Are you fed up of spending a fortune on airfare? Well, good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting method to convert credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles, which you can use to score discounted or free flights to your ideal destinations. With a bit of imagination and a little bit of insider know-how, you’ll travel for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of trading credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. The miles can be used to buy discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards will also permit you to use miles towards hotel stays or rental car offers.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for successful hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and building out frequent flyer miles with a limited number of airlines. When it comes time to book a flight consider the cost. If the flight is under $300, it’s generally better to pay cash and use your miles to pay to book a higher-priced flight. When the flights start getting higher than $500, it’s best to review your frequent flyer accounts to determine which airline offers you the most value. It all boils down to the number of miles or points in your travel bank for every airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to hacking travel? The first step is opening a credit card with a sign-up bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards that provide a variety of benefits and features. It depends on the type of airline, your spending habits, and the features that are most crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards 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 card, you’ll need to reach the minimum spend limit in order to qualify for the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so make sure to look up this information. Then, it’s all about racking miles and using them to plan your dream vacation!
Ready to jet-set with your ideas?
Now that you’ve built up the points balance, you’re ready to cash them in for some delicious travel! Different credit card companies will have different methods for redeeming your points. Here are some examples from some of the providers I’ve had experience with:
Escape through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you have a Chase card, you are able to use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through this portal you’ll get access to almost every airline and you can combine money and points to pay for your trip. You can book your flight entirely on points if you have enough balance! Sometimes even if you do not have enough points to cover the full cost, you still can buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using any credit card.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option of paying with dollars or points? Butbe aware that if you do not have enough points you cannot combine dollars and points on flights. Don’t worry, though, if you’re a few point short United gives you the option of buying additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides a comfortable and enjoyable travel experience that includes extra legroom and free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to United’s that allows you to book with either JetBlue dollar or points but not both. The difference is that JetBlue has a unique feature that allows you to pool your points together with your family members and earn points twice as fast. Just make sure you can 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 like me or my travel buddy Becca You’re probably quite frugal and it can be difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to hit the required amount to qualify for a credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried as we’ve done it and are here to share our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able pay your rent with credit card, then do it! Just be prepared to be charged a fee, typically about 3 percent. It might be worth it in the end when the bonus is large enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another way to reach the spending limit is to cover an medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills due, ask your relatives if you could pay their medical bills and they will pay you back.
Pay off the loan
If you have any loans take into consideration paying them off with the credit card you have. Just make sure you pay the credit card balance completely so that you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask family for help
Ask your family members to see if they have any major expenses in the near future which you could help pay for. Just make sure you trust the person and they are aware of the reason for taking the initiative.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season, consider buying all your gifts with your credit card. This way you can meet the minimum spending limit and be ready to give gifts. Be sure to avoid spending more than you planning to.
There are many methods to get the most out of using your credit or debit card for travel. accumulate miles or points that you can spend on flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few more suggestions for maximising the rewards you earn:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, use your travel credit card to book your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as any other travel expenses. In addition, you’ll achieve the required amount to earn your credit card as well, but you’ll also be earning points or miles to cover the expenditures.
Use your credit card for all your daily costs
Another way to hit the minimum spend to earn rewards is utilising your credit cards to pay for everyday expenditures. This could be items like groceries, gas, and even your phone bill. Make sure you pay off the balance each month in full so you don’t accumulate interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer bonus points or miles for certain types of purchases, including eating out or traveling. Check out the rewards program of your credit card and make use of any bonus categories that match with your spending routines.
Think about a balance transfer
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a credit card, consider transferring that balance onto an account with a travel credit card that has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfers. This will let you pay off your debts without accruing interest, and also help you hit the minimum spending requirement for the credit card bonus.
Utilize your miles and points prudently
When you’ve earned a significant amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize them wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and then compare the benefits of different redemption options. For example, using points to book a flight directly with the airline could offer better return than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another tip is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer points to other loyalty programs. This allows you to get a wider selection of options and greater 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 Hotel rewards programme. This can give you access to a wider range of flights, hotels and other travel benefits that may not be offered through the rewards program on your credit card.
Additionally, try to determine the card’s benefits. some perks that could reduce your travel costs. Many cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that can be very beneficial when traveling.
When you travel with someone else each of you will be able to earn rewards using your own credit card. Be aware that you cannot divide the cost with the same card, and be sure to track your rewards separately.
The key to reaping the maximum benefits from your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program of your credit card and make sure you’re using it in the most effective method. By using all of the methods I’ve described, you’ll be able to get rewards in a short time, use them for travel experiences that are worth it, and enjoy a wide variety of travel benefits.