Are you tired of spending a fortune on airfare? Well, good news! Travel hacking is the answer to your travel-related problems. It’s a fun way to convert welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles, which can be used to get discounted or even cheap flights from your desired destinations. With a little bit of imagination and some knowledge, you can be jet-setting for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about swapping credit card sign-up bonus as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can then be used to purchase cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards will also allow you to redeem miles for hotel stays and rental car deals.
How Does it Work?
The key to successful hacking travel is taking advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and building out frequent flyer miles on a select group of airlines. When it comes time to make a booking, evaluate the cost. If the cost is under $300, it’s best to pay cash and use your miles to pay to take a more costly flight. When the flights start getting above $500, you’ll want to check those frequent flyer accounts and see which airline can give you the most value. It all comes down to the number of points or miles you have in your travel account for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets of travel hacking? First step to open an account that comes with a welcome bonus. There are many great credit cards that offer many benefits 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 card options that can be excellent to use for hacking 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 minimum spend limit in order to get the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so be sure to look up the details. Then it’s all about building miles and then using them to book your dream trip!
Ready to jet-set with your ideas?
Once you’ve accumulated your points amount, it’s time to redeem them for some nice vacation! Different credit card providers will have different methods for redeeming your rewards, here are a few examples from some of the companies I’ve had experience with:
Take a trip through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you have a Chase card, you are able to use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In this portal you’ll have access to nearly every airline and you can make use of a combination of points and cash to book your travel. You can even book entirely with points if you’ve the balance for it! Sometimes even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for entire 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 fed up of paying full price for your flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United You have the option of paying with either points or dollars? Butbe aware that if you don’t have enough points, you cannot combine points and dollars on the same flight. No worries though, if you’re only a couple of point short United provides the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience , with more space and complimentary snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to United’s, allowing customers to book using either JetBlue either dollars or points but not both. The difference is that JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature where you can combine your points with your family members and earn points twice as fast. Just make sure you can 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 like me and my travel companion Becca I’m sure you’re pretty frugal and it can be daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to hit the required amount to qualify for a credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried because we’ve been there and are here to share some of our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able to pay for your rent with credit card, then do it! Just be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually about 3 percent. It could be worthwhile in the long run in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another great way to hit the minimum spend is to cover the medical bills. If you do not have any medical expenses in the near future, ask your family members to pay them for theirs, and they can pay you back.
Pay off the loan
If you’re a borrower you owe, think about making payments on them with your credit card. Just make sure you pay off the credit card balance in full so you don’t accumulate additional debt.
Ask family for help
Talk to your family and look into any major expenses in the near future that you can contribute for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to trust the person and they understand why you’re taking the initiative.
If you’re celebrating the holidays, consider buying all your gifts using the credit card you have. So you’ll be able to meet the minimum spending limit and be ready for gift giving. Make sure that you’re not paying more than you already planning to.
There are many methods to get the most from using your credit or debit card for travel and earn miles or points to spend on the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few additional ways to maximize your rewards
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, make use of the travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as other travel costs. In addition, you’ll achieve the required amount to earn your credit card bonus as well, but you’ll also earn points or miles on the costs.
Make use of your credit card to pay for everyday expenditures
Another way to meet the minimum amount of spending in order to accumulate points by utilising your credit cards to pay for daily expenditures. This could include things like gas, groceries or even your phone bill. Be sure to pay off the balance each month in full so you don’t accumulate interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or bonus points for certain types of purchases, such as eating out or travelling. Make sure you review your rewards program on your credit card and make use of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending routines.
Take into consideration a balance transfer
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a credit card, think about transferring that balance to a travel credit card with an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will enable you to pay off your debt without accruing interest, and also aid in achieving the minimum spend for the credit card’s bonus.
Utilize your miles and points wisely
When you’ve earned a significant amount of miles or points make sure you use them in a responsible manner. Review the rewards program for your credit card and then compare the benefits of different redemption options. For instance you can use your points to purchase a flight directly through the airline may offer better value than using them for a gift card.
Another option is to get a rewards card that allows you to transfer rewards to different loyalty program. This will let you enjoy a greater variety of options and greater freedom when it comes to making use of your rewards. For example, you may be eligible to transfer your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or hotel rewards program. This gives the benefit of a wider variety of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks that may not be accessible through the rewards program on your credit card.
Additionally, try to find out if your credit card offers certain benefits that will save you money on travel-related expenses. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that are very beneficial when traveling.
When you travel with a friend each of you will be able to earn rewards with your credit card. Be aware that you cannot share the costs on the same card, and be 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 rewards for travel is to be aware of your credit card’s rewards program and make sure you’re using your credit card in the most effective way possible. Utilizing a combination of the strategies I’ve listed in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards quickly, redeem them for travel experiences that are worth it and benefit from a wide assortment of travel-related perks.