Are you tired of spending an enormous amount on flights? Well, good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s a fun way to convert bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles, which can be used to obtain discounted or complimentary flights for your desired destinations. With a bit of creativity and some insider know-how, you’ll travel for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about swapping credit card sign-up bonus as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can later be used to purchase discount or no-cost flights. Some credit cards also allow you to redeem miles for hotel stays and rental car deals.
How Does it Work?
The secret to successful hacking travel is taking advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and building out frequent flyer miles on a select group of airlines. When you are ready to book a flight, evaluate the cost. If the cost is under $300, it’s usually better to pay cash and save your miles to book a higher-priced flight. If your flights begin to climb over $500, you’ll need to look into those frequent flyer accounts and see which airline can give you the most value. All it boils down to is the number of miles or points in your travel bank for each airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to travel hacking? Your first task is opening a credit card that comes with a welcome bonus. There are many great credit cards with various advantages and features. It depends on the type of airline, spending habits and what features are essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards that are great to hack travel
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
Once you’ve been approved for a credit card, you’ll need to hit the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to get the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so make certain to verify this information. From there, it’s all about racking miles and using them to plan your dream vacation!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your points?
Now that you’ve built up the points balance, you’re ready to cash them in for some nice travel! Different credit card providers will offer different ways to redeem your points, but here are some examples from a few of the providers I’ve had experience with:
Getaway by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of a Chase cards, you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within this portal you’ll have access to virtually every airline and you can use a combination of money and points to pay for your trip. You can book your flight entirely on points if you have the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for entire cost, you are able to 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 know that when you book directly through United, you have the option to pay with dollars or points? Butbe aware that if you do not have enough points you cannot combine dollars and points for one flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re only a couple of points away, United provides the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue offers a comfortable and enjoyable travel experience that includes extra legroom as well as free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is like United’s that allows you to book with either JetBlue either dollars or points but not both. However, JetBlue offers a distinct feature that lets you join your points with family members to accrue points twice as quickly. Make sure to establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re anything like me and my travel companion Becca You’re probably quite economical and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to hit the minimum spend for the credit card bonus. But don’t fret as we’ve done it and we’re here to share some of our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able to pay for your rent using a credit card, do it! Make sure you pay a cost, which is usually around 3%. It may be worth it over the long term when the bonus is large enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the spending limit is to cover an medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses due then ask your family members to pay their medical bills and they will reimburse you.
Pay off the loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan you owe, think about paying them off with your credit card. Be sure to pay off the credit card balance completely so that you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask family for help
Ask your family members to look into any large expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Make sure that you are able to are able to trust the person and that they are aware of the reason for taking the initiative.
If it’s the holiday season take into consideration buying all of your gifts with the credit card you have. This way you can hit that minimum spend and be ready for giving gifts. Just make sure you’re not paying more than you contemplating to.
There are plenty of ways to get the most of using your credit or debit card for travel and accrue points or miles to use towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few additional ideas for maximizing your rewards:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, make use of your travel credit card to book your hotel, flight, rental car, and other travel costs. You’ll not only be able to hit the minimum amount of spending required for your credit card reward as well, but you’ll also be earning points or miles on the costs.
Utilize your credit card to pay for everyday expenses
Another way to meet the minimum amount of spending to earn rewards is using your credit card to pay every day expenses. This can include things like food, gas, and even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay the balance off each month in full so you don’t accumulate interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer bonus points or miles on certain kinds of purchases, such as dining or travel. Make sure you review your credit card’s rewards program and take advantage of any bonus categories that align with your spending habits.
Take into consideration the possibility of transferring your balance
If you have existing outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer the balance to a travel credit card with a 0% introductory APR for balance transfers. This will allow you to pay off your debts without accruing interest, and also aid in achieving the minimum amount required to earn the credit card’s bonus.
Use your points or miles wisely
If you’ve amassed a large amount of miles or points, be sure to use them wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card, and evaluate the benefits of different redemption options. For instance you can use points to purchase a flight directly through the airline may provide you with a greater value than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer rewards to different loyalty program. This will allow you to have a wider range of choices and more flexibility when making use of your rewards. For instance, you might be eligible to transfer your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a reward program for hotels. This will give you access to a greater variety of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks that aren’t available through the rewards program on your credit card.
Additionally, try to determine the card’s benefits. some perks that could save you money on travel-related expenses. Some cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection and other benefits that are extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
When you travel with a friend, both of you can get rewards on your own credit card. Just remember that you can’t share the costs on the same card, and be sure to track the rewards you earn separately.
Overall, the key to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to know the rewards program of your credit card and ensure that you’re using it in the most effective method. Through a combination of the methods I’ve described in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards quickly, redeem them for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad range of travel perks.