Are you tired of paying 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 can be used to get discounted or even free flights to your ideal destinations. With a bit of imagination and a little bit of insider 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 as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can later be used to buy discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards let you redeem miles towards hotel stays or rental car deals.
How Does it Work?
The secret to success in travel hacking is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and to establish a frequent flyer mile program for a specific group of airlines. When you are ready to make a booking take a look at the price. If the price is less than $300, it’s generally better to pay in cash and save your miles to book a higher-priced flight. If the prices start to rise higher than $500, it’s best to check those frequent flyer accounts to find out which airline will give you the most value. It all comes down to the number of miles or points in your travel bank for every airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to travel hacking? First step opening a credit card that comes with a welcome bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that provide many benefits and features. It is all dependent on the airline, spending habits and the features that are most crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit card options that can be perfect 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 qualify for the bonus. Every card has different rules, so make certain to verify this information. From there it’s all about building miles and using them to plan your dream trip!
Ready to jet-set with your points?
Now that you’ve built up the points balance, you’re ready to redeem them for some sweet getaway! Different credit card providers will have different methods for redeeming your points. Here are some examples from a few of the ones I’ve worked with:
Take a trip through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you have an Chase credit card, then you are able to use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In this portal you’ll have access to almost every airline. You can make use of a combination of points and cash to book your next trip. You can even book entirely with points if you’ve enough balance! Sometimes even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for total price, you can buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using every credit card.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for your flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United You have the option of paying using either points or dollars? Butbe aware that if you do not have enough points you aren’t able to combine dollars and points for flights. No worries though, if you’re just a few points away, United provides the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue provides passengers a relaxing and pleasant travel experience that includes extra legroom as well as free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is like United’s, allowing passengers to book flights using JetBlue either dollars or points but not both. But, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that lets you pool your points together with your family members and earn points twice as quickly. Be sure to establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel buddy Becca, you’re probably pretty thrifty and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum amount required to earn a credit card bonus. Don’t worry, we’ve been through it and we’re here to share our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able to pay your rent using a credit card, do it! Be prepared to be charged a fee, typically around 3 percent. It may be worth it in the end if the bonus is high enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the minimum spend is to cover the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills in the near future, ask your family members if you can pay them for theirs, and they’ll reimburse you.
Repay a loan
If you have any loans take into consideration paying them off with the credit card you have. Just make sure you pay the credit card balance in full so you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Discuss your family with them and determine if they’ve got any major expenses in the near future which you could help pay for. Just make sure you trust the person and they know why you’re doing it.
If it’s the holiday season you should consider purchasing all your gifts with the credit card you have. So you’ll be able to reach the minimum spending requirement and be ready for gift giving. Be sure to avoid spending more than you were already planning to.
There are a lot of methods to get the most from the travel credit card. earn miles or points to be used towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are some additional ways to maximize the rewards you earn:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
If you’re planning a vacation, make use of the travel credit card for booking your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as other travel costs. In addition, you’ll be able to hit the required amount to earn your credit card reward and earn points, but you’ll also earn points or miles to cover these expenditures.
Use your credit card for all your daily expenditures
Another way to meet the minimum amount of spending to earn rewards is using your credit card for daily expenditures. This can include things like food, gas, and even your phone bill. Make sure you pay off the balance in full every month to ensure you don’t pay interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or points in exchange for specific types of purchases, like eating out or travelling. Make sure you review your rewards program on your credit card and avail any bonus categories that match with your spending routines.
Consider a balance transfer
If you have existing 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 allow you to pay off your debts without accruing interest. It will also assist you in reaching the minimum spend for the credit card bonus.
Make use of your miles or points prudently
When you’ve earned a significant amount of points or miles, be sure to use the points or miles wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card and compare the benefits of different redemption options. For instance, using points to book a flight directly with the airline could provide you with a greater value than using them for a gift card.
Another tip is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer rewards to different loyalty program. This will allow you to get a wider selection of choices and more flexibility in making use of your rewards. For instance, you might be able to transfer your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a Hotel rewards programme. This gives the benefit of a greater range of flights, hotels as well as other travel perks that aren’t available through your credit card’s rewards program.
In addition, you should find out if your credit card offers some perks that could reduce your travel costs. Many cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that can be invaluable when you travel.
When you travel with a friend, both of you can earn rewards using your own credit card. Make sure you don’t share the costs on the same card, and be sure to keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
In the end, the most important thing to do to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program of your credit card and make sure you’re making use of it in the most efficient method. By using an array of methods I’ve described in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards fast, exchange them for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide assortment of travel-related perks.