Are you fed up of spending a fortune on airfare? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s a fun way to convert bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles which can be used to obtain discounted or cheap flights from your desired destinations. With a little bit of imagination and a little bit of insider information, you’ll fly for no cost within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. These miles can later be used to buy discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards allow you to redeem miles for hotel stays and car rental deals.
How Does it Work?
The key to successful hacking travel is taking advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and to establish a frequent flyer mile program on a select group of airlines. When you are ready to book a flight take a look at the price. If the flight is less than $300, it’s usually better to pay cash and use your miles to pay to take a more costly flight. If the prices start to rise above $500, you’ll want to look into the frequent flyer account to determine which airline offers you the best deal. It all boils down to the amount of points or miles you have in your travel bank for each airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to travel hacking? Your first task is opening the credit card that comes that comes with a welcome 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 what features are essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards that are excellent 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 card you’ll need to hit the minimum spend limit in order to qualify for the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so be sure to check for the details. From there you can begin to rack up miles and using them to plan your dream trip!
Are you ready to set sail with your points?
Now that you’ve built up the points balance, you’re ready to redeem them for some nice travel! Different credit card companies will offer different ways to redeem your rewards, here are a few examples from some of the companies I’ve had experience with:
Getaway with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own an Chase credit card, then you are able to redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. In the portal, you’ll have access to almost every airline and you can combine points and cash to pay for your trip. You can even book entirely with points if you’ve enough balance! Sometimes, even if you don’t possess enough points for the entire cost, you still can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with any credit card.
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 either points or dollars? Butbe aware that if you don’t have enough points you cannot combine dollars and points for the same flight. If you’re a few points short, United provides the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience with extra legroom and free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to United’s, allowing you to book with either JetBlue points or dollars, but not both. The difference is that JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that allows you to combine your points with family members to accrue points twice as fast. Make sure to establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack into the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re like me or my travel companion Becca, you’re probably pretty frugal and it can be challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the required amount to qualify for credit card bonuses. However, don’t be worried, we’ve been through it and we’re here to share some of 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 credit card, go for it! Make sure you be charged a fee, typically about 3 percent. It may be worth it in the end when the bonus is large enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the minimum spend is to cover a medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses in the near future, ask your family members to pay for theirs and they’ll reimburse you.
Pay off the loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan, consider repaying them using the credit card you have. Be sure to pay off the balance on your credit card in full so you don’t accumulate additional debt.
Ask family for help
Talk to your family and determine if they’ve got any large expenses coming up which you could help pay for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to trust the person and they know why you’re doing it.
If you’re celebrating the holidays, consider buying all your gifts with cards from your credit account. In this way, you’ll hit that minimum spend and also be prepared to give gifts. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you were contemplating to.
There are a lot of ways to make the most out of the travel credit card. You can accumulate miles or points that you can use towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are some additional suggestions for maximising your rewards
Book travel expenses with your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, use the travel credit card to book your hotel, flight, rental car, and other travel costs. Not only will you achieve the minimum amount of spending required for your credit card, but you’ll also earn points or miles on those costs.
Make use of your credit card to pay for everyday expenditures
Another way to hit the minimum spend in order to accumulate points making use of your credit card to pay for everyday expenses. This could include items like groceries, gas or even your phone 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 miles or bonus points for certain types of purchases, like dining or travel. Check out the rewards program of your credit card and take advantage of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending habits.
Consider the possibility of transferring your balance
If you have existing debt on a high-interest credit card, think about transferring that balance to an account with a travel credit card that has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfers. This will allow you to pay off the debt without accruing interest. It will also aid in achieving the minimum spend for the credit card’s bonus.
Utilize your miles and points carefully
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of points or miles Make sure to utilize the points or miles wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card, and evaluate the benefits of different redemption options. For instance you can use points to book a flight directly with the airline might give you a better value than using them for a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer your points to other loyalty programs. This allows you to get a wider selection of choices and more freedom when it comes to redeeming your rewards. For instance, you might be eligible to transfer your reward to the frequent flyer program of an airline or reward program for hotels. This can give the benefit of a greater variety of hotels, flights and other travel benefits that aren’t accessible through your credit card’s rewards program.
Additionally, try to discover if your credit card offers some perks that could help you save money on travel costs. Some cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that can be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with someone else, both of you can earn rewards with your credit card. Be aware that you cannot divide the cost with the same card, and be sure to track your rewards in a separate manner.
The key to maximizing your travel rewards is to know the rewards program on your credit card and make sure you’re making use of it in the most efficient way possible. By using an array of methods I’ve described, you’ll be able to get rewards in a short time, use rewards for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad range of travel perks.