Are you tired of paying an enormous amount on flights? Good news! Travel hacking is the answer to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting way to convert sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles, that can then be used to obtain discounted or cheap flights from your desired destinations. With a little bit of creativity and some insider know-how, you’ll travel for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about trading credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. The miles can be used to pay for discount or no-cost flights. Some credit cards also let you redeem miles towards hotel stays or rental car offers.
How Does it Work?
The secret to success in hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and to establish a frequent flyer mile program on a select group of airlines. When it comes time to make a booking consider the cost. If the price is less than $300, it’s generally better 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 review those frequent flyer accounts and find out which airline will give you the best deal. All it boils down to is the amount of points or miles in your travel account for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to hacking travel? Your first task is to open a credit card with a sign-up bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards that offer a variety of advantages and features. It depends on the type of airline, your habits with spending and what features are essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit card options that can be great for travel hacking:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
After you’ve been accepted for a credit or debit card, you’ll need to reach the limit of spending minimum in order to get the bonus. Every card has different guidelines, so make sure to check for this information. Then you can begin to rack up miles and then using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to set sail with your points?
Now that you’ve built up your points balance, it’s time to use them towards delicious vacation! Different credit card companies will offer different ways to redeem your points. Here are some examples from a few of the providers I’ve had experience with:
Escape through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you’re a holder of an Chase card, you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In the portal, you’ll have access to nearly every airline. You can use a combination of points and cash to book your travel. You can even book entirely using points if you’ve got enough balance! Sometimes, even if you don’t possess enough points for the full cost, you are able to buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with the credit card of your choice.
Are you tired 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 cannot combine points and dollars on one flight. No worries though, if you’re just a few point short United provides the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue provides an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience with extra space and complimentary snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is like United’s that allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue points or dollars, however, not both. However, JetBlue offers a distinct feature that allows you to combine your points with family members to accrue points twice as quickly. Be sure to establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack into the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me or my travel buddy Becca, you’re probably pretty frugal and it can be daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to reach the required amount to qualify for a credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried, we’ve been through it and are here to share some of our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able pay your rent using credit card, then do it! Be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually around 3%. It may be worth it in the end when the bonus is large enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another great way to hit the spending limit is to pay for the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills coming up then ask your family members to pay them for theirs, and they will repay you.
Pay off the loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan take into consideration making payments on them with an credit card. Make sure to pay the credit card balance in full so you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Ask your family members to see if they have any big expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to are able to trust the person and that they are aware of the reason for taking the initiative.
If it’s the holiday season you should consider purchasing all your gifts with cards from your credit account. In this way, you’ll hit that minimum spend and also be prepared for giving gifts. Just make sure you’re not paying more than you contemplating to.
There are a lot of ways to get the most out of using your credit or debit card for travel. earn miles or points to use towards 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 your travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as other travel costs. In addition, you’ll achieve the required amount to earn your credit card and earn points, however, you’ll also earn points or miles for these expenses.
Use your credit card for everyday expenditures
Another way to hit the minimum amount of spending in order to accumulate points by using your credit card to pay daily costs. This can include things like food, gas, and even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay off the balance in full every month to ensure you don’t accrue interest charges.
Benefit from bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or bonus points for certain types of purchases, such as eating out or traveling. Be sure to review your rewards program on your credit card and avail any bonus categories that match with your spending routines.
Take into consideration a balance transfer
If you’re in the middle of a outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer the balance to the travel credit card which has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfer. This will allow you to pay off your debt without accruing interest and simultaneously assist you in reaching the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus.
Use your points or miles prudently
If you’ve amassed a large amount of miles or points make sure you use them wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card, and evaluate the worth of various redemption options. For instance using your points to purchase a flight directly with the airline could provide you with a greater return than using them for an gift card.
Another suggestion is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer your rewards to different loyalty program. This will let you get a wider selection of options and greater flexibility when you want to redeem your rewards. For example, you may be eligible to transfer your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a reward program for hotels. This will give the benefit of a wider selection of hotels, flights, and other travel perks which are not accessible through your credit card’s rewards program.
Also, discover whether your credit card has some perks that could reduce your travel expenses. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that could be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a friend each of you will be able to earn rewards using your own credit card. Be aware that you cannot share the costs on the same card and make sure to track your rewards separately.
Overall, the key to maximizing your travel rewards is to understand your credit card’s rewards program and ensure that you’re using it in the most efficient method. By using a combination of the methods I’ve described that you can earn rewards quickly, redeem them for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide assortment of travel-related perks.