Are you fed up of spending an enormous amount on flights? Good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting way to convert bonus and sign-up incentives into miles which can be used to score discounted or cheap flights from your ideal destinations. With a little imagination and a little bit of insider information, you’ll travel for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about swapping credit card sign-up bonus and incentives for airline miles. The miles can be used to pay for cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards allow you to redeem miles for hotel stays and car rental offers.
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 on a select group of airlines. When it comes time to book a flight take a look at the price. If the price is less than $300, it’s usually better to pay cash and use your miles to pay to book a higher-priced flight. If the prices start to rise over $500, you’ll need to check those frequent flyer accounts to see which airline can give you the best deal. It all boils down to the number of points or miles you have you have in your travel savings account for each airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to travel hacking? First step to open a credit card with a sign-up offer. There are many great credit cards that offer many benefits and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, spending habits and what features are essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards perfect to hack travel
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
Once you’ve been approved for a credit or debit card, you’ll need to hit the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to get the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so be certain to verify this information. Then you can begin to rack up miles and using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your ideas?
Once you’ve accumulated the points amount, it’s time to redeem them for some nice getaway! Different credit card companies have different methods of redeeming your rewards, here are some examples from some of the providers I’ve had experience with:
Escape through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you own an Chase cards, you are able to use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through this portal you’ll have access to nearly every airline and you can make use of a combination of money and points to pay for your trip. You can book your flight entirely using points if you’ve got the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you don’t possess enough points for the total cost, you are able to purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using every credit card.
Are you fed up of paying full price for your flight tickets? Did you know that when you book directly through United, you have the option of paying with either points or dollars? Butbe aware in case you do not have enough points you cannot combine dollars and points on the same flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re just a few points short, United provides the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue offers an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience with extra legroom and free snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to United’s which allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue points or dollars however, not both. But, JetBlue has a unique feature that allows you to join your points with your relatives to earn points twice as quickly. Just make sure you can prove you’re really family before trying to hack the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me and my travel buddy Becca I’m sure you’re pretty thrifty and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to reach the required amount to qualify for the credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried, we’ve been through it and are here to share some of 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, then do it! Be prepared to pay a fee, usually at least 3 percent. It could be worthwhile in the long run in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another great way to hit the required spending is to cover an 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 will repay you.
Make a payment to pay off the loan
If you’re a borrower take into consideration repaying them using your credit card. Be sure to pay off the balance on your credit card in full , so that you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask family for help
Discuss your family with them and look into any big expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to 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 your credit card. In this way, you’ll hit that minimum spend and be ready for gift giving. Be sure to avoid paying more than you already planning to.
There are plenty of methods to get the most out of the travel credit card. earn miles or points to use towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few more ways to maximize your rewards:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
If you’re planning a vacation, make use of the travel credit card for booking your flight, hotel, rental car, and other travel costs. In addition, you’ll achieve the minimum amount of spending required to qualify for a credit card as well, however, you’ll also earn points or miles on those expenses.
Use your credit card for everyday expenditures
Another way to meet the minimum spending requirement and earn points is making use of your credit card to pay everyday expenditures. This can include things like gas, groceries, and even your phone bill. Make sure you pay off the balance each month in full so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Benefit from bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer bonus points or miles for certain types of purchases, such as eating out or travelling. Make sure you review the rewards program of your credit card and avail any bonus categories that align with your spending habits.
Take into consideration a balance transfer
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a credit card, consider transferring that balance onto an account with a travel credit card that has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfers. This will enable you to pay off your debts without accruing interest. It will also aid in achieving the minimum spending requirement for the credit card’s bonus.
Utilize your miles and points wisely
When you’ve earned a significant amount of points or miles make sure you use them wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card, and evaluate the value of different redemption options. For example, using points to book a ticket directly with the airline could give you a better value than using them to purchase a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will let you enjoy a greater variety of choices and more flexibility when making use of your rewards. For example, you may be capable of transferring your reward to an airline’s frequent flyer program or Hotel rewards programme. This can give an access greater variety of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks which are not accessible through the rewards program of your credit card.
In addition, you should find out the card’s benefits. certain benefits that will help you save money on travel expenses. Some cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection, and other benefits that can be invaluable when you travel.
Finally, when you’re traveling with someone else, both of you can get rewards on your credit card. Make sure you don’t split the cost on the same card and make sure you keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
Overall, the key to maximizing your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program on your credit card and make sure you’re making use of your credit card in the most efficient method possible. By using a combination of the strategies I’ve outlined that you can earn rewards quickly, redeem them for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad range of travel perks.