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 woes. It’s an exciting way to convert welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles, which can be used to get discounted or even complimentary flights for your desired destinations. With a little imagination and some knowledge, you can travel for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. These miles can then be used to buy discount or no-cost flights. Some credit cards also let you redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or car rental offers.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for success in hacking travel is taking advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and to establish a frequent flyer mile program on a select group of airlines. When it comes time to make a booking, evaluate the cost. If the flight is less than $300, it’s best to pay in cash and save your miles to book a higher-priced flight. If your flights begin to climb above $500, you’ll want to look into the frequent flyer account to determine which airline offers you the best deal. All it boils down to is the amount of points or miles you have in your travel bank for each airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to travel hacking? First step to open an account with a sign-up offer. There are many great credit cards that provide many benefits and features. It depends on the type of airline, your spending habits, and what features are important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards excellent to hack 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 spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to get the bonus. Every card has different guidelines, so make certain to verify the details. From there, it’s all about racking up miles and then using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your ideas?
Once you’ve accumulated the points balance, you’re ready to use them towards delicious getaway! Different credit card companies have different methods for redeeming your points. Here are a few examples from some of the companies I have experience with:
Take a trip with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own a Chase card, you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In it, you’ll have access to almost every airline and you can use a combination of points and cash to book your next trip. You can even book completely on points if you have the balance for it! Sometimes even if you do not possess enough points for the full cost, you are able to book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using the credit card of your choice.
Are you tired of paying the full cost 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 do not have enough points you cannot combine points and dollars on the same flight. No worries though, if you’re just a few 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 more legroom and free snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to United’s, allowing you to book with either JetBlue dollar or points, but not both. However, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that lets you pool your points together with your relatives to earn points twice as fast. Make sure to establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re anything like me and my travel buddy Becca You’re probably quite economical and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to hit the minimum amount required to earn credit card bonuses. However, don’t be worried because we’ve been there and are here to share some of our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able to pay your rent with credit card, go for it! Just be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually around 3 percent. It might be worth it in the end when the bonus is large enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another great way to hit the spending limit is to pay for an medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses in the near future then ask your family members if you can pay for theirs and they’ll repay you.
Make a payment to pay off the loan
If you have any loans, consider making payments on them with your credit card. Be sure to pay off the balance on your credit card in full , so that you don’t accumulate 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. Make sure that you are able to 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 cards from your credit account. In this way, you’ll hit that minimum spend and also be ready for giving gifts. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you were already contemplating to.
There are plenty of methods to get the most out of the travel credit card. accumulate miles or points that you can use towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few additional ways to maximize your rewards
Book travel expenses with your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, make use of you travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel, rental car, and any other travel expenses. Not only will you be able to hit the required amount to qualify for a credit card and earn points, however, you’ll also earn points or miles to cover those costs.
Utilize your credit card to pay for everyday costs
Another method to reach the minimum amount of spending and earn points is by utilising your credit cards to pay for every day expenditures. This could be things like gas, groceries or even your phone bill. Make sure you pay off the balance in full each month so you don’t accumulate interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer bonus points or miles on certain kinds of purchases, such as eating out or traveling. Be sure to review your rewards program on your credit card and take advantage of any bonus categories that match with your spending habits.
Consider a balance transfer
If you have existing outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, think about transferring the balance to an account with a travel credit card that has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will let you pay off the debt without accruing interest, and also help you hit the minimum spend for the credit card bonus.
Utilize your miles and points prudently
When you’ve earned a significant amount of miles or points, be sure to use the points or miles wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card and then compare the value of different redemption options. For example using your points to book a flight directly with the airline could provide you with a greater value than using them to purchase the purchase of a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer your points to other loyalty programs. This will let you enjoy a greater variety of choices and more freedom when it comes to you want to redeem your rewards. For instance, you might be able to transfer your reward to an airline’s frequent flyer program or a hotel rewards program. This can give you access to a larger range of flights, hotels as well as other travel perks which are not available through your credit card’s rewards program.
In addition, you should determine if your credit card offers some perks that could help you save money on travel costs. Many cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that could be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
When you travel with someone else and both of you earn rewards using your credit card. Just remember that you can’t divide the cost with the same card and make sure you keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program on your credit card and make sure you’re using this program in the most effective way possible. By using an array of strategies I’ve listed, you’ll be able to get rewards in a short time, use them for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide range of travel perks.