Are you tired of paying a fortune on airfare? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking is the answer to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting method to convert sign-up bonuses and incentives into miles which can be used to score discounted or cheap flights from your ideal destinations. With a bit of imagination and a little bit of insider know-how, you’ll fly for no cost in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of swapping credit card sign-up bonus and incentives for airline miles. These miles can later be used to buy discounted or even free flights. Some credit cards also let you redeem miles for hotel stays and car rental deals.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for success in travel hacking is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and to establish frequent flyer miles for a specific group of airlines. When it comes time to book a flight take a look at the price. If the cost is less than $300, it’s generally better to pay cash and use your miles to pay for a more expensive flight. When the flights start getting over $500, you’ll need to review the frequent flyer account to determine which airline offers you the best price. All it boils down to is the amount of points or miles in your travel bank for each airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to hacking travel? The first step is opening an account that comes with a welcome bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that offer various advantages and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, your habits with spending and what features are essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit card options that can be perfect to use for hacking travel:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
Once you’ve been approved for a credit or debit card, you’ll need to hit the minimum spend limit in order to get the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so make certain to verify the details. Then, it’s all about racking miles and using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your goals?
After you’ve accrued the points balance, it’s time to redeem them for some sweet vacation! Different credit card companies will have different methods of redeeming your points, but here are a few examples from some of the providers I have experience with:
Escape by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of an Chase credit card, then you are able to use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within it, you’ll get access to nearly every airline. You can combine money and points to book your next trip. You can even book completely on points if you have the balance for it! Sometimes even if you don’t have enough points to cover the entire cost, you are able to purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using the credit card of your choice.
Are you tired of paying full price 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? But, be careful in case you don’t have enough points you can’t combine points and dollars on flights. Don’t worry, though, if you’re a few points short, United also offers the option of buying additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience with extra legroom and free snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to United’s, allowing passengers to book flights using JetBlue either dollars or points however, not both. The difference is that JetBlue offers a distinct feature that allows you to combine your points with family members to accrue points twice as fast. Be sure to verify that you are a family member before 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 frugal and it can be daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to hit the minimum spend for the credit card bonus. But don’t fret, we’ve been through it 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 using a credit card, do it! Just be prepared to be charged a fee, typically at least 3%. It may be worth it in the long run in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another way to reach the minimum spend is to cover the medical bills. If you do not have any medical expenses in the near future then ask your relatives if you could pay them for theirs, and they can pay you back.
Repay a loan
If you’re a borrower take into consideration paying them off with your credit card. Be sure to pay off the credit card balance in full so you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask family for help
Talk to your family and determine if they’ve got any large expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to have confidence in the person you are talking to and they know why you’re doing this.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season take into consideration buying all of your gifts with cards from your credit account. So you’ll be able to meet the minimum spending limit and also be ready for giving gifts. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you were already planning to.
There are many ways to make the most from using your credit or debit card for travel and accrue points or miles to be used towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few additional ideas for maximizing your rewards:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, use the travel credit card for booking your hotel, flight, rental car, and any other travel expenses. You’ll not only be able to hit the minimum amount of spending required to qualify for a credit card bonus, but you’ll also earn points or miles on these expenses.
Use your credit card for everyday expenses
Another way to hit the minimum amount of spending and earn points is by using your credit card for everyday expenditures. This could be things like food, gas and even your telephone bill. Be sure to pay off the balance each month in full so you don’t pay interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or bonus points for specific types of purchases, including eating out or traveling. Make sure you review the rewards program of your credit card and make use of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending habits.
Think about the possibility of transferring your balance
If you are currently in outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer that balance onto a travel credit card with an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfers. This will enable you to pay off your debts without accruing interest, and also aid in achieving the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus.
Utilize your miles and points carefully
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points make sure you use them in a responsible manner. Review the rewards program for your credit card, and evaluate the worth of various redemption options. For example using points to book a ticket directly with the airline might give you a better return than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer points to other loyalty programs. This will let you have a wider range of options and greater flexibility when you want to redeem your rewards. For example, you may be able to transfer your reward to an airline’s frequent flyer program or hotel rewards program. This gives the benefit of a greater range of flights, hotels, and other travel perks which are not available through your credit card’s rewards program.
Also, find out the card’s benefits. any perks that can reduce your travel costs. Some cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection and other benefits that could be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
If you’re traveling with a companion and both of you get rewards on your credit card. Just remember that you can’t divide the cost with the same card, and be sure to keep track of your rewards separately.
Overall, the key to maximizing your travel rewards is to understand your credit card’s rewards program and make sure you’re using it in the most effective way possible. Utilizing a combination of the strategies I’ve outlined, you’ll be able to get rewards in a short time, use them for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide range of travel perks.