Are you tired of paying an enormous amount on flights? Well, good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s a fun way to convert welcome bonuses and other incentives into miles that can then be used to score discounted or cheap flights from your desired destinations. With a bit of imagination and a little bit of insider knowledge, you can be jet-setting for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about swapping credit card sign-up bonus as well as incentives to earn airline miles. The miles can be used to buy discount or no-cost flights. Some credit cards also let you redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or rental car deals.
How Does it Work?
The key to success in hacking travel is taking advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and building out frequent flyer miles with a limited number of airlines. When it comes time to make a booking, evaluate the cost. If the cost is under $300, it’s usually better to pay in cash and save your miles for a more expensive flight. If the prices start to rise above $500, you’ll want to check your frequent flyer accounts and see which airline can give you the best price. It all boils down to the amount of points or miles in your travel bank for every airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to hacking travel? Your first task is to open an account with a sign-up offer. There are many great credit cards with a variety of features and benefits. It depends on the type of airline, your habits with spending and the features that are most crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards that are excellent for travel hacking:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
After you’ve been accepted for a credit or debit card, you’ll need to reach the minimum spend limit in order to qualify for the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so make certain to verify this information. From there you can begin to rack miles and using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your points?
Once you’ve accumulated the points balance, you’re ready to use them towards nice vacation! Different credit card companies have different methods for redeeming your points. Here are some examples from a few of the providers I have experience with:
Escape through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you own an Chase card, you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within the portal, you’ll get access to nearly every airline. You can combine the points as well as cash in order to pay for your travel. You can book your flight entirely with points if you’ve enough balance! Sometimes, even if you don’t have enough points to cover the entire price, you can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using any credit card.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for your flight tickets? Did you know that when you book directly through United, you have the option of paying using dollars or points? Butbe aware, if you don’t have enough points, you cannot combine dollars and points on one flight. If you’re just a few points away, United gives you the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides an enjoyable and comfortable travel experience that includes extra space and complimentary snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to United’s that allows customers to book using either JetBlue dollar or points however, not both. But, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature where you can join your points 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 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 required amount to qualify for the credit card bonus. Don’t worry because we’ve been there and are here to share some of our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able to pay for your rent with a credit card, do it! Just be prepared to pay a fee, usually at least 3%. It may be worth it over the long term in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another way to reach the minimum spend is to pay for an medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills due Ask your family members if you can pay their medical bills and they will reimburse you.
Pay off the loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan take into consideration making payments on them with an credit card. Just make sure you pay off the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t accrue additional debt.
Ask your family members for help
Discuss your family with them and look into any big expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Make sure that you are able to have confidence in the person you are talking to and they understand why you’re doing it.
If it’s the holiday season take into consideration buying all your gifts with the credit card you have. So you’ll be able to reach the minimum spending requirement and also be ready for gift giving. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you thinking of.
There are plenty of ways to get the most out of your travel credit card and earn miles or points to spend on airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few more suggestions for maximising the rewards you earn:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
When you’re planning your next vacation, make use of your travel credit card to pay for your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as any other travel-related expenses. In addition, you’ll be able to hit the minimum spend for your credit card bonus, however, you’ll also earn points or miles to cover those costs.
Utilize your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday expenditures
Another way to hit the minimum spending requirement and earn points is by using your credit card to pay for daily expenditures. This could include items like groceries, gas and even your telephone bill. Make sure you pay off the balance in full every month to ensure you don’t pay interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer bonus points or miles for certain types of purchases, including eating out or travelling. Make sure you review your credit card’s rewards program and make use of any bonus categories that match with your spending habits.
Take into consideration the possibility of transferring your balance
If you are currently in debt on a high-interest credit card, think about transferring that balance to an account with a travel credit card that has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfers. This will enable you to pay off the debt without accruing interest and simultaneously help you hit the minimum spend for the credit card’s bonus.
Utilize your miles and points wisely
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize the points or miles wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and then compare the benefits of different redemption options. For instance you can use points to book a flight directly through the airline may offer better value than using them to purchase an gift card.
Another option is to get an rewards card that permits you to transfer your reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will let you have a wider range of choices and more flexibility when you want to redeem your rewards. For instance, you might be able to transfer your reward to an airline’s frequent flyer program or Hotel rewards programme. This can give the benefit of a larger range of flights, hotels as well as other travel perks that may not be offered through your credit card’s rewards program.
Also, discover whether your credit card has certain benefits that will save you money on travel-related costs. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that could be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with someone else each of you will be able to get rewards on your own credit card. Just remember that you can’t split the cost on the same card and make sure to keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
In the end, the most important thing to do to making the most of your travel rewards is to know your credit card’s rewards program and to ensure you’re making use of your credit card in the most effective method. Utilizing all of the methods I’ve described in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards fast, exchange them for travel experiences that are worth it, and enjoy a wide variety of travel benefits.