Are you fed up of spending an enormous amount on flights? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting method to convert 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 imagination and some knowledge, you can be jet-setting for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can later be used to purchase cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards will also let you redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or car rental offers.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for success in hacking travel is taking advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and to establish frequent flyer miles for a specific group of airlines. When you are ready 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 over $500, you’ll need to look into those frequent flyer accounts and determine which airline offers you the most value. It all comes down to the number of miles or points in your travel account for each airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to hacking travel? The first step is opening the credit card that comes with a sign-up offer. There are plenty of great credit cards with various features and benefits. It all depends on your preferred airline, your habits with spending and the features that are most important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards that are perfect to use for hacking travel:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
After you’ve been accepted for a credit card you’ll have to meet the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to receive the bonus. Every card has different rules, so make sure to check for this information. From there it’s all about building up miles, and then using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your ideas?
After you’ve accrued your points amount, it’s time to use them towards delicious travel! Different credit card companies offer different ways to redeem your rewards, here are some examples from a few of the providers I’ve had experience with:
Take a trip with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own a Chase cards, you can redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through it, you’ll get access to virtually every airline and you can use a combination of the points as well as cash in order to book your travel. You can even book completely on points if you have enough balance! Sometimes even if you do not be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for total cost, you are able to buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with any credit card.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for your flight tickets? Did you know that when you book directly through United You have the option of paying with dollars or points? Be careful in case you don’t have enough points you can’t combine dollars and points on flights. Don’t worry, though, if you’re just a few points away, United gives you the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience , with more legroom as well as free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is like United’s, allowing customers to book using either JetBlue dollar or points, but not both. But, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that allows you to 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 anything like me and my travel buddy Becca, you’re probably pretty thrifty and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to hit the minimum amount required to earn credit card bonuses. Don’t worry, we’ve been through it and we’re here to share our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able to pay for your rent with credit card, go for it! Just be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually about 3%. It may be worth it in the end if the bonus is high enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another way to reach the spending limit is to cover a medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills coming up then ask your relatives if you could pay them for theirs, and they can pay you back.
Pay off the loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan take into consideration paying them off with an credit card. Make sure to pay the credit card balance in full so you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask family for help
Talk to your family and look into any major expenses in the near future which you could help pay for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to are able to trust the person and that they understand why you’re doing this.
If you’re celebrating the holidays, consider buying all of your gifts with cards from your credit account. So you’ll be able to meet the minimum spending limit and also be ready for giving gifts. Be sure to avoid spending more than you planning to.
There are plenty of ways to get the most from using your credit or debit card for travel and earn miles or points to be used towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few additional ways to maximize your rewards
Book travel expenses with your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, use you travel credit card for booking your hotel, flight, rental car, and other travel costs. You’ll not only achieve the required amount to qualify for a credit card reward as well, however, you’ll also earn points or miles to cover the expenditures.
Make use of your credit card to pay for everyday costs
Another method to reach the minimum spending requirement and earn points is by using your credit card to pay every day costs. This could be things like gas, groceries or even your phone bill. Make sure you pay off the balance in full each month so you don’t pay interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or bonus points for certain types of purchases, such as eating out or traveling. Check out your credit card’s rewards program and take advantage of any bonus categories that align with your spending habits.
Take into consideration a balance transfer
If you are currently in 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 allow you to pay off the debt without accruing interest. It will also help you hit the minimum spend for the credit card’s bonus.
Use your points or miles prudently
If you’ve amassed a large amount of points or miles make sure you use the points or miles wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card and then compare the value of different redemption options. For instance, using your points to book a ticket directly with the airline could provide you with a greater return than using them for an gift card.
Another suggestion is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer points to other loyalty programs. This allows you to have a wider range of choices and more flexibility when redeeming your rewards. For instance, you might be able to transfer your reward to an airline’s frequent flyer program or Hotel rewards programme. This can give the benefit of a larger variety of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks which are not available through the rewards program on your credit card.
In addition, you should find out the card’s benefits. certain benefits that will reduce your travel expenses. Some 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 a friend, both of you can get rewards on your credit card. Be aware that you cannot share the costs on the same card. Also, make sure to keep track of your rewards separately.
Overall, the key to reaping the maximum benefits from your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program on your credit card and to ensure you’re making use of it in the most efficient method possible. Through a combination of the strategies I’ve listed in this article, you’ll be able get rewards in a short time, use them for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide range of travel perks.