Are you fed up of spending 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 bonus and sign-up incentives into miles which you can use to obtain discounted or free flights to your desired destinations. With a little bit of creativity and some insider knowledge, you can be jet-setting for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of swapping credit card sign-up bonus as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can then be used to buy discount or no-cost flights. Some credit cards also allow you to redeem miles for hotel stays and car rental deals.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for successful hacking travel is taking advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and building out a frequent flyer mile program on a select group of airlines. When it’s time to book a flight, evaluate the cost. If the cost is under $300, it’s usually better to pay cash and use your miles to pay to book a higher-priced flight. When the flights start getting higher than $500, it’s best to look into those frequent flyer accounts and see which airline can give you the most value. All it boils down to is the amount of points or miles in your travel account for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to hacking travel? The first step is opening a credit card with a sign-up offer. There are plenty of great credit cards that provide various advantages and features. It is all dependent on the airline, spending habits and the features that are most essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards excellent 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 reach the minimum spend limit in order to get the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so be certain to verify the details. From there you can begin to rack up miles and using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your goals?
After you’ve accrued your points balance, you’re ready to cash them in for some delicious travel! Different credit card companies offer different ways to redeem your points. Here are a few examples from some of the ones I’ve worked with:
Getaway by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have an Chase card, you are able to use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within the portal, you’ll have access to nearly every airline and you can combine the points as well as cash in order to book your travel. You can even book completely on points if you have enough balance! Sometimes, even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for 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 the full cost for your flight tickets? Did you realize that when booking directly through United, you have the option of paying using either points or dollars? Butbe aware in case you don’t have enough points, you cannot combine points and dollars on one flight. If you’re just a few point short United gives you the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience with extra space and complimentary snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to United’s which allows you to book with either JetBlue either dollars or points, but not both. However, JetBlue has a unique feature that lets you combine your points with your family members and earn points twice as quickly. Just make sure you can establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me or my travel companion Becca I’m sure you’re pretty frugal and it can be challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to hit the minimum amount required to earn credit card bonuses. But don’t fret as we’ve done it and are here to share 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 credit card, then do it! Be prepared to pay a fee, usually about 3%. It might be worth it in the end if the bonus is high enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another way to reach 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 for theirs and they will pay you back.
Make a payment to pay off the loan
If you’re a borrower, consider paying them off with your credit card. Be sure to pay off the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask family for help
Talk to your family and determine if they’ve got any major expenses in the near future that you can contribute for. Make sure that you are able to are able to trust the person and that they understand why you’re taking the initiative.
If you’re celebrating the holidays you should consider purchasing all of your gifts with the credit card you have. This way you can hit that minimum spend and also be ready for giving gifts. Be sure to avoid spending more than you already thinking of.
There are plenty of ways to make the most of using your credit or debit card for travel. accumulate miles or points that you can use towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few additional suggestions for maximising your rewards:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, make use of the travel credit card for booking your hotel, flight, rental car, and any other travel-related expenses. In addition, you’ll be able to meet the minimum spend to qualify for a credit card bonus as well, however, you’ll also earn points or miles on those expenses.
Use your credit card for everyday expenses
Another method to reach the minimum amount of spending and earn points is by making use of your credit card to pay for every day expenditures. This could be things like food, gas or even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay off the balance in full each month so you don’t pay interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or bonus points for specific types of purchases, such as dining or travel. Be sure to review your credit card’s rewards program and take advantage of any bonus categories that match with your spending habits.
Consider the possibility of transferring your balance
If you’re in the middle of a outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, consider transferring that balance onto an account with a travel credit card that has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfers. This will allow you to pay off your debt without accruing interest, and also help you hit the minimum spend for the credit card’s bonus.
Use your points or miles prudently
If you’ve amassed a large amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize them wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and compare the worth of various redemption options. For example you can use your points to book a ticket directly through the airline may give you a better return than using them for an gift card.
Another tip is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer points to other loyalty programs. This will allow you to get a wider selection of choices and more flexibility when redeeming your rewards. For instance, you might be able to transfer your rewards to the frequent flyer program of an airline or a hotel rewards program. This will give an access greater variety of hotels, flights, and other travel perks which are not accessible through the rewards program of your credit card.
In addition, you should find out if your credit card offers any perks that can help you save money on travel expenses. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that are very beneficial when traveling.
When you travel with a friend, both of you can earn rewards using your credit card. Just remember that you can’t share the costs on the same card and make sure to track 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 this program in the most effective method. Through a combination of the strategies I’ve outlined in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards quickly, redeem rewards for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide assortment of travel-related perks.