Are you tired of paying a fortune on airfare? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting method to convert sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles which can be used to get discounted or even complimentary flights for your ideal destinations. With a little bit of creativity and some insider knowledge, you can travel for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. The miles can be used to purchase discount or no-cost flights. Some credit cards also permit you to use miles for hotel stays and car rental deals.
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 a frequent flyer mile program with a limited number of airlines. When it comes time to make a booking consider the cost. If the price is less than $300, it’s usually better to pay in cash and save your miles for a more expensive flight. If your flights begin to climb higher than $500, it’s best to check the frequent flyer account and find out which airline will give you the most value. It all comes down to the amount of points or miles you have in your travel account for each airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to hacking travel? First step opening an account with a sign-up bonus. There are many great credit cards with a variety of features and benefits. It all depends on your preferred airline, spending habits and the features that are most crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards that are 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 hit the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to receive the bonus. Every card has different rules, so be certain to verify the details. From there you can begin to rack up miles, and using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your points?
Once you’ve accumulated your points balance, it’s time to use them towards sweet travel! Different credit card providers will have different methods of redeeming your points, but here are some examples from some of the companies I have experience with:
Getaway through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you have a Chase card, you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through the portal, you’ll have access to virtually every airline and you can combine the points as well as cash in order to pay for your travel. You can even book entirely using points if you’ve got the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you don’t have enough points to cover the full price, you can buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with the credit card of your choice.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for your flight tickets? Did you know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option of paying with either points or dollars? Be careful in case you do not have enough points you can’t combine dollars and points on flights. No worries though, 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 offers a comfortable and enjoyable travel experience that includes extra legroom and free snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to United’s which allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue either dollars or points however, not both. However, JetBlue offers a distinct feature where you can combine your points with family members to accrue points twice as fast. Just make sure you can verify that you are a family member before trying to hack the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re like me or my travel companion Becca, you’re probably pretty thrifty and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to reach the required amount to qualify for a credit card bonus. Don’t worry, we’ve been through it and we’re here to share our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able pay your rent with credit card, then do it! Just be prepared to be charged a fee, typically around 3%. It could be worthwhile over the long term in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the spending limit is to pay for an medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses coming up, ask your relatives if you could pay for theirs and they’ll repay you.
Pay off the loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan you owe, think about repaying them using an credit card. Make sure to pay off the credit card balance completely so that you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask family for help
Ask your family members to look into any major expenses in the near future that you can contribute for. Just make sure you are able to trust the person and that they know why you’re doing it.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season you should consider purchasing all of your gifts with your credit card. So you’ll be able to hit that minimum spend and also be ready for gift giving. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you contemplating to.
There are a lot of methods to get the most out of the travel credit card. earn miles or points to use towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few additional suggestions for maximising the rewards you earn:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
If you’re planning a vacation, make use of the travel credit card for booking your hotel, flight, rental car, and any other travel expenses. In addition, you’ll achieve the minimum spend to qualify for a credit card bonus and earn points, but you’ll also be earning points or miles for the expenditures.
Use your credit card to pay for your everyday costs
Another way to hit the minimum spend in order to accumulate points by utilising your credit cards to pay every day expenses. This can include things like food, gas or even your phone bill. Make sure you pay the balance off in full each month so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer bonus points or miles for certain types of purchases, including dining or travel. Check out the rewards program of your credit card and make use of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending routines.
Take into consideration the possibility of transferring your balance
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a high-interest credit card, consider transferring the balance to an account with a travel credit card that has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfers. This will enable you to pay off your debt without accruing interest, and also help you hit the minimum spend for the credit card bonus.
Use your points or miles wisely
If you’ve amassed a large amount of points or miles make sure you use them wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card, and evaluate the worth of various redemption options. For instance you can use points to purchase a flight directly with the airline might offer better return than using them for an gift card.
Another option is to get an rewards card that permits you to transfer your points to other loyalty programs. This will allow you to enjoy a greater variety of choices and more flexibility in you want to redeem your rewards. For example, you may be capable of transferring your rewards to the frequent flyer program of an airline or a Hotel rewards programme. This gives the benefit of a larger selection of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks which are not available through your credit card’s rewards program.
In addition, you should find out if your credit card offers certain benefits that will save you money on travel-related costs. Some cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that are extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
If you’re traveling with someone else, both of you can earn rewards using your own credit card. Just remember that you can’t split the cost on the same card. Also, make sure to keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
Overall, the key to reaping the maximum benefits from your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program of your credit card and ensure that you’re making use of it in the most effective method possible. Through a combination of the methods I’ve described, you’ll be able to earn rewards fast, exchange them for travel experiences that are worth it and take advantage of a broad assortment of travel-related perks.