Are you tired of spending an enormous amount on flights? Good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting way to convert sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles, which you can use to get discounted or even complimentary flights for your ideal destinations. With a bit of creativity and some 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 swapping credit card sign-up bonus and incentives for airline miles. The miles can be used to purchase discounted or even free flights. Some credit cards also permit you to use 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 credit card sign-up bonus and establishing a frequent flyer mile program for a specific group of airlines. When it comes time to book a flight take a look at the price. If the cost is less than $300, it’s best to pay 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 review your frequent flyer accounts to find out which airline will give you the most value. It all comes down to the number of points or miles you have in your travel account for every airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to hacking travel? Your first task is opening the credit card that comes with a sign-up offer. There are plenty of great credit cards that provide a variety of features and benefits. It depends on the type of airline, your habits with spending and the features that are most essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit card options that can be perfect to hack travel
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
Once you’ve been approved for a credit card, you’ll need to hit the limit of spending minimum in order to receive the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of guidelines, so make sure to look up the details. Then, it’s all about racking miles and using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your goals?
After you’ve accrued the points amount, it’s time to redeem them for some sweet vacation! Different credit card companies will have different methods for redeeming your points. Here are some examples from some of the ones I’ve had experience with:
Escape with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of a Chase credit card, then you are able to use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In the portal, you’ll have access to virtually every airline and you can make use of a combination of money and points to book your next trip. You can book your flight entirely with points if you’ve the balance for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t possess enough points for the full cost, you still can book flights using the 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 know that when you book directly through United You have the option of paying with dollars or points? But, be careful, if you do not have enough points you cannot combine points and dollars on the same flight. If you’re just a few point short United provides the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue offers a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience with extra legroom and free snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines which allows customers to book using either JetBlue either dollars or points however, not both. But, JetBlue offers a distinct feature where you can pool your points together with your relatives to earn points twice as quickly. Make sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack into the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel buddy Becca I’m sure you’re pretty thrifty and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to hit the required amount to qualify for a credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried, 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 big one! If you’re able to pay for your rent using credit card, go for it! Be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually at least 3%. It could be worthwhile in the end if the bonus is high enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another way to reach the required spending is to cover a medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills due Ask your relatives if you could pay their medical bills and they will reimburse you.
Make a payment to pay off a loan
If you have any loans, consider repaying them using the credit card you have. Make sure to pay off the balance on your credit card completely so that you don’t accrue additional debt.
Ask family for help
Discuss your family with them and look into any large expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Just make sure you trust the person and they are aware of the reason for doing this.
If it’s the holiday season, consider buying all your gifts with cards from your credit account. In this way, you’ll reach the minimum spending requirement and be ready to give gifts. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you contemplating to.
There are many methods to get the most of using your credit or debit card for travel. accrue points or miles to use towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few more ideas for maximizing the rewards you earn:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a vacation, make use of the travel credit card for booking your hotel, flight, rental car, and any other travel expenses. Not only will you be able to meet the minimum amount of spending required to earn your credit card reward, however, you’ll also earn points or miles on those expenditures.
Use your credit card to pay for your everyday costs
Another way to hit the minimum spend to earn rewards is utilising your credit cards to pay for every day expenditures. This could be things like food, gas or even your phone bill. Make sure you pay the balance off each month in full so you don’t pay interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer bonus points or miles on certain kinds of purchases, like eating out or traveling. Check out the rewards program of your credit card and take advantage of any bonus categories that align with your spending routines.
Think about a balance transfer
If you have existing debt on a credit card, think about transferring the balance to an account with a travel credit card that has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfers. This will enable you to pay off your debt without accruing interest and simultaneously aid in achieving the minimum amount required to earn the credit card’s bonus.
Use your points or miles wisely
If you’ve amassed a large amount of miles or points make sure you use the points or miles wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and then compare the benefits of different redemption options. For example using your points to purchase a flight directly with the airline might provide you with a greater value than using them to purchase a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer your points to other loyalty programs. This will let you have a wider range of options and greater freedom when it comes to you want to redeem your rewards. For instance, you might be capable of transferring your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a Hotel rewards programme. This will give you access to a larger selection of hotels, flights and other travel benefits that aren’t available through your credit card’s rewards program.
In addition, you should discover if your credit card offers any perks that can help you save money on travel expenses. Many cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection and other benefits that could be very beneficial when traveling.
When you travel with someone else, both of you can get rewards on your credit card. Make sure you don’t share the costs on the same card, and be sure to keep track of your rewards separately.
The key to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to know the rewards program on your credit card and make sure you’re making use of your credit card in the most efficient method possible. Utilizing all of the strategies I’ve listed in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards fast, exchange them for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide range of travel perks.