Are you tired of paying an enormous amount on flights? Good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting method to turn credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles which you can use to obtain discounted or complimentary flights for your dream destinations. With a bit of imagination and some information, you’ll travel for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of trading credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can later be used to pay for discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards allow you to redeem miles for hotel stays and car rental discounts.
How Does it Work?
The secret to successful hacking travel is taking advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and to establish frequent flyer miles with a limited number of airlines. When it comes time to book a flight consider the cost. If the flight is under $300, it’s best to pay cash and use your miles to pay to book a higher-priced flight. When the flights start getting higher than $500, it’s best to check your frequent flyer accounts to find out which airline will give you the best price. It all comes down to the amount of points or miles you have in your travel bank for each airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to hacking travel? First step to open an account that comes with a welcome bonus. There are many great credit cards that offer many benefits and features. It is all dependent on the airline, spending habits and the features that are most important 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
After you’ve been accepted for a credit or debit card, you’ll need to hit the limit of spending minimum in order to get the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of guidelines, so make certain to verify the details. From there, it’s all about racking up miles, and then using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your ideas?
After you’ve accrued your points balance, you’re ready to redeem them for some sweet vacation! Different credit card companies will offer different ways to redeem your rewards, here are some examples from a few of the companies I’ve had experience with:
Getaway through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you own an Chase card, you are able to redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. In it, you’ll get access to virtually every airline, and you can make use of a combination of points and cash to pay for your travel. You can even book completely with points if you’ve the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you do not possess enough points for the full cost, you still can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with any credit card.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for your flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option of paying using either points or dollars? But, be careful that if you don’t have enough points you cannot combine dollars and points for flights. If you’re only a couple of point short United provides the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue provides a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience with extra legroom as well as free snacks. Plus, their booking process is like United’s which allows customers to book using either JetBlue dollar or points, but not both. However, JetBlue has a unique feature that lets you pool your points together with family members to accrue points twice as quickly. Be sure to 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 frugal and it can be difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to hit the minimum spend for a credit card bonus. But don’t fret, we’ve been through it and are here to share 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, go for it! Make sure you be charged a fee, typically at least 3 percent. It could be worthwhile over the long term in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another great way to hit the spending limit is to pay for the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills in the near future, ask your family members to pay their medical bills and they can repay you.
Make a payment to pay off a loan
If you have any loans take into consideration repaying them using your credit card. Be sure to pay off the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t accrue additional debt.
Ask your family members for help
Talk to your family and look into any big expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Just make sure you have confidence in the person you are talking to and they know why you’re doing this.
If you’re celebrating the holidays you should consider purchasing all your gifts with cards from your credit account. In this way, you’ll reach the minimum spending requirement and also be prepared for gift giving. Be sure to avoid paying more than you already planning to.
There are plenty of methods to get the most out of using your credit or debit card for travel. You can accumulate miles or points that you can spend on the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. 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 you travel credit card to book your hotel, flight, rental car, and any other travel-related expenses. Not only will you be able to hit the required amount to qualify for a credit card reward as well, but you’ll also be earning points or miles on the expenses.
Make use of your credit card to pay for all your daily costs
Another method to reach the minimum spend to earn rewards is by using your credit card to pay daily costs. This can include items like groceries, gas, and even your phone bill. Make sure you pay the balance off each month in full so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Benefit from bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer bonus points or miles for certain types of purchases, like eating out or travelling. Be sure to review your credit card’s rewards program and avail the bonus categories that are in line with your spending habits.
Consider the possibility of transferring your balance
If you have existing debt on a high-interest credit card, consider transferring that balance onto an account with a travel credit card that has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfers. This will allow you to pay off your debts without accruing interest and simultaneously aid in achieving the minimum spending requirement for the credit card bonus.
Use your points or miles prudently
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points, be sure to use the points or miles wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and then compare the worth of various redemption options. For example you can use points to purchase a flight directly with the airline could offer better value than using them to purchase a gift card.
Another option is to get rewards cards that allow you to transfer your points to other loyalty programs. This allows you to enjoy a greater variety of options and greater flexibility in making use of your rewards. For instance, you might be able to transfer your rewards to the frequent flyer program of an airline or a reward program for hotels. This gives you access to a wider selection of hotels, flights and other travel benefits that aren’t offered through the rewards program of your credit card.
Also, find out whether your credit card has certain benefits that will save you money on travel-related costs. Many cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that are very beneficial when traveling.
If you’re traveling with someone else and both of you earn rewards using your own credit card. Make sure you don’t split the cost on the same card. Also, make sure to keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
In the end, the most important thing to do to maximizing your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program of your credit card and to ensure you’re making use of your credit card in the most efficient method possible. By using an array of strategies I’ve outlined, you’ll be able to earn rewards fast, exchange them for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad assortment of travel-related perks.