Are you fed up of spending a fortune on airfare? Good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting way to convert bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles which you can use to obtain discounted or cheap flights from your ideal destinations. With a bit of imagination and some know-how, you’ll be jet-setting for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. The miles can be used to purchase discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards allow you to redeem miles for hotel stays and car rental offers.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for successful hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and building out frequent flyer miles on a select group of airlines. When it’s time to make a booking consider the cost. If the cost is less than $300, it’s best to pay cash and save your miles to book a higher-priced flight. If your flights begin to climb above $500, you’ll want to look into your frequent flyer accounts to determine which airline offers you the most value. It all boils down to the number of points or miles you have in your travel savings account for every airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets of travel hacking? First step opening the credit card that comes with a sign-up offer. There are plenty of great credit cards that offer a variety of benefits and features. It depends on the type of airline, spending habits and the features that are most important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards that are excellent to hack travel
- 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 hit the minimum spend limit in order to qualify for the bonus. Every card has different guidelines, so make 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 points?
After you’ve accrued the points amount, it’s time to redeem them for some nice vacation! Different credit card companies have different methods for redeeming your rewards, here are some examples from a few of the companies I’ve worked with:
Take a trip through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you own an Chase credit card, then you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within it, you’ll get access to almost every airline and you can use a combination of points and cash to pay for your trip. You can book your flight entirely using points if you’ve got enough balance! Sometimes even if you do not 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 the credit card of your choice.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United You have the option of paying using either points or dollars? Butbe aware, if you don’t have enough points you aren’t able to combine dollars and points on flights. If you’re a few points short, United also offers the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience with extra legroom as well as free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to that of United Airlines that allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue either dollars or points, but not both. However, JetBlue offers a distinct feature that allows you to combine your points with your relatives to earn points twice as quickly. Just make sure you can verify that you are a family member before trying to hack into the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re anything like me and my travel companion Becca I’m sure you’re pretty frugal and it can be challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to reach the required amount to qualify for a credit card bonus. Don’t worry, 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! Make sure you pay a cost, which is usually around 3%. It might be worth it in the long run when the bonus is large enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the required spending is to cover a medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses in the near future then ask your relatives if you could pay their medical bills and they’ll reimburse you.
Make a payment to pay off the loan
If you’re a borrower, consider repaying them using an credit card. Just make sure you pay off the balance on your credit card in full so you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask family for help
Discuss your family with them and look into any major expenses in the near future that you can help pay for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to have confidence in the person you are talking to and they know why you’re taking the initiative.
If it’s the holiday season take into consideration buying all of your gifts with cards from your credit account. In this way, you’ll reach the minimum spending requirement and also be ready for giving gifts. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you were already planning to.
There are a lot of ways to make the most of using your credit or debit card for travel and accrue points or miles to spend on flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are some additional ideas for maximizing the rewards you earn:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a vacation, make use of your travel credit card to book your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as any other travel-related expenses. In addition, you’ll achieve the minimum spend to earn your credit card bonus as well, but you’ll also earn points or miles on those costs.
Use your credit card for everyday expenditures
Another method to reach the minimum spending requirement in order to accumulate points making use of your credit card to pay for daily costs. This could include things like gas, groceries and even your telephone bill. Be sure to pay the balance off in full each month so you don’t pay interest.
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 travelling. Check out the rewards program of your credit card and make use of any bonus categories that align with your spending habits.
Take into consideration the possibility of transferring your balance
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer the balance to an account with a travel credit card that has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfer. This will enable you to pay off the debt without accruing interest, and also aid in achieving the minimum spending requirement for the credit card’s bonus.
Make use of your miles or points prudently
If you’ve amassed a large amount of miles or points, be sure to use them in a responsible manner. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and compare the worth of various redemption options. For instance using your points to purchase a flight directly with the airline could offer better return than using them for an gift card.
Another suggestion is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer your rewards to different loyalty program. This allows you to enjoy a greater variety of choices and more freedom when it comes to making use of your rewards. For example, you may be able to transfer your rewards to the frequent flyer program of an airline or a Hotel rewards programme. This gives an access wider range of flights, hotels as well as other travel perks that may not be accessible through the rewards program of your credit card.
Additionally, try to find out the card’s benefits. any perks that can reduce your travel costs. Many cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that could be invaluable when you travel.
When you travel with someone else each of you will be able to earn rewards with your credit card. Be aware that you cannot share the costs on the same card and make sure to keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
In the end, the most important thing to do to making the most of your travel rewards is to know your credit card’s rewards program and ensure that you’re making use of it in the most efficient method possible. Utilizing an array of strategies I’ve listed, you’ll be able to get rewards in a short time, use them for travel experiences that are worth it and benefit from a wide variety of travel benefits.