Are you tired of paying a fortune on airfare? Well, good news! Travel hacking is the answer to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting way to convert credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles which can be used to get discounted or even free flights to your dream destinations. With a little bit of imagination and a little bit of insider know-how, you’ll fly for no cost within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of swapping credit card sign-up bonus as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can then be used to purchase cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards will also let you redeem miles for hotel stays and rental car discounts.
How Does it Work?
The key to successful hacking travel is taking advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and building out frequent flyer miles with a limited number of airlines. When it’s time to make a booking 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 for a more expensive flight. When the flights start getting higher than $500, it’s best to look into your frequent flyer accounts and see which airline can give you the best deal. It all boils down to the amount of points or miles you have in your travel bank for every airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to travel hacking? The first step is opening a credit card with a sign-up bonus. There are many great credit cards with a variety of advantages and features. It is all dependent on the airline, your spending habits, and what features are crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards excellent to use for hacking travel:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
If you’ve been approved for a credit or debit card, you’ll need to hit the minimum spend limit in order to receive the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so make sure to look up this information. From there, it’s all about racking up miles, and using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your goals?
Now that you’ve built up the points amount, it’s time to redeem them for some sweet vacation! Different credit card companies will have different methods of redeeming your points, but here are some examples from some of the companies I have experience with:
Getaway through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you own a Chase credit card, then you are able to use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within this portal you’ll get access to nearly every airline. You can combine the points as well as cash in order to book your travel. You can even book entirely on points if you have enough balance! Sometimes even if you do not possess enough points for the full price, you 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 flight tickets? Did you know that when you book directly through United, you have the option to pay with dollars or points? Be careful, if you don’t have enough points you aren’t able to combine points and dollars for the same flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re just a few points short, United also offers the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue provides an enjoyable and comfortable travel experience that includes extra legroom as well as free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is like United’s which allows customers to book using either JetBlue either dollars or points, but not both. But, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that lets you pool your points together with your family members and earn points twice as fast. Just make sure you can establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel companion Becca I’m sure you’re pretty economical and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum spend for credit card bonuses. Don’t worry, 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 huge one! If you’re able pay your rent with credit card, then do it! Just be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually about 3%. It might be worth it in the end if the bonus is high enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another way to reach the spending limit is to pay for the medical bills. If you do not have any medical expenses coming up Ask your family members to pay for theirs and they’ll repay you.
Repay a loan
If you have any loans, consider repaying them using an credit card. Just make sure you pay off the balance on your credit card completely so that you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask family for help
Talk to your family and see if they have any large expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to have confidence in the person you are talking to and they are aware of the reason for doing it.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season you should consider purchasing all your gifts using your credit card. So you’ll be able to hit that minimum spend and also be prepared for gift giving. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you were thinking of.
There are many ways to get the most out of using your credit or debit card for travel. You can accrue points or miles to be used towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few additional suggestions for maximising your rewards:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, make use of the travel credit card for booking your hotel, flight, rental car, and other travel costs. Not only will you be able to hit the required amount to qualify for a credit card bonus as well, however, you’ll also earn points or miles on these expenses.
Make use of your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday expenses
Another method to reach the minimum amount of spending in order to accumulate points using your credit card for everyday costs. This could be things like food, gas and even your telephone bill. Make sure you pay the balance off in full each month so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Take advantage of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or bonus points for certain types of purchases, such as eating out or traveling. Be sure to review your credit card’s rewards program and make use of any bonus categories that align with your spending habits.
Take into consideration the possibility of transferring your balance
If you have existing 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 allow you to pay off the debt without accruing interest, and also aid in achieving the minimum spending requirement for the credit card bonus.
Utilize your miles and points wisely
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of points or miles make sure you use the points or miles wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and then compare the worth of various redemption options. For example, using points to purchase a flight directly with the airline might provide you with a greater value than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another option is to get rewards cards that allow you to transfer your reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will let you enjoy a greater variety of choices and more flexibility when you want to redeem your rewards. For instance, you might be capable of transferring your rewards to the frequent flyer program of an airline or a Hotel rewards programme. This will give the benefit of a wider range of flights, hotels as well as other travel perks that may not be offered through the rewards program of your credit card.
Additionally, try to discover the card’s benefits. certain benefits that will help you save money on travel expenses. Some cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that are very beneficial when traveling.
When you travel with a companion each of you will be able to get rewards on your credit card. Just remember that you can’t divide the cost with the same card. Also, make sure to keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
The key to making the most of your travel rewards is to understand your credit card’s rewards program and make sure you’re making use of this program in the most efficient way possible. Through a combination of the strategies I’ve listed that you can earn rewards fast, exchange rewards for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide assortment of travel-related perks.