Are you tired of paying an enormous amount on flights? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s a fun way to convert credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into miles that can then be used to obtain discounted or cheap flights from your dream destinations. With a bit of imagination and some knowledge, you can be jet-setting for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about trading credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can later be used to pay for cheap or free flight tickets. Some credit cards also allow you to redeem miles towards hotel stays or rental car discounts.
How Does it Work?
The secret to success in travel hacking is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and to establish frequent flyer miles 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 usually better to pay cash and save your miles to book a higher-priced flight. When the flights start getting over $500, you’ll need to check those frequent flyer accounts and determine which airline offers you the best deal. All it boils down to is the amount of miles or points you have in your travel savings account for every airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to travel hacking? The first step is to open an account with a sign-up offer. There are plenty of great credit cards that offer a variety of benefits and features. It is all dependent on the airline, your habits with spending and what features are essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit card options that can be great 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 receive the bonus. Every card has different rules, so be sure to check for this information. Then you can begin to rack up miles and using them to plan your dream trip!
Are you ready to set sail with your ideas?
Once you’ve accumulated your points balance, it’s time to redeem them for some delicious getaway! Different credit card providers will have different methods of redeeming your points. Here are some examples from some of the companies I’ve had experience with:
Escape through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you have a Chase card, you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through this portal you’ll have access to almost every airline. You can combine points and cash to pay for your travel. You can even book entirely using points if you’ve got enough balance! Sometimes even if you do not possess enough points for the entire 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 full price for your flight tickets? Did you not know that when you book directly through United You have the option of paying with either points or dollars? Be careful in case you don’t have enough points, you aren’t able to combine dollars and points on the same flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re only a couple of points short, United provides the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience with extra legroom and free snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines that allows customers to book using either JetBlue points or dollars however, not both. However, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that allows you to pool your points together with your family members and earn points twice as fast. Just make sure you can verify that you are a family member before trying to hack into the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
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 in order to meet the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried as we’ve done it and we’re here to share some of our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able to pay your rent with credit card, go for it! Just be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually around 3 percent. It could be worthwhile in the end in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another great way to hit the minimum spend is to cover the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills coming up then ask your relatives if you could pay them for theirs, and they’ll repay you.
Pay off a loan
If you have any loans, consider paying them off with the credit card you have. 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 major expenses in the near future that you can help pay for. Just make sure you trust the person and they understand why you’re doing it.
If it’s the holiday season, consider buying all your gifts with the credit card you have. In this way, you’ll hit that minimum spend and also be prepared for giving gifts. Be sure to avoid spending more than you were already thinking of.
There are plenty of ways to get the most from the travel credit card and accumulate miles or points that you can spend on airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few more suggestions for maximising your rewards
Make travel reservations using your credit card
If you’re planning a vacation, make use of your travel credit card for booking your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as any other travel expenses. In addition, you’ll achieve the minimum amount of spending required to qualify for a credit card and earn points, but you’ll also be earning points or miles on those expenditures.
Use your credit card to pay for your everyday expenditures
Another way to hit the minimum amount of spending to earn rewards is by utilising your credit cards for every day costs. This could be things like food, gas or even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay the balance off in full each month so you don’t pay interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or bonus points for certain types of purchases, like eating out or traveling. Be sure to review your rewards program on your credit card and make use of any bonus categories that match with your spending habits.
Consider a balance transfer
If you have existing debt on a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer that balance onto an account with a travel credit card that has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfers. This will allow you to pay off your debt without accruing interest. It will also help you hit the minimum spending requirement for the credit card bonus.
Use your points or miles wisely
If you’ve amassed a large amount of points or miles, be sure to use them wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card and then compare the value of different redemption options. For example using points to book a flight directly through the airline may offer better value than using them to purchase the purchase of a gift card.
Another option is to get a rewards card that allows you to transfer rewards to different loyalty program. This will let you enjoy a greater variety of choices and more flexibility in redeeming your rewards. For instance, you might be able to transfer your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or Hotel rewards programme. This can give you access to a wider range of flights, hotels, and other travel perks that may not be available through your credit card’s rewards program.
Additionally, try to determine the card’s benefits. certain benefits that will reduce your travel costs. Some cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that could be very beneficial when traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with someone else each of you will be able to earn rewards using your own credit card. Make sure you don’t divide the cost with the same card and make sure you keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do to maximizing your travel rewards is to understand your credit card’s rewards program and ensure that you’re making use of this program in the most effective method possible. Utilizing all of the strategies I’ve outlined that you can earn rewards quickly, redeem them for travel experiences that are worth it and take advantage of a broad range of travel perks.