Are you fed up of spending a fortune on airfare? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting method to convert bonus and sign-up incentives into miles that can then be used to obtain discounted or complimentary flights for your desired destinations. With a bit of imagination and a little bit of insider know-how, 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 rewards for airline miles. The miles can be used to purchase discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards let you redeem miles for hotel stays and rental car offers.
How Does it Work?
The secret to successful hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and establishing frequent flyer miles for a specific group of airlines. When it’s time to book a flight, evaluate the cost. If the cost is less than $300, it’s generally better to pay in cash and use your miles to pay to take a more costly flight. When the flights start getting over $500, you’ll need to review the frequent flyer account to find out which airline will give you the best price. It all boils down to the number of points or miles in your travel account for each airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to hacking travel? Your first task is opening the credit card that comes with a sign-up offer. There are many great credit cards that offer various benefits and features. It is all dependent on the airline, your spending habits, and the features that are most crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards excellent 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 have to meet the minimum spend limit in order to get the bonus. Every card has different rules, so be sure to check for the details. Then it’s all about building miles and using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your ideas?
After you’ve accrued the points amount, it’s time to use them towards sweet getaway! Different credit card providers will have different methods of redeeming your rewards, here are some examples from some of the ones I have experience with:
Take a trip with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have an Chase cards, you are able to redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within it, you’ll get access to almost every airline, and you can use a combination of points and cash to book your next trip. You can even book completely with points if you’ve the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you do not be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for entire price, you can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using the credit card of your choice.
Are you tired of paying full price for your flight tickets? Did you not know that when you book directly through United You have the option of paying using dollars or points? But, be careful in case you don’t have enough points you cannot combine dollars and points for one flight. If you’re just a few points short, United gives you the option to purchase additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides an enjoyable and comfortable travel experience that includes extra legroom and free snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to United’s, allowing customers to book using either JetBlue dollar or points, however, not both. The difference is that JetBlue offers a distinct feature where you can join your points with family members to accrue points twice as fast. Make sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re like me and my travel buddy Becca You’re probably quite thrifty and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to reach the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried, we’ve been through it and we’re here to share our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able to pay for your rent with credit card, then do it! Make sure you be charged a fee, typically about 3 percent. It might be worth it over the long term in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another great way to hit the spending limit is to cover an medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses coming up then ask your relatives if you could pay for theirs and they can pay you back.
Repay a loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan you owe, think about repaying them using an credit card. Make sure to pay off the balance on your credit card in full so you don’t accrue additional debt.
Ask family for help
Ask your family members to determine if they’ve got any major expenses in the near future that you can contribute for. Make sure that you are able to trust the person 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. This way you can meet the minimum spending limit and also be prepared for giving gifts. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you were thinking of.
There are a lot of ways to get the most out of your travel credit card. You can accumulate miles or points that you can be used towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are some additional ideas for maximizing the rewards you earn:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, make use of you travel credit card to book your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as any other travel expenses. You’ll not only be able to meet the minimum spend for your credit card reward as well, however, you’ll also earn points or miles on the costs.
Use your credit card for everyday expenditures
Another method to reach the minimum spend in order to accumulate points using your credit card to pay for everyday expenses. This could include things like food, gas, and even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay off the balance in full each month so you don’t accumulate interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or points in exchange on certain kinds of purchases, such as dining or travel. Check out your rewards program on your credit card and make use of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending habits.
Consider a balance transfer
If you have existing outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, think about transferring that balance onto an account with a travel credit card that has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfers. This will let you pay off your debts without accruing interest. It will also aid in achieving the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus.
Use your points or miles carefully
When you’ve earned a significant amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize them in a responsible manner. Examine the rewards program of your credit card, and evaluate the benefits of different redemption options. For example you can use points to book a ticket directly with the airline might give you a better value than using them to purchase the purchase of a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer rewards to different loyalty program. This will allow you to enjoy a greater variety of options and greater flexibility when making use of your rewards. For instance, you might be able to transfer your reward to an airline’s frequent flyer program or a reward program for hotels. This gives an access larger selection of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks that may not be available through the rewards program of your credit card.
In addition, you should determine whether your credit card has any perks that can save you money on travel-related costs. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that are extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
If you’re traveling with someone else each of you will be able to earn rewards with your own credit card. Just remember that you can’t share the costs on the same card. Also, make sure to track the rewards you earn separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to know your credit card’s rewards program and make sure you’re using it in the most efficient method. Utilizing all of the methods I’ve described, you’ll be able to earn rewards quickly, redeem them for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide range of travel perks.