Are you tired of spending a fortune on airfare? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking is the answer to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting way to convert sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles which can be used to get discounted or even complimentary flights for your desired destinations. With a bit of creativity and some insider know-how, you’ll fly for no cost within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. The miles can be used to pay for cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards permit you to use miles to pay for hotel stays or rental car offers.
How Does it Work?
The secret to successful hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and building out frequent flyer miles for a specific group of airlines. When it’s time to book a flight take a look at the price. If the price is less than $300, it’s usually better to pay in cash and save your miles to book a higher-priced flight. When the flights start getting higher than $500, it’s best to review your frequent flyer accounts to determine which airline offers you the best deal. It all boils down to the number of miles or points in your travel account for every airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to travel hacking? Your first task is to open a credit card with a sign-up offer. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that offer a variety of advantages and features. It depends on the type of airline, your spending habits, and what features are important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards great 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 reach the limit of spending minimum in order to receive the bonus. Every card has different guidelines, so make sure to look up this information. From there, it’s all about racking up miles and using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your points?
Now that you’ve built up your points amount, it’s time to use them towards delicious vacation! Different credit card providers will have different methods for redeeming your rewards, here are some examples from some of the ones I’ve had experience with:
Escape by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have a Chase credit card, then you can redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. In it, you’ll have access to almost every airline, and you can use a combination of the points as well as cash in order to pay for your next trip. You can book your flight entirely on points if you have enough balance! Sometimes even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for full cost, you still can 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 flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option of paying with either points or dollars? Be careful that if you don’t have enough points you aren’t able to combine points and dollars for the same flight. No worries though, if you’re a few points short, United gives you the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue provides a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience with extra space and complimentary snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is like United’s which allows you to book with either JetBlue points or dollars, however, not both. But, JetBlue offers a distinct feature where you can join your points with your family members and earn points twice as fast. Just make sure you can prove you’re really family 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 economical and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to reach the required amount to qualify for a credit card bonus. But don’t fret, we’ve been through it and are here to share some of our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able to pay your rent using credit card, go for it! Make sure you pay a cost, which is usually around 3 percent. It might be worth it in the end when the bonus is large enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another way to reach the spending limit is to pay for an medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills due then ask your family members if you can pay their medical bills and they can repay you.
Repay the loan
If you’re a borrower, consider paying them off with an credit card. Be sure to pay off the credit card balance completely so that you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Ask your family members to look into any major expenses in the near future that you can contribute for. Make sure that you are able to trust the person and they are aware of the reason for doing this.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season you should consider purchasing all of your gifts with cards from your credit account. So you’ll be able to hit that minimum spend and be ready for giving gifts. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you contemplating to.
There are plenty of ways to make the most from your travel credit card and accumulate miles or points that you can use towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few more ideas for maximizing your rewards:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a vacation, make use of the travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as any other travel-related expenses. You’ll not only be able to meet the required amount for your credit card and earn points, however, you’ll also earn points or miles on these costs.
Make use of your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday expenditures
Another way to hit the minimum spend in order to accumulate points by using your credit card to pay everyday costs. This could be things like gas, groceries, and even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay off the balance in full every month to ensure you don’t accumulate interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or points in exchange for specific types of purchases, such as eating out or traveling. Make sure you review the rewards program of your credit card and take advantage of any bonus categories that align with your spending routines.
Think about the possibility of transferring your balance
If you have existing outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, consider transferring that balance onto a travel credit card with the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfer. This will allow you to pay off your debts without accruing interest and simultaneously aid in achieving the minimum spending requirement for the credit card’s bonus.
Utilize your miles and points wisely
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points, be sure to use the points or miles wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and compare the benefits of different redemption options. For instance you can use your points to purchase a flight directly with the airline could give you a better value than using them to purchase a gift card.
Another option is to get an rewards card that permits you to transfer your reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will let you enjoy a greater variety of options and greater flexibility when making use of your rewards. For example, you may be capable of transferring your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or hotel rewards program. This can give an access larger selection of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks which are not offered through your credit card’s rewards program.
Also, find out whether your credit card has certain benefits that will help you save money on travel costs. Many cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that could be very beneficial when traveling.
When you travel with a friend, both of you can earn rewards using your own credit card. Make sure you don’t share the costs on the same card and make sure to keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do to making the most of your travel rewards is to understand your credit card’s rewards program and to ensure you’re making use of this program in the most efficient way possible. By using an array of strategies I’ve listed in this article, you’ll be able get rewards in a short time, use rewards for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide assortment of travel-related perks.