Are you fed up of spending an enormous amount on flights? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel problems. It’s a fun way to convert sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles which you can use to get discounted or even complimentary flights for your ideal destinations. With a little imagination and a little bit of insider knowledge, you can 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 later be used to purchase cheap or free flight tickets. Some credit cards also let you redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or rental car offers.
How Does it Work?
The key to success in hacking travel is taking advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and to establish a frequent flyer mile program for a specific group of airlines. When it comes time to make a booking take a look at the price. If the flight is under $300, it’s generally better to pay in cash and use your miles to pay to take a more costly flight. If the prices start to rise over $500, you’ll need to check your frequent flyer accounts to determine which airline offers you the most value. All it boils down to is the amount of miles or points you have in your travel savings account for each airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to travel hacking? Your first task is to open the credit card that comes that comes with a welcome bonus. There are many great credit cards that offer various benefits and features. It depends on the type of airline, spending habits and what features are important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit card options that can be great to hack travel
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
If you’ve been approved for a credit card you’ll need to reach the limit of spending minimum in order to get the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so make sure to check for the details. Then, it’s all about racking up miles and then using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your goals?
Once you’ve accumulated your points amount, it’s time to redeem them for some nice getaway! Different credit card companies have different methods for redeeming your points. Here are some examples from a few of the providers I’ve had experience with:
Escape with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own a Chase credit card, then you are able to redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within the portal, you’ll get access to nearly every airline, and you can combine points and cash to book your trip. You can even book completely on points if you have the balance for it! Sometimes even if you do not have enough points to cover the entire price, you can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with every credit card.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for your flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United You have the option of paying using either points or dollars? But, be careful in case you don’t have enough points, you aren’t able to combine points and dollars for flights. No worries though, if you’re just a few points away, United provides the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience , with more legroom and free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines that allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue dollar or points, however, not both. The difference is that JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that lets you pool your points together with your relatives to earn points twice as quickly. Make sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack into the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re 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 to hit the required amount to qualify for a credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried because we’ve been there and we’re here to share our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able to pay your rent with a credit card, do it! Just be prepared to pay a fee, usually at least 3 percent. It could be worthwhile in the end when the bonus is large enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another way to reach the required spending is to pay for a medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills coming up then ask your family members to pay them for theirs, and they’ll repay you.
Make a payment to pay off a loan
If you’re a borrower, consider repaying them using your credit card. Make sure to pay off the credit card balance completely so that you don’t end up with 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 contribute for. Just make sure you have confidence in the person you are talking to and they understand why you’re doing this.
If you’re celebrating the holidays, consider buying all your gifts with cards from your credit account. In this way, you’ll reach the minimum spending requirement and also be ready for giving gifts. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you already planning to.
There are many ways to make the most of the travel credit card and accrue points or miles to spend on the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few additional suggestions for maximising your rewards
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, make use of the travel credit card to book your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as any other travel expenses. You’ll not only achieve the minimum amount of spending required for your credit card bonus, but you’ll also be earning points or miles to cover those expenses.
Use your credit card for all your daily expenditures
Another way to hit the minimum spending requirement in order to accumulate points by making use of your credit card to pay for every day costs. This could include items like groceries, gas or even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay off the balance in full each month so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Take advantage of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or bonus points for certain types of purchases, including eating out or traveling. Make sure you review the rewards program of your credit card and avail any bonus categories that align with your spending routines.
Think about a balance transfer
If you are currently in outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, consider transferring that balance to an account with a travel credit card that has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfers. This will let you pay off your debts without accruing interest and simultaneously assist you in reaching the minimum spending requirement for the credit card’s bonus.
Make use of your miles or points prudently
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of points or miles, be sure to use them wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card and then compare the worth of various redemption options. For instance using points to book a ticket directly with the airline might give you a better value than using them to purchase an gift card.
Another tip is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer rewards to different loyalty program. This will let you get a wider selection of choices and more flexibility in redeeming your rewards. For instance, you might be able to transfer your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a Hotel rewards programme. This will give an access wider range of flights, hotels and other travel benefits that aren’t available through the rewards program on your credit card.
Additionally, try to determine the card’s benefits. some perks that could save you money on travel-related costs. Many 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 and both of you earn rewards with your credit card. Be aware that you cannot divide the cost with the same card, and be sure to track the rewards you earn separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do to maximizing your travel rewards is to know the rewards program of your credit card and to ensure you’re making use of your credit card in the most effective method. By using all of the methods I’ve described that you can earn rewards fast, exchange them for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad assortment of travel-related perks.