Are you fed up of spending a fortune on airfare? Well, good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting method to convert bonus and sign-up incentives into miles that can then be used to obtain discounted or complimentary flights for your desired destinations. With a bit of imagination and a little bit of insider knowledge, you can be jet-setting for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. These miles can then be used to pay for cheap or free flight tickets. Some credit cards also let you redeem miles for hotel stays and rental car deals.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for success in hacking travel is taking advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and to establish a frequent flyer mile program with a limited number of airlines. When you are ready to book a flight take a look at the price. If the cost is less than $300, it’s usually better to pay in cash and save your miles to book a higher-priced flight. When the flights start getting over $500, you’ll need to review those frequent flyer accounts to find out which airline will give you the most value. It all boils down to the number of points or miles you have you have in your travel savings account for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets of travel hacking? Your first task is opening an account that comes with a welcome bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards with various features and benefits. It is all dependent on the airline, your habits with spending and what features are essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some 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 card you’ll have to meet the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to get the bonus. Each card has its own guidelines, so make sure to look up the details. Then, it’s all about racking up miles, and using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your goals?
After you’ve accrued your points balance, you’re ready to cash them in for some nice getaway! Different credit card companies offer different ways to redeem your points, but here are some examples from some of the ones I’ve worked with:
Getaway by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of a Chase credit card, then you are able to redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. In this portal you’ll have access to nearly every airline. 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 don’t have enough points to cover the full 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 tired of paying full price for flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United You have the option of paying with dollars or points? Butbe aware, 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 possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience , with more space and complimentary snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines that allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue points or dollars however, not both. But, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that lets you pool your points together with family members to accrue 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 companion Becca You’re probably quite economical and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus. Don’t worry as we’ve done it and we’re 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 a credit card, do it! Be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually at least 3%. It could be worthwhile in the end when the bonus is large enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another great way to hit the minimum spend is to pay for an medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses coming up then ask your family members to pay for theirs and they’ll pay you back.
Pay off the loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan take into consideration repaying them using an credit card. Be sure to pay off the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask family for help
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 understand why you’re doing this.
If you’re celebrating the holidays, consider buying all your gifts with cards from your credit account. So you’ll be able to hit that minimum spend and also be ready for gift giving. Just make sure you’re not paying more than you thinking of.
There are many ways to make the most of using your credit or debit card for travel. You can accumulate miles or points that you can spend on flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few more ways to maximize your rewards:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
If you’re planning a vacation, make use of your travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel, rental car, and other travel costs. In addition, you’ll achieve the required amount for your credit card and earn points, but you’ll also earn points or miles to cover those expenditures.
Make use of your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday costs
Another way to hit the minimum spending requirement to earn rewards is using your credit card to pay everyday expenses. This can include things like food, gas or even your phone bill. Make sure you pay off the balance in full each month so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Take advantage of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide bonus points or miles on certain kinds of purchases, including dining or travel. Make sure you review your rewards program on your credit card and make use of any bonus categories that align with your spending routines.
Think about a balance transfer
If you have existing debt on a high-interest credit card, think about transferring that balance to a travel credit card with the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfers. This will enable you to pay off your debt without accruing interest. It will also help you hit the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus.
Make use of your miles or points carefully
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of points or miles Make sure to utilize them in a responsible manner. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and compare the benefits of different redemption options. For instance you can use points to book a flight directly with the airline might provide you with a greater value than using them to purchase the purchase of a gift card.
Another tip is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer points to other loyalty programs. This will let you enjoy a greater variety of options and greater flexibility in making use of your rewards. For instance, you might be capable of transferring your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a reward program for hotels. This can give you access to a wider variety of hotels, flights, and other travel perks that aren’t offered through the rewards program on your credit card.
Also, determine whether your credit card has any perks that can reduce your travel costs. Some cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that are extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a friend each of you will be able to get rewards on your own credit card. Make sure you don’t split the cost on the same card, and be sure to track your rewards in a separate manner.
In the end, the most important thing to do to maximizing your travel rewards is to know your credit card’s rewards program and ensure that you’re using your credit card in the most effective method possible. Through all of the methods I’ve described in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards quickly, redeem them for travel experiences that are worth it, and enjoy a wide range of travel perks.