Are you fed up of spending an enormous amount on flights? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting method to convert sign-up bonuses and incentives into miles that can then be used to get discounted or even complimentary flights for your dream destinations. With a little bit of creativity and some insider information, you’ll travel for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. These miles can later be used to purchase discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards will also permit you to use miles to pay for hotel stays or car rental deals.
How Does it Work?
The secret to success in 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 comes time to make a booking, evaluate the cost. If the flight is less than $300, it’s generally better to pay in cash and save your miles to book a higher-priced flight. When the flights start getting over $500, you’ll need to look into your frequent flyer accounts to determine which airline offers you the best price. It all boils down to the amount of points or miles in your travel account for each airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to travel hacking? First step to open an account that comes with a welcome bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that offer various 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 a few credit cards that are perfect 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 hit the limit of spending minimum in order to receive the bonus. Every card has different rules, so be sure to look up this information. Then you can begin to rack up miles and using them to plan your dream trip!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your ideas?
Now that you’ve built up the points balance, it’s time to redeem them for some sweet vacation! Different credit card providers will offer different ways to redeem your rewards, here are a few examples from some of the providers I’ve had experience with:
Escape by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have an Chase card, you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In it, you’ll get access to almost every airline. You can make use of a combination of points and cash to pay for your next trip. You can even book completely on points if you have the balance for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t have enough points to cover the full price, you can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with any 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 with either points or dollars? Be careful that if you don’t have enough points, you can’t combine points and dollars for one flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re just a few point short United gives you the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue provides a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience with extra legroom and free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is like United’s which allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue points or dollars but not both. However, JetBlue has a unique feature that lets you pool your points together with your relatives to earn points twice as quickly. Be sure to establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel companion Becca, you’re probably pretty frugal and it can be daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus. Don’t worry, we’ve been through it and are here to share some of our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able to pay for your rent using a credit card, do it! Be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually about 3 percent. It may be worth it in the end when the bonus is large enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the required spending is to pay for an medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills coming up then ask your family members to pay their medical bills and they can pay you back.
Repay a loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan, consider paying them off with the credit card you have. Be sure to pay off the credit card balance completely so that you don’t end up with additional debt.
Ask family for help
Ask your family members to look into any big expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Just make sure you have confidence in the person you are talking to and they understand why you’re taking the initiative.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season take into consideration buying all of your gifts with the credit card you have. So you’ll be able to hit that minimum spend and be ready for gift giving. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you already planning to.
There are a lot of ways to make the most out of your travel credit card. earn miles or points to spend on flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few more ways to maximize your rewards
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, use the travel credit card for booking your flight, hotel, rental car, and any other travel-related expenses. Not only will you achieve the minimum spend to qualify for a credit card reward as well, but you’ll also be earning points or miles to cover these costs.
Utilize your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday costs
Another way to meet the minimum spend in order to accumulate points using your credit card for everyday expenses. This could be things like gas, groceries and even your telephone bill. Make sure you pay the balance off in full each month so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Benefit from bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer bonus points or miles on certain kinds of purchases, including dining or travel. Be sure to review your rewards program on your credit card and avail the bonus categories that are in line with your spending routines.
Take into consideration a balance transfer
If you are currently in debt on a credit card, think about transferring that balance to the travel credit card which has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfer. This will allow you to pay off the debt without accruing interest. It will also aid in achieving the minimum amount required to earn the credit card’s bonus.
Make use of your miles or points prudently
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial 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 value of different redemption options. For instance you can use points to purchase a flight directly with the airline might offer better value than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another option is to get a rewards card that allows you to transfer your rewards to different loyalty program. This will allow you to enjoy a greater variety of options and greater flexibility in making use of your rewards. For instance, you might be capable of transferring your reward to the frequent flyer program of an airline or a Hotel rewards programme. This gives an access greater variety of hotels, flights and other travel benefits which are not offered through the rewards program on your credit card.
Additionally, try to 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 can be invaluable when you travel.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a companion each of you will be able to get rewards on your own credit card. Be aware that you cannot share the costs on the same card, and be sure you keep track of your rewards separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do to maximizing your travel rewards is to understand your credit card’s rewards program and make sure you’re using your credit card in the most efficient method. By using a combination of the methods I’ve described that you can get rewards in a short time, use them for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide assortment of travel-related perks.