Are you fed up of spending a fortune on airfare? Good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting way to convert welcome bonuses and other incentives into miles which you can use to obtain discounted or complimentary flights for your desired destinations. With a bit of creativity and some insider 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 and rewards for airline miles. The miles can be used to buy discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards will also permit you to use miles for hotel stays and car rental 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 on a select group of airlines. When it’s time to make a booking take a look at the price. If the cost is under $300, it’s generally better to pay cash and save your miles to take a more costly flight. If the prices start to rise above $500, you’ll want to review the frequent flyer account and find out which airline will give you the most value. It all comes down to the number of miles or points in your travel account for every airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to hacking travel? The first step is opening an account with a sign-up offer. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that provide various benefits and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, spending habits and what features are crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit card options that can be perfect 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 have to meet the minimum spend limit in order to qualify for the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so be sure to check for the details. From there you can begin to rack miles and using them to plan your dream trip!
Ready to jet-set with your ideas?
Now that you’ve built up the points balance, you’re ready to redeem them for some delicious vacation! Different credit card providers will have different methods of redeeming your rewards, here are a few examples from some of the ones I have experience with:
Take a trip with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of a Chase cards, you are able to redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through this portal you’ll have access to virtually every airline. You can make use of a combination of points and cash to pay for your trip. You can even book entirely using points if you’ve got the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you do not be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for total cost, you are able to book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with any credit card.
Are you tired of paying full price for flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United You have the option of paying using dollars or points? Butbe aware, if you don’t have enough points you aren’t able to combine dollars and points on one flight. If you’re a few points short, United gives you the option to purchase additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue provides an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience with extra space and complimentary snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines that allows customers to book using either JetBlue points or dollars however, not both. But, JetBlue offers a distinct feature that lets you pool your points together with family members to accrue points twice as fast. Be sure to establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack into the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me and my travel buddy Becca I’m sure you’re pretty economical and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum amount required to earn a credit card bonus. But don’t fret as we’ve done it and we’re here to share our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able to pay for your rent using credit card, go for it! Just be prepared to be charged a fee, typically around 3 percent. It might be worth it in the end in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another way to reach the minimum spend is to cover the medical bills. If you do not have any medical expenses due Ask your family members if you can pay them for theirs, and they will repay you.
Pay off the loan
If you have any loans, consider repaying them using an credit card. Be sure to pay off the credit card balance completely so that you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Discuss your family with them and see if they have any large expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Make sure that you are able to trust the person and they are aware of the reason for doing it.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season you should consider purchasing all of your gifts with cards from your credit account. This way you can reach the minimum spending requirement and also be ready to give gifts. Be sure to avoid paying more than you already thinking of.
There are a lot of methods to get the most from your travel credit card. earn miles or points to be used towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are some additional ideas for maximizing your rewards:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, make use of your travel credit card for booking your hotel, flight, rental car, and any other travel expenses. In addition, you’ll be able to hit the required amount for your credit card and earn points, but you’ll also earn points or miles for these costs.
Use your credit card for all your daily expenses
Another way to hit the minimum spend to earn rewards is making use of your credit card for every day expenses. This could include things like food, gas, and even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay the balance off in full every month to ensure you don’t accumulate interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or bonus points for specific types of purchases, including eating out or travelling. Make sure you review your rewards program on your credit card and make use of any bonus categories that match with your spending routines.
Consider the possibility of transferring your balance
If you’re in the middle of a outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, think about transferring that balance onto an account with a travel credit card that has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfers. This will allow you to pay off your debt without accruing interest, and also aid in achieving the minimum spending requirement for the credit card bonus.
Use your points or miles carefully
If you’ve amassed a large amount of miles or points make sure you use them in a responsible manner. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and compare the worth of various redemption options. For example using your points to book a ticket directly with the airline could offer better value than using them to purchase a gift card.
Another tip is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer your reward points into other loyalty programmes. This allows you to get a wider selection of choices and more freedom when it comes to you want to redeem your rewards. For example, you may be eligible to transfer your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a reward program for hotels. This will give you access to a greater range of flights, hotels and other travel benefits which are not accessible through the rewards program of your credit card.
In addition, you should find out the card’s benefits. any perks that can help you save money on travel expenses. Some cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection, and other benefits that can be invaluable when you travel.
When you travel with a friend, both of you can earn rewards with your own credit card. Be aware that you cannot divide the cost with the same card, and be sure you keep track of your rewards separately.
The key to maximizing your travel rewards is to know your credit card’s rewards program and ensure that you’re using your credit card in the most efficient method. Through an array of strategies I’ve outlined in this article, you’ll be able get rewards in a short time, use them for travel experiences that are worth it and benefit from a wide variety of travel benefits.