Are you fed up of spending an enormous amount on flights? Well, good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting way to convert sign-up bonuses and incentives into miles that can then be used to get discounted or even complimentary flights for your desired destinations. With a little imagination and some know-how, you’ll travel for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about trading credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. The miles can be used to purchase discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards will also allow you to redeem miles towards hotel stays or rental car offers.
How Does it Work?
The secret to success in travel hacking is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and to establish frequent flyer miles on a select group of airlines. When it comes time to book a flight take a look at the price. If the cost is under $300, it’s generally better to pay cash and save your miles for a more expensive flight. If your flights begin to climb above $500, you’ll want to look into those frequent flyer accounts and determine which airline offers you the best price. It all comes down to the number of miles or points in your travel account for every airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to hacking travel? First step opening a credit card with a sign-up offer. There are plenty of great credit cards that provide a variety of features and benefits. It is all dependent on the airline, your habits with spending and what features are important 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
Once you’ve been approved for a credit card you’ll need to hit the limit of spending minimum in order to get the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so be sure to check for this information. Then you can begin to rack miles and using them to plan your dream trip!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your goals?
Now that you’ve built up your points balance, you’re ready to cash them in for some nice getaway! Different credit card providers will have different methods of redeeming your points. Here are some examples from some of the providers I’ve worked with:
Take a trip by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have a Chase cards, you are able to redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within this portal you’ll have access to nearly every airline, and you can combine the points as well as cash in order to pay for your next trip. You can book your flight entirely with points if you’ve the balance for it! Sometimes even if you do not have enough points to cover 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 fed up of paying the full cost for your flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United You have the option of paying with dollars or points? Butbe aware in case you don’t have enough points, you aren’t able to combine dollars and points for one flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re a few points away, United provides the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience , with more space and complimentary snacks. Additionally, their booking process is like United’s that allows you to book with either JetBlue dollar or points, however, not both. But, JetBlue has a unique feature where you can combine your points with your relatives to earn points twice as quickly. Make sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack into the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re like me and my travel buddy Becca I’m sure you’re pretty economical and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum amount required to earn a credit card bonus. But don’t fret, we’ve been through it and are here to share our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able to pay your rent with credit card, go for it! Be prepared to pay a fee, usually around 3 percent. It could be worthwhile in the end if the bonus is high enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another excellent way to meet the minimum spend is to cover an medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills due Ask your family members to pay for theirs and they will reimburse you.
Make a payment to pay off a loan
If you’re a borrower take into consideration paying them off with your credit card. Make sure to pay off the balance on your credit card completely so that you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Discuss your family with them and look into any big expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Just make sure you trust the person and they know why you’re doing this.
If you’re celebrating the holidays take into consideration buying all your gifts using cards from your credit account. This way you can meet the minimum spending limit and also be ready for gift giving. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you were thinking of.
There are plenty of ways to get the most of your travel credit card. accrue points or miles to spend on flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few more suggestions for maximising your rewards:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
If you’re planning a vacation, make use of the travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as other travel costs. You’ll not only be able to meet the minimum amount of spending required for your credit card, but you’ll also earn points or miles for these expenditures.
Make use of your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday expenses
Another way to hit the minimum amount of spending in order to accumulate points by making use of your credit card to pay everyday expenses. This can include things like gas, groceries and even your telephone bill. Make sure you pay the balance off each month in full so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Make the most of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer bonus points or miles for certain types of purchases, such as eating out or traveling. Be sure to review your rewards program on 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 debt on a high-interest credit card, consider transferring that balance onto an account with a travel credit card that has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfer. This will enable you to pay off the debt without accruing interest, and also assist you in reaching the minimum spend for the credit card’s bonus.
Use your points or miles prudently
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of points or miles Make sure to utilize them in a responsible manner. Check out the rewards program on your credit card, and evaluate the value of different redemption options. For instance using points to purchase a flight directly with the airline could offer better return than using them for a gift card.
Another tip is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer your reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will allow you to get a wider selection of options and greater flexibility when making use of your rewards. For instance, you might be eligible to transfer your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a reward program for hotels. This can give you access to a larger selection of hotels, flights and other travel benefits that aren’t offered through your credit card’s rewards program.
Also, discover the card’s benefits. any perks that can reduce your travel expenses. Many cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection and other benefits that are very beneficial when traveling.
If you’re traveling with a friend each of you will be able to earn rewards using your own credit card. Make sure you don’t share the costs on the same card and make sure you keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
The key to maximizing your travel rewards is to know the rewards program of your credit card and ensure that you’re making use of this program in the most efficient method possible. Utilizing all of the strategies I’ve outlined that you can earn rewards fast, exchange them for travel experiences that are worth it, and enjoy a wide range of travel perks.