Are you fed up of spending an enormous amount on flights? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting method to convert credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into miles which can be used to score discounted or free flights to your dream destinations. With a little imagination and some information, you’ll travel for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about swapping credit card sign-up bonus and rewards for airline miles. The miles can be used to pay for cheap or free flight tickets. Some credit cards also let you redeem miles for hotel stays and rental car offers.
How Does it Work?
The secret to successful hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and building out frequent flyer miles with a limited number of airlines. When you are ready to make a booking take a look at the price. If the flight is less than $300, it’s best to pay in cash and use your miles to pay for a more expensive flight. If your flights begin to climb higher than $500, it’s best to look into the frequent flyer account and determine which airline offers you the most value. It all boils down to the number of points or miles you have in your travel bank for each airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets of travel hacking? The first step is to open a credit card that comes with a welcome bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards with various features and benefits. It is all dependent on the airline, spending habits and what features are important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit card options that can be great 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 have to meet the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to qualify for the bonus. Every card has different rules, so make sure to check for this information. Then, it’s all about racking up miles, and then using them to book your dream trip!
Ready to jet-set with your points?
Now that you’ve built up the points balance, it’s time to redeem them for some sweet vacation! Different credit card companies have different methods for redeeming your points, but here are some examples from some of the providers I’ve had experience with:
Escape through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you have a Chase card, you are able to use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In it, you’ll have access to almost every airline, and you can use a combination of money and points to book your trip. You can even book entirely on points if you have the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for total price, you can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using every credit card.
Are you fed up of paying full price for flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option of paying using either points or dollars? Be careful in case you do not have enough points you cannot combine dollars and points on flights. If you’re a few points short, United gives you the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue provides an enjoyable and comfortable travel experience that includes extra legroom as well as free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines that allows you to book with either JetBlue points or dollars but not both. But, JetBlue offers a distinct feature that allows you to pool your points together with family members to accrue points twice as fast. Be sure to establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack into the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me and my travel buddy Becca You’re probably quite frugal and it can be difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to reach the minimum spend for credit card bonuses. Don’t worry as we’ve done it and we’re here to share our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able pay your rent using credit card, then do it! Make sure you be charged a fee, typically around 3 percent. It might be worth it in the end in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay a medical bill
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 Ask your relatives if you could pay them for theirs, and they can repay you.
Make a payment to pay off a loan
If you have any loans take into consideration repaying them using the credit card you have. Be sure to pay the credit card balance in full so you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask family for help
Discuss your family with them and look into any large expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Make sure that you are able to are able to trust the person and that they understand why you’re doing this.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season you should consider purchasing all of your gifts with the credit card you have. This way you can meet the minimum spending limit and also be ready for giving gifts. Make sure that you’re not paying more than you already contemplating to.
There are a lot of ways to get the most out of using your credit or debit card for travel. earn miles or points to use towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are some additional ways to maximize the rewards you earn:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, use you travel credit card for booking your flight, hotel, rental car, and other travel costs. You’ll not only achieve the minimum amount of spending required to qualify for a credit card reward, but you’ll also be earning points or miles to cover those expenses.
Utilize your credit card to pay for all your daily costs
Another method to reach the minimum amount of spending and earn points is utilising your credit cards to pay for every day expenses. This could 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 pay interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or points in exchange for specific types of purchases, like dining or travel. Check out the rewards program of your credit card and make use of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending habits.
Take into consideration a balance transfer
If you are currently in debt on a high-interest credit card, consider transferring the balance to an account with a travel credit card that has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfers. This will let you pay off the debt without accruing interest, and also assist you in reaching the minimum spend for the credit card bonus.
Use your points or miles prudently
If you’ve amassed a large amount of points or miles Make sure to utilize them in a responsible manner. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and then compare the benefits of different redemption options. For example, using points to book a flight directly through the airline may offer better value than using them for a gift card.
Another tip is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer your points to other loyalty programs. This will allow 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 reward program for hotels. This will give an access larger selection of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks that aren’t accessible through the rewards program of your credit card.
Also, discover whether your credit card has certain benefits that will reduce your travel expenses. Many cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that are invaluable when you travel.
When you travel with a companion each of you will be able to earn rewards using your credit card. Just remember that you can’t divide the cost with the same card. Also, make sure to keep track of your rewards separately.
Overall, the key to making the most of your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program of your credit card and ensure that you’re using your credit card in the most efficient method. Utilizing a combination of the methods I’ve described in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards fast, exchange rewards for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide variety of travel benefits.