Are you tired of paying a fortune on airfare? Good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel problems. It’s a fun way to convert bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles, which you can use to score discounted or cheap flights from your ideal destinations. With a little creativity and some insider know-how, you’ll be jet-setting for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about swapping credit card sign-up bonus as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can then be used to purchase cheap or free flight tickets. Some credit cards also permit you to use miles for hotel stays and rental car discounts.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for success in hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and establishing a frequent flyer mile program for a specific group of airlines. When it comes time to make a booking consider the cost. If the flight is less than $300, it’s generally better to pay in cash and save your miles to book a higher-priced flight. If the prices start to rise over $500, you’ll need to look into the frequent flyer account to see which airline can give you the best deal. All it boils down to is the number of points or miles in your travel account for each airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to hacking travel? The first step is opening an account with a sign-up offer. There are many great credit cards that provide a variety of features and benefits. It depends on the type of airline, spending habits and the features that are most important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards that are great to hack travel
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
After you’ve been accepted for a credit card you’ll need to reach the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to qualify for the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of guidelines, so make sure to look up the details. Then it’s all about building up miles and using them to plan your dream trip!
Ready to jet-set with your goals?
After you’ve accrued your points balance, you’re ready to redeem them for some nice getaway! Different credit card companies will have different methods for redeeming your rewards, here are some examples from a few of the providers I have experience with:
Take a trip through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you have a Chase card, you are able to redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In this portal you’ll get access to virtually every airline, and you can use a combination of points and cash to book your trip. You can book your flight entirely with points if you’ve enough balance! Sometimes even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for total cost, you are able to book flights using the 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 not know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option to pay with dollars or points? Be careful, if you do not have enough points you aren’t able to combine points and dollars on flights. No worries though, if you’re only a couple of points away, United also offers the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers an enjoyable and comfortable travel experience that includes extra space and complimentary snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines, allowing customers to book using either JetBlue dollar or points, however, not both. However, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature where you can pool your points together with your family members and earn points twice as quickly. Just make sure you can prove you’re really family before trying to hack the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re like me or my travel buddy Becca, you’re probably pretty frugal and it can be difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to hit the minimum spend for the credit card bonus. Don’t worry because we’ve been there and are here to share our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able to pay for your rent using a credit card, do it! Make sure you pay a cost, which is usually about 3%. It may be worth it in the end in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another way to reach the required spending is to pay for a medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills due, ask your relatives if you could pay for theirs and they’ll repay you.
Pay off the loan
If you have any loans, consider repaying them using 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 your family members for help
Ask your family members to look into any major expenses in the near future that you can contribute for. Make sure that you are able to are able to trust the person and that they understand why you’re taking the initiative.
If it’s the holiday season, consider buying all of your gifts with the credit card you have. This way you can hit that minimum spend and also be ready for giving gifts. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you already contemplating to.
There are many ways to make the most from using your credit or debit card for travel. earn miles or points to use towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few additional suggestions for maximising your rewards:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, make use of you travel credit card for booking your hotel, flight, rental car, and any other travel expenses. In addition, you’ll achieve the required amount for your credit card bonus and earn points, but you’ll also be earning points or miles for the expenses.
Utilize your credit card to pay for everyday expenditures
Another way to hit the minimum spend to earn rewards is by making use of your credit card to pay daily costs. This could include things like food, gas or even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay off the balance in full each month so you don’t accumulate interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer bonus points or miles on certain kinds of purchases, like eating out or traveling. Check out your rewards program on your credit card and make use of any bonus categories that align with your spending routines.
Consider the possibility of transferring your balance
If you’re in the middle of a outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, consider transferring the balance to a travel credit card with the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfers. This will allow you to pay off the debt without accruing interest. It will also aid in achieving the minimum spending requirement for the credit card bonus.
Utilize your miles and points wisely
If you’ve amassed a large amount of miles or points, be sure to use the points or miles wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card, and evaluate the benefits of different redemption options. For example, using points to book a ticket directly through the airline may give you a better value than using them to purchase the purchase of a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer your reward points into other loyalty programmes. This allows you to get a wider selection of options and greater flexibility in you want to redeem your rewards. For instance, you might be capable of transferring your rewards to the frequent flyer program of an airline or Hotel rewards programme. This will give the benefit of a greater range of flights, hotels, and other travel perks which are not accessible through your credit card’s rewards program.
Also, discover the card’s benefits. certain benefits that will help you save money on travel costs. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that are very beneficial when traveling.
When you travel with a companion and both of you get rewards on your own credit card. Make sure you don’t share the costs on the same card, and be sure to track your rewards in a separate manner.
Overall, the key to making the most of your travel rewards is to know your credit card’s rewards program and to ensure you’re making use of this program in the most effective method. Through all of the strategies I’ve listed, you’ll be able to earn rewards fast, exchange them for travel experiences that are worth it, and enjoy a wide variety of travel benefits.