Are you tired of paying an enormous amount on flights? Good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel problems. It’s a fun way to convert bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles that can then be used to obtain discounted or complimentary flights for your dream 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 all about exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can later be used to buy cheap or free flight tickets. Some credit cards also let you redeem miles towards hotel stays or car rental offers.
How Does it Work?
The key to successful hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and to establish a frequent flyer mile program with a limited number of airlines. When you are ready to make a booking, evaluate the cost. If the cost is under $300, it’s generally better to pay in cash and save your miles for a more expensive flight. If your flights begin to climb above $500, you’ll want to look into those frequent flyer accounts to find out which airline will give you the best deal. All it boils down to is the amount of points or miles in your travel bank for each airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets of travel hacking? First step opening an account with a sign-up bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards with many benefits and features. It is all dependent on the airline, spending habits and the features that are most crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards excellent for travel hacking:
- 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 receive the bonus. Every card has different guidelines, so make certain to verify the details. Then you can begin to rack up miles and using them to plan your dream trip!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your goals?
Now that you’ve built up the points amount, it’s time to use them towards nice vacation! Different credit card providers will have different methods of redeeming your rewards, here are some examples from some of the ones I’ve worked with:
Getaway with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own a Chase cards, you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through it, you’ll get access to nearly every airline. You can make use of a combination of money and points to pay for your travel. You can even book entirely using points if you’ve got the funds to pay for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t possess enough points for the total cost, you still can book flights using the 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 flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option of paying using dollars or points? Butbe aware that if you don’t have enough points you can’t combine dollars and points on the same flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re just a few points short, United also offers the option to purchase additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers a comfortable and enjoyable travel experience that includes extra space and complimentary snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is like United’s that allows customers to book using either JetBlue either dollars or points but not both. But, JetBlue has a unique feature that lets you join your points with your family members and earn points twice as quickly. Make sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack into the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel companion Becca, you’re probably pretty thrifty and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to hit the minimum spend for the credit card bonus. But don’t fret because we’ve been there and are here to share our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able pay your rent using credit card, then do it! Be prepared to be charged a fee, typically about 3 percent. It could be worthwhile in the long run if the bonus is high enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another great way to hit the minimum spend is to cover an medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses coming up Ask your relatives if you could pay them for theirs, and they can reimburse you.
Repay the loan
If you have any loans, consider making payments on them with an credit card. Just make sure you pay off the balance on your credit card in full so you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask your family members 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 are able to trust the person and that they understand why you’re doing it.
If you’re celebrating the holidays you should consider purchasing all your gifts using your credit card. In this way, you’ll reach the minimum spending requirement and be ready to give gifts. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you already planning to.
There are plenty of ways to make the most from using your credit or debit card for travel and earn miles or points to use towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few more ideas for maximizing your rewards
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, use your travel credit card to book your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as any other travel-related expenses. You’ll not only be able to hit the minimum amount of spending required to earn your credit card bonus and earn points, but you’ll also be earning points or miles for the expenses.
Make use of your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday costs
Another way to meet the minimum spending requirement and earn points is by utilising your credit cards to pay every day expenditures. This could include items like groceries, gas, and even your phone bill. Be sure to pay off the balance in full every month to ensure you don’t pay interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or bonus points for certain types of purchases, including eating out or travelling. Make sure you review the rewards program of your credit card and take advantage of any bonus categories that match with your spending routines.
Think about a balance transfer
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer that balance to the travel credit card which has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfers. This will let you pay off your debts without accruing interest, and also assist you in reaching the minimum spend for the credit card bonus.
Make use of your miles or points prudently
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points, be sure to use them in a responsible manner. Review the rewards program for your credit card, and evaluate the benefits of different redemption options. For example using points to book a flight directly with the airline could offer better value than using them for a gift card.
Another tip is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer your reward points into other loyalty programmes. This allows you to have a wider range of options and greater flexibility when redeeming your rewards. For example, you may be eligible to transfer your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or reward program for hotels. This can give an access wider range of flights, hotels as well as other travel perks that may not be accessible through the rewards program on your credit card.
Additionally, try to find out whether your credit card has certain benefits that will reduce your travel costs. Some cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that could be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a companion and both of you earn rewards using your credit card. Make sure you don’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 understand the rewards program of your credit card and make sure you’re using this program in the most effective method possible. By using an array of strategies I’ve listed that you can earn rewards quickly, redeem them for travel experiences that are worth it and benefit from a wide variety of travel benefits.