Are you tired of spending an enormous amount on flights? Good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting method to convert bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles, that can then be used to score discounted or cheap flights from your ideal destinations. With a bit of imagination and some knowledge, you can 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 rewards for airline miles. These miles can later be used to buy discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards allow you to redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or rental car offers.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for success in hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and building out frequent flyer miles on a select group of airlines. When it’s time to make a booking consider the cost. If the flight is under $300, it’s generally better to pay cash and use your miles to pay to take a more costly flight. When the flights start getting higher than $500, it’s best to check the frequent flyer account and find out which airline will give you the best price. It all comes down to the amount of points or miles in your travel bank for each airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets of travel hacking? First step opening an account with a sign-up offer. There are many great credit cards that provide various advantages and features. It depends on the type of airline, your spending habits, and what features are important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit card options that can be perfect to use for hacking 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 limit of spending minimum in order to qualify for the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so be sure to look up this information. From there it’s all about building up miles and using them to plan your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your ideas?
Now that you’ve built up your points balance, you’re ready to redeem them for some nice vacation! Different credit card companies will have different methods for redeeming your points, but here are some examples from some of the companies I’ve had experience with:
Escape by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of a Chase credit card, then you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In this portal you’ll have access to almost every airline and you can use a combination of money and points to book your trip. You can book your flight entirely with points if you’ve the funds to pay for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t possess enough points for the total cost, you still can buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with any credit card.
Are you tired of paying full price for your flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option of paying using dollars or points? Butbe aware that if you don’t have enough points you cannot combine dollars and points for the same flight. No worries though, if you’re just a few points away, United also offers the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience , with more legroom and free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is like United’s which allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue dollar or points, however, not both. However, JetBlue has a unique feature that lets you combine your points with your family members and earn points twice as quickly. Just make sure you can prove you’re really family before trying to hack into the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel buddy Becca You’re probably quite frugal and it can be difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum amount required to earn a credit card bonus. But don’t fret because we’ve been there and are 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 credit card, then do it! Just be prepared to pay a fee, usually about 3 percent. It could be worthwhile in the end in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the minimum spend is to cover an medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses due Ask your family members if you can pay them for theirs, and they can reimburse you.
Repay a loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan you owe, think about making payments on them with an credit card. Just make sure you pay the credit card balance completely so that you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Discuss your family with them and determine if they’ve got any big expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Just make sure you have confidence in the person you are talking to and they are aware of the reason for doing it.
If you’re celebrating the holidays you should consider purchasing all of your gifts with cards from your credit account. This way you can reach the minimum spending requirement and also be prepared for gift giving. Make sure that you’re not paying more than you contemplating to.
There are many ways to make 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 suggestions for maximising your rewards:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, use the travel credit card for booking your flight, hotel, rental car, and any other travel expenses. Not only will you achieve the minimum amount of spending required to earn your credit card reward, however, you’ll also earn points or miles for the expenditures.
Utilize your credit card to pay for all your daily costs
Another method to reach the minimum spend in order to accumulate points making use of your credit card to pay everyday expenditures. This can include items like groceries, gas, and even your phone bill. Be sure to pay the balance off in full every month to ensure you don’t accrue interest charges.
Make the most 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 avail the bonus categories that are in line with your spending habits.
Think about a balance transfer
If you’re in the middle of a outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, think about transferring the balance to an account with a travel credit card that has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfer. This will enable you to pay off your debts without accruing interest and simultaneously help you hit the minimum amount required to earn the credit card’s bonus.
Make use of your miles or points wisely
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points, be sure to use them in a responsible manner. Review the rewards program for your credit card and then compare the worth of various redemption options. For example you can use points to purchase a flight directly through the airline may provide you with a greater value than using them to purchase an gift card.
Another suggestion is to use 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 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 Hotel rewards programme. This can give an access wider range of flights, hotels as well as other travel perks which are not offered through the rewards program on your credit card.
In addition, you should find out if your credit card offers any perks that can reduce your travel costs. Some cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that are invaluable when you travel.
If you’re traveling with a friend and both of you get rewards on your credit card. Make sure you don’t share the costs on the same card. Also, make sure to keep track of your rewards separately.
The key to making the most of your rewards for travel is to be aware of your credit card’s rewards program and to ensure you’re making use of your credit card in the most effective way possible. By using an array of strategies I’ve outlined in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards fast, exchange rewards for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide variety of travel benefits.