Are you tired of paying 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 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 little imagination and a little bit of insider know-how, you’ll be jet-setting for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of swapping credit card sign-up bonus as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can then be used to pay for discount or no-cost flights. Some credit cards also allow you to redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or rental car 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 you are ready to make a booking consider the cost. If the price is under $300, it’s generally better to pay in cash and save your miles for a more expensive flight. When the flights start getting over $500, you’ll need to check your frequent flyer accounts to see which airline can give you the best price. All it boils down to is the number of points or miles in your travel bank for each airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets of travel hacking? First step opening an account that comes with a welcome bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that offer various features and benefits. It depends on the type of airline, spending habits and what features are important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards that are 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 or debit card, you’ll need to reach the minimum spend limit in order to get the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so make sure to look up the details. Then, it’s all about racking miles and using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your points?
Now that you’ve built up your points balance, it’s time to redeem them for some sweet getaway! Different credit card providers will have different methods of redeeming your points. Here are some examples from some of the providers I have experience with:
Take a trip with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of an Chase cards, you are able to redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within it, you’ll have access to virtually every airline. You can use a combination of money and points to pay for your travel. You can even book entirely with points if you’ve enough balance! Sometimes, even if you don’t have enough points to cover the full price, you can buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using every credit card.
Are you fed up of paying full price for your flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United You have the option to pay with dollars or points? Butbe aware in case you do not have enough points you aren’t able to combine dollars and points for one flight. No worries though, if you’re just a few points away, United provides the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue provides a comfortable and enjoyable travel experience that includes extra space and complimentary snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines which allows you to book with either JetBlue either dollars or points, however, not both. The difference is that JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that lets you pool your points together with family members to accrue points twice as fast. Be sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack into the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel buddy Becca You’re probably quite economical and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to reach the required amount to qualify for the credit card bonus. Don’t worry because we’ve been there and we’re here to share our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able to pay for your rent using a credit card, do it! Just be prepared to pay a fee, usually about 3 percent. It may be worth it over the long term when the bonus is large enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another way to reach the spending limit is to cover an medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills coming up Ask your family members if you can pay for theirs and they can pay you back.
Repay the loan
If you’re a borrower take into consideration making payments on them with an credit card. Just make sure you pay off the balance on your credit card in full , so that you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Talk to your family and see if they have any large expenses coming up which you could help pay for. Make sure that you are able to are able to trust the person and that they know why you’re taking the initiative.
If you’re celebrating the holidays take into consideration buying all of your gifts with cards from your credit account. This way you can meet the minimum spending limit and also be prepared for gift giving. Be sure to avoid paying more than you contemplating to.
There are a lot of ways to get the most out of the travel credit card. You can accumulate miles or points that you can spend on flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are some additional suggestions for maximising the rewards you earn:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
When you’re planning your next vacation, make use of the travel credit card for booking your flight, hotel, rental car, and any other travel expenses. You’ll not only be able to hit the minimum spend for your credit card bonus as well, but you’ll also be earning points or miles on the expenses.
Make use of your credit card to pay for all your daily expenditures
Another way to hit the minimum spend in order to accumulate points by making use of your credit card to pay for everyday expenses. This can include items like groceries, gas and even your telephone bill. Just make sure to pay off the balance each month in full so you don’t accumulate interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or points in exchange for specific types of purchases, such as eating out or travelling. Be sure to review the rewards program of your credit card and take advantage of any bonus categories that match with your spending routines.
Think about 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 the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfers. This will let you pay off your debt without accruing interest, and also help you hit the minimum spend for the credit card’s bonus.
Make use of your miles or points carefully
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points make sure you use them wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and then compare the value of different redemption options. For example, using your points to book a ticket directly through the airline may offer better return than using them for a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer your reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will let you have a wider range of options and greater freedom when it comes to making use of your rewards. For instance, you might be capable of transferring your reward to the frequent flyer program of an airline or hotel rewards program. This will give the benefit of a wider range of flights, hotels and other travel benefits that aren’t available through the rewards program on your credit card.
Also, discover the card’s benefits. any perks that can save you money on travel-related costs. Some cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that are extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
When you travel with someone else and both of you earn rewards with your own credit card. Just remember that you can’t share the costs on the same card. Also, make sure you keep track of your rewards separately.
The key to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to know the rewards program on your credit card and to ensure you’re using this program in the most efficient method possible. Through all of the strategies I’ve listed, you’ll be able to earn rewards quickly, redeem them for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide assortment of travel-related perks.