Are you tired of paying a fortune on airfare? Good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting method to convert credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into miles which can be used to get discounted or even free flights to your dream destinations. With a bit of creativity and some insider information, you’ll fly for no cost 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 then be used to purchase discount or no-cost flights. Some credit cards also allow you to redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or rental car deals.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for success in hacking travel is taking advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and establishing frequent flyer miles with a limited number of airlines. When you are ready to book a flight consider the cost. If the cost is under $300, it’s usually better to pay in cash and save your miles for a more expensive flight. If your flights begin to climb above $500, you’ll want to check the frequent flyer account and see which airline can give you the best deal. All it boils down to is 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 to hacking travel? First step opening an account that comes with a welcome bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that provide various features and benefits. It depends on the type of airline, your habits with spending and the features that are most 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 card you’ll need to hit the minimum spend limit in order to receive the bonus. Every card has different 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!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your points?
Now that you’ve built up your points amount, it’s time to redeem them for some delicious vacation! Different credit card providers will offer different ways to redeem your points, but here are some examples from some of the ones I’ve had experience with:
Escape through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you’re a holder of a Chase card, you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In it, you’ll have access to nearly every airline, and you can combine points and cash to pay for your trip. You can even book completely with points if you’ve the balance for it! Sometimes even if you don’t have enough points to cover the full cost, you still can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using any credit card.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for your flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United You have the option of paying using either points or dollars? Be careful that if you don’t have enough points, you aren’t able to combine dollars and points for one flight. If you’re just a few point short United also offers the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue provides passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience with extra legroom and free snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to United’s that allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue points or dollars, however, not both. However, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature where you can combine your points with family members to accrue points twice as fast. Be sure to establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack into the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re anything like me and my travel buddy Becca, you’re probably pretty frugal and it can be daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the required amount to qualify for credit card bonuses. Don’t worry because we’ve been there and we’re here to share some of our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able to pay your rent with credit card, then do it! Make sure you be charged a fee, typically about 3 percent. It might be worth it over the long term in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another great way to hit the spending limit is to cover an medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills due Ask your family members to pay for theirs and they’ll pay you back.
Make a payment to pay off a loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan you owe, think about paying them off with an credit card. Make sure to pay off the credit card balance completely so that you don’t end up with additional debt.
Ask your family members for help
Talk to your family and see if they have any large expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to are able to trust the person and that they know why you’re taking the initiative.
If it’s the holiday season you should consider purchasing all your gifts with cards from your credit account. This way you can meet the minimum spending limit and also be prepared for giving gifts. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you were already contemplating to.
There are a lot of ways to get the most from using your credit or debit card for travel and accumulate miles or points that you can be used towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few additional ideas for maximizing the rewards you earn:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
If you’re planning a vacation, make use of the travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as any other travel expenses. In addition, you’ll be able to hit the minimum amount of spending required for your credit card, but you’ll also be earning points or miles on the expenses.
Use your credit card for all your daily expenses
Another method to reach the minimum spending requirement and earn points is by making use of your credit card to pay everyday expenditures. This could be things like food, gas or even your phone bill. Be sure to pay the balance off each month in full so you don’t pay interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or points in exchange on certain kinds of purchases, including eating out or travelling. Check out your credit card’s rewards program and make use of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending routines.
Take into consideration a balance transfer
If you have existing debt on a credit card, think about transferring the balance to the travel credit card which has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will enable you to pay off your debt without accruing interest. It will also help you hit the minimum amount required to earn the credit card’s bonus.
Use your points or miles carefully
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points make sure you use the points or miles wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and then compare the worth of various redemption options. For instance, using your points to purchase a flight directly with the airline might offer better value than using them to purchase a gift card.
Another tip is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will let you get a wider selection of options and greater flexibility in redeeming your rewards. For instance, you might be eligible to transfer your rewards to the frequent flyer program of an airline or a Hotel rewards programme. This can give the benefit of a wider range of flights, hotels and other travel benefits which are not offered through your credit card’s rewards program.
Additionally, try to find out the card’s benefits. certain benefits that will reduce your travel costs. Some cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection, and other benefits that are very beneficial when traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a friend, both of you can earn rewards using your credit card. Make sure you don’t share the costs on the same card, and be sure to track the rewards you earn separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do to making the most of your travel rewards is to understand your credit card’s rewards program and make sure you’re using this program in the most effective method possible. Utilizing an array of methods I’ve described that you can earn rewards quickly, redeem them for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad variety of travel benefits.