest and simultaneously aid in achieving the minimum spend for the credit card bonus.
Use your points or miles wisely
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points make sure you use them in a responsible manner. Examine the rewards program of your credit card, and evaluate the worth of various redemption options. For instance, using your points to purchase a flight directly with the airline might provide you with a greater return than using them for an gift card.
Another tip is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer points to other loyalty programs. This will let you have a wider range of options and greater freedom when it comes to you want to redeem your rewards. For example, you may be eligible to transfer your rewards to the frequent flyer program of an airline or hotel rewards program. This will give the benefit of a larger variety of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks that may not be available through the rewards program on your credit card.
Additionally, try to find out whether your credit card has any perks that can save you money on travel-related expenses. Some cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that could be invaluable when you travel.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a companion each of you will be able to earn rewards using your own credit card. Be aware that you cannot split the cost on the same card. Also, make sure to track the rewards you earn separately.
The key to making the most of your rewards for travel is to be aware of your credit card’s rewards program and ensure that you’re making use of this program in the most efficient method. Utilizing all of the strategies I’ve outlined that you can earn rewards quickly, redeem them for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide assortment of travel-related perks.