Are you fed up of spending an enormous amount on flights? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s a fun way to turn credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into miles that can then be used to obtain discounted or cheap flights from your desired destinations. With a bit of imagination and a little bit of insider knowledge, you can travel for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can later be used to pay for cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards allow you to redeem miles towards hotel stays or car rental deals.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for success in hacking travel is taking advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and establishing a frequent flyer mile program with a limited number of airlines. When you are ready 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 use your miles to pay for a more expensive flight. When the flights start getting higher than $500, it’s best to review the frequent flyer account and see which airline can give you the best price. All it boils down to is the number of miles or points you have in your travel savings account for each airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to travel hacking? First step opening a credit card with a sign-up bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards that offer various advantages and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, your spending habits, and the features that are most essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards that are perfect for travel hacking:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
If you’ve been approved for a credit or debit card, you’ll need to reach the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to receive the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so be sure to look up this information. Then, it’s all about racking miles and then using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your goals?
Once you’ve accumulated the points balance, you’re ready to cash them in for some sweet vacation! 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 by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own a Chase cards, you are able to redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through this portal you’ll have access to virtually every airline, and you can use a combination of money and points to pay for your trip. You can even book entirely with points if you’ve the balance for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for entire cost, you still can buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using any credit card.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for your flight tickets? Did you not know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option of paying using either points or dollars? Butbe aware, if you don’t have enough points, you can’t combine dollars and points for the same flight. If you’re only a couple of points 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 a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience , with more space and complimentary snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to United’s, allowing you to book with either JetBlue dollar or points, however, not both. But, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that allows you to pool your points together with family members to accrue points twice as fast. Be sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack into the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re like me and my travel companion Becca, you’re probably pretty economical and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to hit the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus. Don’t worry because we’ve been there and we’re here to share some of our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able to pay for your rent using credit card, go for it! Just be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually about 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 way to reach the spending limit is to pay for a medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses due Ask your family members if you can pay for theirs and they’ll pay you back.
Pay off a loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan you owe, think about paying them off with an credit card. Be sure to pay off the balance on your credit card in full , so that you don’t accrue additional debt.
Ask family for help
Talk to your family and see if they have any major expenses in the near future which you could help pay for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to have confidence in the person you are talking to and they understand why you’re taking the initiative.
If you’re celebrating the holidays you should consider purchasing all of your gifts with the credit card you have. So you’ll be able to reach the minimum spending requirement and be ready to give gifts. Just make sure you’re not paying more than you contemplating to.
There are plenty of ways to get the most of using your credit or debit card for travel. You can accrue points or miles to use towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are some additional suggestions for maximising the rewards you earn:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, make use of your travel credit card to book your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as any other travel-related expenses. In addition, you’ll be able to meet the minimum spend for your credit card reward, but you’ll also be earning points or miles to cover those expenses.
Use your credit card for all your daily costs
Another way to hit the minimum spending requirement to earn rewards is using your credit card for every day expenditures. This could include things like gas, groceries and even your telephone bill. Just make sure to pay the balance off in full every month to ensure you don’t pay interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer bonus points or miles for specific types of purchases, like eating out or traveling. Make sure you review your credit card’s rewards program and take advantage of any bonus categories that match with your spending habits.
Think about the possibility of transferring your balance
If you have existing outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer the balance to an account with a travel credit card that has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfer. This will let you pay off the debt without accruing interest, and also assist you in reaching the minimum spending requirement for the credit card bonus.
Make use of your miles or points carefully
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points, be sure to use the points or miles wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card and then compare the worth of various redemption options. For instance you can use points to book a flight directly with the airline might offer better return than using them for an gift card.
Another option is to get a rewards card that allows you to transfer your rewards to different loyalty program. This will let you have a wider range of choices and more freedom when it comes to making use of your rewards. For example, you may be eligible to transfer your reward to the frequent flyer program of an airline or a hotel rewards program. This gives an access larger selection of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks which are not accessible through your credit card’s rewards program.
In addition, you should find out the card’s benefits. some perks that could 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 very beneficial when traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with someone else each of you will be able to earn rewards with your credit card. Make sure you don’t share the costs on the same card and make sure to track your rewards separately.
The key to maximizing your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program of your credit card and make sure you’re using your credit card in the most efficient method possible. Utilizing an array of strategies I’ve outlined in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards quickly, redeem them for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide variety of travel benefits.