Are you tired of paying an enormous amount on flights? Well, good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s a fun way to convert bonus and sign-up incentives into miles that can then be used to obtain discounted or complimentary flights for your dream destinations. With a little imagination and a little bit of insider information, you’ll be jet-setting for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about trading credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. These miles can later be used to pay for discount or no-cost flights. Some credit cards also let you redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or car rental deals.
How Does it Work?
The key to successful 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 you are ready to book a flight consider the cost. If the price is less than $300, it’s best to pay cash and save your miles for a more expensive flight. When the flights start getting above $500, you’ll want to check those frequent flyer accounts to see which airline can give you the best deal. It all comes down to the number of points or miles in your travel account for every airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to hacking travel? First step to open an account that comes with a welcome bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that provide a variety of benefits and features. It is all dependent on the airline, your habits with spending and the features that are most important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards great to use for hacking travel:
- 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 hit the limit of spending minimum in order to qualify for the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so be sure to check for the details. Then it’s all about building 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 balance, it’s time to use them towards nice getaway! Different credit card companies offer different ways to redeem your points. Here are some examples from a few of the providers I’ve had experience with:
Escape with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of a Chase card, you are able to redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within this portal you’ll get access to virtually every airline. You can make use of a combination of money and points to book your trip. You can even book entirely on points if you have the balance for it! Sometimes even if you do not be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for total price, you can buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using any credit card.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United, you have the option of paying using either points or dollars? Be careful in case you don’t have enough points you aren’t able to combine dollars and points for the same flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re only a couple of points short, United provides the option of buying 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 more legroom as well as free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is like United’s, allowing you to book with either JetBlue dollar or points, however, not both. However, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that lets you combine your points with family members to accrue points twice as fast. Just make sure you can establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack into the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel companion Becca I’m sure you’re pretty economical and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to reach the minimum spend for credit card bonuses. Don’t worry, we’ve been through it and we’re here to share our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able pay your rent with a credit card, do it! Make sure you be charged a fee, typically at least 3%. It could be worthwhile over the long term when the bonus is large enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the spending limit is to cover the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills coming up Ask your relatives if you could pay their medical bills and they can reimburse you.
Repay a loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan you owe, think about making payments on them with an credit card. Be sure to pay off the balance on your credit card in full so you don’t accumulate additional debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Discuss your family with them and determine if they’ve got any major expenses in the near future which you could help pay for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to trust the person and they understand why you’re doing this.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season you should consider purchasing all your gifts using the credit card you have. So you’ll be able to meet the minimum spending limit and also be prepared to give gifts. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you planning to.
There are many ways to make the most out of your travel credit card and accrue points or miles to be used towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few more ways to maximize the rewards you earn:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, use your travel credit card to pay for your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as any other travel-related expenses. Not only will you be able to meet the required amount to qualify for a credit card bonus and earn points, but you’ll also earn points or miles on the expenses.
Use your credit card to pay for your everyday expenditures
Another way to meet the minimum spend in order to accumulate points by utilising your credit cards to pay for daily expenditures. This could include items like groceries, gas or even your phone bill. Be sure to pay off the balance in full every month to ensure you don’t accumulate interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide bonus points or miles for specific types of purchases, including dining or travel. Check out the rewards program of your credit card and take advantage of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending habits.
Consider a balance transfer
If you have existing outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, consider transferring that balance onto an account with a travel credit card that has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfer. This will allow you to pay off the debt without accruing interest and simultaneously assist you in reaching the minimum spend for the credit card’s bonus.
Use your points or miles wisely
When you’ve earned a significant amount of miles or points, be sure to use them wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card, and evaluate the value of different redemption options. For example, using points to book a ticket directly with the airline could offer better return than using them for an gift card.
Another suggestion is to use an rewards card that permits 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 the frequent flyer program of an airline or a hotel rewards program. This will give you access to a wider selection of hotels, flights, and other travel perks that aren’t available through the rewards program on your credit card.
Additionally, try to discover the card’s benefits. certain benefits that will help you save money on travel expenses. Many cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that could be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
When you travel with a companion and both of you earn rewards using your own credit card. Just remember that you can’t share the costs on the same card. Also, make sure to keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
In the end, the most important thing to do to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to know your credit card’s rewards program and make sure you’re making use of it in the most effective method. By using an array of strategies I’ve outlined in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards quickly, redeem them for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide variety of travel benefits.