Are you tired of paying a fortune on airfare? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting method to convert sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles which can be used to get discounted or even complimentary flights for your ideal destinations. With a little bit of imagination and some information, you’ll be jet-setting for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of trading credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. These miles can then be used to purchase discount or no-cost flights. Some credit cards also allow you to redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or car rental deals.
How Does it Work?
The secret to successful hacking travel is taking advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and establishing frequent flyer miles on a select group of airlines. When it comes time to make a booking take a look at the price. If the flight is less than $300, it’s usually better to pay cash and use your miles to pay for a more expensive flight. If your flights begin to climb above $500, you’ll want to check your frequent flyer accounts to find out which airline will give you the most value. It all boils down to the number of points or miles you have in your travel savings account for each airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets of travel hacking? The first step is to open a credit card with a sign-up offer. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards with various features and benefits. It depends on the type of airline, your spending habits, and what features are essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit card options that can be 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 have to meet the limit of spending minimum in order to qualify for the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so make sure to check for this information. From there it’s all about building up miles, and then using them to book your dream vacation!
Ready to jet-set with your goals?
After you’ve accrued the points amount, it’s time to use them towards delicious getaway! Different credit card companies will have different methods for redeeming your points, but here are a few examples from some of the providers I’ve had experience with:
Getaway through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you’re a holder of a Chase credit card, then you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In it, you’ll get access to virtually every airline. You can make use of 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 the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you don’t have enough points to cover the entire cost, you are able to purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using every credit card.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United, you have the option to pay with either points or dollars? But, be careful that if you don’t have enough points, you cannot combine dollars and points for the same flight. If you’re just a few point short United also offers the option to purchase 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 space and complimentary snacks. Additionally, their booking process is like United’s which allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue points or dollars however, not both. The difference is that JetBlue has a unique feature that allows you to combine your points with your family members and earn points twice as quickly. Make sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack into the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me or my travel buddy Becca I’m sure you’re pretty frugal and it can be difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to reach the minimum amount required to earn credit card bonuses. But don’t fret because we’ve been there and are here to share our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able pay your rent with a credit card, do it! Just be prepared to be charged a fee, typically at least 3 percent. It could be worthwhile over the long term in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another great way to hit the minimum spend is to cover a medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses due, ask your family members if you can pay them for theirs, and they’ll pay you back.
Make a payment to pay off a loan
If you have any loans take into consideration making payments on them with an credit card. Be sure to pay the credit card balance completely so that you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask your family members for help
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 know why you’re taking the initiative.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season take into consideration buying all of your gifts with your credit card. In this way, you’ll hit that minimum spend and also be prepared to give gifts. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you were thinking of.
There are many methods to get the most from using your credit or debit card for travel. earn miles or points to spend on flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are some additional ideas for maximizing your rewards
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, make use of your travel credit card to book your flight, hotel, rental car, and any other travel-related expenses. Not only will you be able to meet the minimum amount of spending required to qualify for a credit card, but you’ll also be earning points or miles for these costs.
Make use of your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday expenses
Another method to reach the minimum spend in order to accumulate points utilising your credit cards to pay daily expenses. This can include things like gas, groceries, and even your phone bill. Be sure to pay the balance off each month in full so you don’t pay interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer bonus points or miles for specific types of purchases, like dining or travel. Make sure you review 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 debt on a credit card, you might want to transfer that balance onto an account with a travel credit card that has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will let you pay off the debt without accruing interest, and also aid in achieving the minimum spending requirement for the credit card’s bonus.
Use your points or miles prudently
When you’ve earned a significant amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize them wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card and then compare the benefits of different redemption options. For instance using your points to book a flight directly through the airline may offer better return than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer points to other loyalty programs. This allows you to enjoy a greater variety of options and greater flexibility when making use of your rewards. For example, you may be eligible to transfer your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a Hotel rewards programme. This will give an access wider variety of hotels, flights and other travel benefits that aren’t accessible through your credit card’s rewards program.
In addition, you should discover if your credit card offers certain benefits that will reduce your travel costs. Some cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that are invaluable when you travel.
Finally, when you’re traveling with someone else, both of you can earn rewards with your credit card. Make sure you don’t share the costs on the same card, and be sure to keep track of your rewards separately.
Overall, the key to making the most of your travel rewards is to know the rewards program on your credit card and ensure that you’re using it in the most effective method. Utilizing all of the methods I’ve described, you’ll be able to get rewards in a short time, use them for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide variety of travel benefits.