Are you tired of paying a fortune on airfare? Good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting way to convert welcome bonuses and other incentives into miles which can be used to get discounted or even cheap flights from your desired destinations. With a bit of imagination and some information, you’ll be jet-setting for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. These miles can then be used to buy discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards will also permit you to use miles towards hotel stays or car rental discounts.
How Does it Work?
The secret to successful hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and building out frequent flyer miles for a specific group of airlines. When it comes time to make a booking take a look at the price. If the cost is under $300, it’s usually better to pay in cash and save your miles to book a higher-priced flight. If the prices start to rise above $500, you’ll want to look into those frequent flyer accounts and see which airline can give you the best deal. All it boils down to is the number of points or miles you have in your travel savings account for each airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to hacking travel? First step opening a credit card that comes with a welcome bonus. There are many great credit cards with many features and benefits. It is all dependent on the airline, your habits with spending and the features that are most crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards great to use for hacking travel:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
After you’ve been accepted for a credit card, you’ll need to hit the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to receive the bonus. Each card has its own guidelines, so make sure to look up the details. From there you can begin to rack miles and using them to book your dream trip!
Ready to jet-set with your goals?
Once you’ve accumulated the points balance, it’s time to cash them in for some nice vacation! Different credit card providers will have different methods for redeeming your rewards, here are some examples from some of the ones I’ve worked with:
Escape through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you own a Chase cards, you can redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. In the portal, you’ll get access to virtually every airline and you can make use of a combination of points and cash to pay for your travel. 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 entire price, you can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using the credit card of your choice.
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 to pay with either points or dollars? Butbe aware, if you do not have enough points you can’t combine points and dollars on flights. No worries though, if you’re a few point short United also offers the option of buying additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides passengers a relaxing and pleasant travel experience that includes extra space and complimentary snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is like United’s which allows you to book with either JetBlue points or dollars but not both. But, JetBlue offers a distinct feature where you can pool your points together with your family members and earn points twice as fast. Make sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel companion Becca I’m sure you’re pretty thrifty and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars in order to meet the required amount to qualify for the credit card bonus. Don’t worry, we’ve been through it and we’re here to share our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able pay your rent with a credit card, do it! Make sure you pay a cost, which is usually at least 3%. It may be worth it in the long run in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another excellent way to meet the minimum spend is to pay for an medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills due Ask your family members if you can pay them for theirs, and they can pay you back.
Make a payment to pay off a loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan, consider paying them off with your credit card. Just make sure you pay off the balance on your credit card in full , so that you don’t end up with additional debt.
Ask family for help
Discuss your family with them and determine if they’ve got any major expenses in the near future which you could 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, consider buying all your gifts with cards from your credit account. So you’ll be able to reach the minimum spending requirement and also be ready to give gifts. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you already thinking of.
There are many ways to make the most out of using your credit or debit card for travel. You can earn miles or points to spend on flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are some additional suggestions for maximising your rewards:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, use you travel credit card to pay for your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as any other travel expenses. You’ll not only be able to hit the minimum spend to earn your credit card and earn points, but you’ll also be earning points or miles on the costs.
Make use of your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday costs
Another way to meet the minimum spending requirement to earn rewards is making use of your credit card to pay everyday expenditures. This could include things like gas, groceries, and even your phone bill. Be sure to pay the balance off each month in full so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Take advantage of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or points in exchange on certain kinds of purchases, including dining or travel. Make sure you review your credit card’s rewards program and take advantage of any bonus categories that align with your spending routines.
Take into consideration a balance transfer
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a high-interest credit card, consider transferring the balance to an account with a travel credit card that has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfers. This will allow you to pay off your debt without accruing interest, and also help you hit the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus.
Utilize your miles and points prudently
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of points or miles Make sure to utilize them in a responsible manner. Review the rewards program for your credit card, and evaluate the benefits of different redemption options. For instance, using your points to book a flight directly through the airline may offer better value than using them to purchase an gift card.
Another option is to get rewards cards that allow you to transfer your reward points into other loyalty programmes. This allows you to get a wider selection of options and greater freedom when it comes to making use of your rewards. For example, you may be capable of transferring your reward to an airline’s frequent flyer program or a hotel rewards program. This gives you access to a greater variety of hotels, flights and other travel benefits that may not be available through the rewards program of your credit card.
Additionally, try to find out if your credit card offers certain benefits that will help you save money on travel costs. Some cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection, and other benefits that can be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
If you’re traveling with a friend, both of you can earn rewards with your own credit card. Make sure you don’t share the costs on the same card. Also, make sure to track the rewards you earn separately.
The key to reaping the maximum benefits from your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program on your credit card and to ensure you’re using it in the most effective method possible. By using an array of 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 take advantage of a broad variety of travel benefits.