Are you tired of paying an enormous amount on flights? Good news! Travel hacking is the answer to your travel-related problems. It’s a fun way to convert bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles, which can be used to score discounted or free flights to your dream destinations. With a bit of imagination and some know-how, you’ll travel for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about trading credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. These miles can later be used to buy cheap or free flight tickets. Some credit cards also permit you to use miles to pay for hotel stays or rental car deals.
How Does it Work?
The key to success in hacking travel is taking advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and establishing frequent flyer miles on a select group of airlines. When you are ready to make a booking, evaluate the cost. If the price is under $300, it’s best to pay cash and use your miles to pay to take a more costly flight. If your flights begin to climb above $500, you’ll want to check those frequent flyer accounts to determine which airline offers you the best price. It all boils down to the amount 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? First step to open an account with a sign-up bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards that offer various features and benefits. It is all dependent on the airline, your spending habits, and what features are important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit card options that can be 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 minimum spend limit in order to get the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of guidelines, so make sure to check for the details. Then you can begin to rack miles and using them to plan your dream vacation!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your goals?
Now that you’ve built up the points balance, you’re ready to cash them in for some delicious vacation! Different credit card companies will have different methods for redeeming your rewards, here are a few examples from some of the companies I’ve worked with:
Getaway by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of a Chase credit card, then you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through it, you’ll have access to nearly every airline and you can use a combination of points and cash to book your travel. You can even book entirely on points if you have enough balance! Sometimes even if you do not have enough points to cover the full cost, you still can buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using the credit card of your choice.
Are you fed up of paying full price for flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United you can choose the option of paying with either points or dollars? But, be careful in case you don’t have enough points, you can’t combine dollars and points on flights. If you’re a few point short United provides the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides passengers a relaxing and pleasant travel experience that includes extra legroom and free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines, allowing passengers to book flights using JetBlue dollar or points, but not both. But, JetBlue has a unique feature where you can combine your points with your relatives to earn points twice as fast. Be sure to establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack into the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel buddy Becca I’m sure you’re pretty frugal and it can be challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum spend for a credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried 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 a huge one! If you’re able to pay your rent using credit card, go for it! Make sure you be charged a fee, typically about 3 percent. It may be worth it over the long term when the bonus is large enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the spending limit is to cover an medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses coming up, ask your family members to pay their medical bills and they will reimburse you.
Repay the loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan, consider repaying them using an credit card. Just make sure you pay the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t accrue additional debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Talk to your family and determine if they’ve got any large expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Just make sure you are able to trust the person and that they are aware of the reason for taking the initiative.
If you’re celebrating the holidays, consider buying all your gifts with your credit card. In this way, you’ll hit that minimum spend and also be prepared to give gifts. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you thinking of.
There are a lot of ways to make the most from using your credit or debit card for travel. earn miles or points to use towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few more ways to maximize the rewards you earn:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, use the travel credit card to book your hotel, flight, rental car, and any other travel expenses. Not only will you achieve the minimum amount of spending required to earn your credit card reward and earn points, however, you’ll also earn points or miles on the costs.
Utilize your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday expenditures
Another way to meet the minimum spend and earn points is by utilising your credit cards to pay every day expenses. This could include items like groceries, gas, and even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay the balance off each month in full so you don’t pay interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer bonus points or miles for specific types of purchases, like eating out or travelling. Check out your credit card’s rewards program and take advantage of any bonus categories that match with your spending routines.
Consider the possibility of transferring your balance
If you have existing outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, think about transferring that balance to a travel credit card with an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfers. This will enable you to pay off your debt without accruing interest. It will also aid in achieving the minimum spend for the credit card bonus.
Utilize your miles and points wisely
If you’ve amassed a large amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize the points or miles wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card, and evaluate the worth of various redemption options. For example you can use points to book a flight directly with the airline could give you a better return than using them for an gift card.
Another suggestion is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer your reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will allow you to have a wider range of options and greater flexibility in redeeming your rewards. For example, you may be capable of transferring your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or reward program for hotels. This can give the benefit of a wider variety of hotels, flights and other travel benefits which are not accessible through the rewards program of your credit card.
Additionally, try to find out the card’s benefits. some perks that could reduce your travel costs. Some cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that can be invaluable when you travel.
Finally, when you’re traveling with someone else, both of you can earn rewards using your own credit card. Make sure you don’t split the cost on the same card. Also, make sure you keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
Overall, the key to maximizing your rewards for travel is to be aware of your credit card’s rewards program and to ensure you’re using your credit card in the most efficient method possible. Utilizing all of the strategies I’ve listed, you’ll be able to earn rewards quickly, redeem them for travel experiences that are worth it and benefit from a wide variety of travel benefits.