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 bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles which can be used to score discounted or complimentary flights for your desired destinations. With a little bit of imagination and a little bit of insider knowledge, you can travel for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. The miles can be used to purchase cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards let you redeem miles towards hotel stays or rental car offers.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for successful hacking travel is taking advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and to establish a frequent flyer mile program with a limited number of airlines. When you are ready to book a flight take a look at the price. If the flight is under $300, it’s best to pay in cash and save your miles to take a more costly flight. When the flights start getting over $500, you’ll need to look into the frequent flyer account and determine which airline offers you the best price. All it boils down to is the amount of miles or points in your travel bank for every airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to hacking travel? The first step is opening a credit card that comes with a welcome bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards that offer various advantages and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, spending habits and the features that are most important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards that are great to hack travel
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
If you’ve been approved for a credit card you’ll have to meet the minimum spend limit in order to qualify for the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so make sure to check for the details. Then it’s all about building up miles, and then using them to book your dream vacation!
Ready to jet-set with your ideas?
Once you’ve accumulated your points amount, it’s time to use them towards nice getaway! Different credit card companies will have different methods of redeeming your rewards, here are a few examples from some of the ones I’ve worked with:
Escape through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you have a Chase card, you can redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within the portal, you’ll have access to almost every airline. You can make use of a combination of the points as well as cash in order to book your travel. You can even book completely with points if you’ve enough balance! Sometimes even if you don’t have enough points to cover the full 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 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 do not have enough points you can’t combine dollars and points for one flight. No worries though, if you’re only a couple of points away, United provides the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience with extra legroom and free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to United’s, allowing passengers to book flights using JetBlue either dollars or points but not both. However, JetBlue offers a distinct feature that lets you join your points with family members to accrue points twice as quickly. Make sure to establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re like me or 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 minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus. But don’t fret because we’ve been there and we’re here to share some of our tips and tricks.
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 pay a cost, which is usually around 3 percent. It may be worth it in the long run in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another way to reach the minimum spend is to pay for a medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills coming up Ask your relatives if you could pay them for theirs, and they’ll repay you.
Pay off a loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan take into consideration paying them off with the credit card you have. Make sure to pay off the balance on your credit card completely so that you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask family for help
Discuss your family with them and determine if they’ve got any big expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to have confidence in the person you are talking to and they understand why you’re taking the initiative.
If it’s the holiday season you should consider purchasing all of your gifts with the credit card you have. So you’ll be able to hit that minimum spend and be ready for giving gifts. Be sure to avoid spending more than you were thinking of.
There are many ways to make the most out of your travel credit card. earn miles or points to spend on flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are some additional ideas for maximizing 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 or rental car, as well as other travel costs. You’ll not only achieve the minimum spend for your credit card reward, however, you’ll also earn points or miles on the expenditures.
Utilize your credit card to pay for all your daily costs
Another way to hit the minimum amount of spending in order to accumulate points utilising your credit cards for everyday expenditures. This could include items like groceries, gas or even your phone bill. Be sure to pay the balance off each month in full so you don’t pay interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or bonus points on certain kinds of purchases, including dining or travel. Be sure to review the rewards program of your credit card and make use of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending habits.
Think about the possibility of transferring your balance
If you have existing outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, think about transferring that balance to a travel credit card with the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfers. This will allow 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.
Use your points or miles wisely
When you’ve earned a significant amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize them wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card, and evaluate the value of different redemption options. For example you can use your points to purchase a flight directly through the airline may give you a better 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 allow you to enjoy a greater variety of options and greater flexibility when you want to redeem your rewards. For example, you may be eligible to transfer your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a Hotel rewards programme. This can give the benefit of a greater range of flights, hotels, and other travel perks that may not be offered through the rewards program on your credit card.
In addition, you should determine the card’s benefits. any perks that can reduce your travel expenses. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that are extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
If you’re traveling with someone else each of you will be able to earn rewards using your credit card. Be aware that you cannot split the cost on the same card. Also, make sure you keep track of your rewards separately.
The key to making the most of your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program on your credit card and ensure that you’re making use of this program in the most efficient way possible. Through an array of strategies I’ve listed in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards quickly, redeem them for travel experiences that are worth it and benefit from a wide range of travel perks.