Are you tired of spending an enormous amount on flights? Well, good news! Travel hacking could be the solution 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 score discounted or cheap flights from your dream destinations. With a little 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 and rewards for airline miles. These miles can later be used to pay for discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards allow you to redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or rental car offers.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for success in hacking travel is taking advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and establishing frequent flyer miles on a select group of airlines. When it’s time to book a flight, evaluate the cost. If the cost is less than $300, it’s generally better to pay in cash and save your miles to book a higher-priced flight. When the flights start getting over $500, you’ll need to review your frequent flyer accounts to determine which airline offers you the best deal. It all boils down to 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 hacking travel? The first step is opening an account with a sign-up offer. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards with many features and benefits. It is all dependent on the airline, your spending habits, and the features that are most crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards perfect for travel hacking:
- 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 receive the bonus. Every card has different rules, so make certain to verify the details. From there you can begin to rack up miles, and using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your ideas?
Now that you’ve built up your points balance, it’s time to redeem them for some sweet vacation! Different credit card providers will have different methods for redeeming your rewards, here are a few examples from some of the providers I’ve had experience with:
Take a trip through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you own an Chase credit card, then you are able to redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through it, you’ll get access to almost every airline and you can combine the points as well as cash in order to book your trip. You can even book completely on points if you have enough balance! Sometimes, even if you don’t possess enough points for the total price, you can buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using every credit card.
Are you fed up of paying full price for flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United, you have the option to pay with either points or dollars? Be careful that if you don’t have enough points you cannot combine dollars and points on one flight. If you’re only a couple of points away, United provides the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue provides a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience with extra space and complimentary snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is like United’s, allowing you to book with either JetBlue either dollars or points, however, not both. The difference is that JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that allows you to pool your points together 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 the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me and my travel buddy Becca, you’re probably pretty frugal and it can be daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to hit the minimum amount required to earn 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! Make sure you pay a fee, usually about 3 percent. It may be worth it over the long term when the bonus is large enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another way to reach the minimum spend is to pay for a medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses coming up Ask your relatives if you could pay them for theirs, and they’ll pay you back.
Repay a loan
If you have any loans take into consideration repaying them using your credit card. Just make sure you pay off the credit card balance completely so that you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Talk to your family and look into any major expenses in the near future that you can contribute for. Make sure that you are able to have confidence in the person you are talking to and they know why you’re doing this.
If it’s the holiday season you should consider purchasing all your gifts with the credit card you have. In this way, you’ll reach the minimum spending requirement and be ready to give gifts. Be sure to avoid spending more than you already thinking of.
There are many ways to make the most out of the travel credit card. You can 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 suggestions for maximising the rewards you earn:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, make use of your travel credit card to pay for your hotel, flight, rental car, and other travel costs. Not only will you be able to hit the required amount to qualify for a credit card reward as well, however, you’ll also earn points or miles to cover the costs.
Use your credit card for all your daily expenditures
Another method to reach the minimum spending requirement in order to accumulate points utilising your credit cards for daily expenses. This can include things like food, gas, and even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay the balance off in full every month to ensure you don’t accumulate interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or bonus points for certain types of purchases, like eating out or travelling. Be sure to review the rewards program of your credit card and make use of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending routines.
Consider a balance transfer
If you’re in the middle of a outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer that balance onto an account with a travel credit card that has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfers. This will let you pay off the debt without accruing interest. It will also help you hit the minimum spend for the credit card’s bonus.
Make use of your miles or points prudently
When you’ve earned a significant amount of miles or points make sure you use them wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card, and evaluate the worth of various redemption options. For example using your points to purchase a flight directly through the airline may offer better value than using them to purchase the purchase of a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer rewards to different loyalty program. This will allow you to get a wider selection of options and greater flexibility when redeeming your rewards. For instance, you might be eligible to transfer your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a Hotel rewards programme. This gives an access wider selection of hotels, flights and other travel benefits that aren’t accessible through the rewards program on your credit card.
In addition, you should find out the card’s benefits. certain benefits that will reduce your travel costs. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection, and other benefits that are extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
If you’re traveling with a companion and both of you earn rewards using your credit card. Make sure you don’t split the cost on the same card, and be sure to keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do to making the most of your travel rewards is to know the rewards program of your credit card and make sure you’re using it in the most effective method possible. By using an array of strategies I’ve outlined in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards fast, exchange them for travel experiences that are worth it and benefit from a wide variety of travel benefits.