Are you tired of paying an enormous amount on flights? Good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s a fun way to convert sign-up bonuses and incentives into miles which you can use to obtain discounted or complimentary flights for your ideal destinations. With a little bit of imagination and some information, you’ll 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 and rewards for airline miles. The miles can be used to purchase discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards will also permit you to use miles to pay for hotel stays or car rental offers.
How Does it Work?
The key to success in travel hacking is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and building out a frequent flyer mile program with a limited number of airlines. When it comes time to book a flight, evaluate the cost. If the cost is less than $300, it’s generally better to pay cash and use your miles to pay for a more expensive flight. When the flights start getting over $500, you’ll need to review your frequent flyer accounts and find out which airline will give you the best deal. All it boils down to is the amount of points or miles you have in your travel bank for every airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets of travel hacking? Your first task is to open the credit card that comes with a sign-up bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards that offer many features and benefits. It depends on the type of airline, your habits with spending and what features are crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards perfect to use for hacking travel:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
Once you’ve been approved for a credit card you’ll have to meet the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to qualify for the bonus. Every card has different rules, so be certain to verify this information. Then you can begin to rack miles and using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your points?
Now that you’ve built up your points balance, you’re ready to cash them in for some nice travel! Different credit card companies will offer different ways to redeem your points. Here are some examples from some of the providers I have experience with:
Escape through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you’re a holder of an Chase card, you are able to use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through the portal, you’ll get access to almost every airline, and you can use a combination of the points as well as cash in order to book your trip. You can book your flight entirely on points if you have the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you do not be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for entire cost, you are able to purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using the credit card of your choice.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for 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, if you don’t have enough points you aren’t able to combine dollars and points for flights. If you’re just a few points short, United also offers the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers a comfortable and enjoyable travel experience that includes extra legroom as well as free snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines that allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue dollar or points however, not both. But, JetBlue has a unique feature that lets you join your points with your relatives to earn points twice as quickly. Just make sure you can 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 like me and my travel companion Becca You’re probably quite economical and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to reach the minimum amount required to earn a credit card bonus. Don’t worry, we’ve been through it and are 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 using credit card, go for it! Just be prepared to be charged a fee, typically at least 3 percent. It could be worthwhile in the end in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another excellent way to meet the minimum spend is to pay for a medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses coming up then ask your relatives if you could pay for theirs and they’ll pay you back.
Repay the loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan take into consideration making payments on them with the credit card you have. Be sure to pay off the balance on your credit card in full , so that you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask family for help
Talk to your family and determine if they’ve got any large expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to trust the person and they know why you’re doing it.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season, consider buying all of your gifts with the credit card you have. This way you can meet the minimum spending limit and be ready for giving gifts. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you thinking of.
There are a lot of methods to get the most of using your credit or debit card for travel. accumulate miles or points that you can spend on the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few more ways to maximize the rewards you earn:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, use your travel credit card to book your flight, hotel, rental car, and other travel costs. In addition, you’ll be able to hit the minimum amount of spending required for your credit card bonus and earn points, however, you’ll also earn points or miles to cover those expenditures.
Make use of your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday expenditures
Another way to hit the minimum spend and earn points is utilising your credit cards to pay for every day costs. This can include things like gas, groceries or even your phone bill. Be sure to pay the balance off in full each month so you don’t pay interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or bonus points for certain types of purchases, like dining or travel. Check out the rewards program of your credit card and make use of any bonus categories that match with your spending routines.
Take into consideration the possibility of transferring your balance
If you are currently in debt on a high-interest credit card, think about transferring that balance onto a travel credit card with the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfer. This will enable you to pay off the debt without accruing interest and simultaneously aid in achieving the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus.
Use your points or miles prudently
When you’ve earned a significant amount of points or miles, be sure to use them wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card, and evaluate the value of different redemption options. For instance using your points to book a ticket directly with the airline could offer better value than using them to purchase a gift card.
Another tip is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will let you enjoy a greater variety of options and greater freedom when it comes to you want to redeem your rewards. For example, you may be capable of transferring your rewards to an airline’s frequent flyer program or a reward program for hotels. This gives the benefit of a larger selection of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks that aren’t available through the rewards program on your credit card.
Additionally, try to find out if your credit card offers some perks that could reduce your travel expenses. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that can be very beneficial when traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with someone else and both of you earn rewards with your own credit card. Just remember that you can’t split the cost on the same card, and be sure to track the rewards you earn separately.
The key to maximizing your travel rewards is to know your credit card’s rewards program and make sure you’re making use of this program in the most effective method. Utilizing an array of methods I’ve described, you’ll be able to get rewards in a short time, use them for travel experiences that are worth it and benefit from a wide variety of travel benefits.