Are you tired of paying an enormous amount on flights? Well, good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting way to convert bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles that can then be used to get discounted or even complimentary flights for your dream 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 all about exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. These miles can then be used to pay for discounted or even free flights. Some credit cards also allow you to redeem miles for hotel stays and car rental offers.
How Does it Work?
The secret to success in hacking travel is taking advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and building out a frequent flyer mile program for a specific group of airlines. When you are ready to make a booking consider the cost. If the flight is less than $300, it’s generally better to pay cash and save your miles to book a higher-priced flight. When the flights start getting above $500, you’ll want to review those frequent flyer accounts and see which airline can give you the best deal. All it boils down to is the amount of points or miles in your travel bank for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets of travel hacking? Your first task is opening an account that comes with a welcome bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that offer many benefits and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, your spending habits, and what features are crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards that are great to hack travel
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
After you’ve been accepted for a credit card, you’ll need to hit the minimum spend limit in order to qualify for the bonus. Every card has different rules, so make certain to verify the details. Then, it’s all about racking up miles and using them to plan your dream vacation!
Ready to jet-set with your points?
After you’ve accrued the points balance, you’re ready to redeem them for some delicious getaway! Different credit card providers will offer different ways to redeem your points, but here are some examples from a few of the ones I’ve had experience with:
Getaway through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you own a Chase cards, you are able to redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through this portal you’ll have access to virtually every airline, and you can combine points and cash to book your next trip. You can even book entirely with points if you’ve the funds to pay for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t have enough points to cover the total price, you can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using every credit card.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for your flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United, you have the option to pay with dollars or points? Be careful, if you don’t have enough points you cannot combine dollars and points for one flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re just a few points short, United also offers the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue provides passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience , with more legroom as well as free snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to United’s which allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue points or dollars however, not both. But, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature where you can combine your points with your relatives to earn points twice as quickly. Make 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 anything like me and my travel buddy Becca I’m sure you’re pretty thrifty and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to reach the minimum spend for credit card bonuses. However, don’t be worried, we’ve been through it and we’re here to share some of our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able to pay your rent using a credit card, do it! Just be prepared to be charged a fee, typically about 3 percent. It could be worthwhile 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 an medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills due, ask your relatives if you could pay for theirs and they’ll repay you.
Make a payment to pay off the loan
If you have any loans you owe, think about repaying them using the credit card you have. Be sure to pay off the balance on your credit card in full , so that you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Talk to your family and look into any big expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to have confidence in the person you are talking to and they are aware of the reason for doing this.
If you’re celebrating the holidays take into consideration buying all of your gifts with your credit card. In this way, you’ll hit that minimum spend and also be ready for gift giving. Be sure to avoid spending more than you were planning to.
There are a lot of methods to get the most from using your credit or debit card for travel. accrue points or miles to use towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few additional 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 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 spend to qualify for a credit card and earn points, but you’ll also earn points or miles for those expenses.
Utilize your credit card to pay for everyday expenditures
Another way to meet the minimum spending requirement to earn rewards is by making use of your credit card to pay for everyday expenditures. This can include things like gas, groceries or even your phone bill. Make sure you pay off the balance in full every month to ensure you don’t pay interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or bonus points for specific types of purchases, including eating out or travelling. Make sure you review your credit card’s rewards program and make use of any bonus categories that align with your spending routines.
Think about the possibility of transferring your balance
If you have existing debt on a credit card, consider transferring that balance onto an account with a travel credit card that has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfers. This will allow you to pay off your debt without accruing interest and simultaneously aid in achieving the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus.
Utilize your miles and points prudently
If you’ve amassed a large amount of points or miles make sure you use them wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and compare the benefits of different redemption options. For example you can use points to book a flight directly through the airline may provide you with a greater value than using them to purchase 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 have a wider range of options and greater flexibility when redeeming your rewards. For instance, you might be able to transfer your rewards to the frequent flyer program of an airline or hotel rewards program. This will give the benefit of a wider variety of hotels, flights and other travel benefits that aren’t accessible through the rewards program on your credit card.
Also, find out whether your credit card has some perks that could reduce your travel expenses. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance and 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, both of you can get rewards on your own credit card. Be aware that you cannot share the costs on the same card, and be sure you 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 understand your credit card’s rewards program and make sure you’re using your credit card in the most efficient method. By using an array of methods I’ve described in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards quickly, redeem them for travel experiences that are worth it and take advantage of a broad assortment of travel-related perks.