Are you tired of spending a fortune on airfare? Well, good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting method to convert credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into miles that can then be used to obtain discounted or complimentary flights for your ideal destinations. With a little imagination and a little bit of insider information, you’ll be jet-setting for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about swapping credit card sign-up bonus and incentives for airline miles. The miles can be used to purchase cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards will also let you redeem miles towards hotel stays or rental car offers.
How Does it Work?
The key to success in hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and building out a frequent flyer mile program for a specific group of airlines. When it comes time to book a flight take a look at the price. If the cost is less than $300, it’s generally better to pay in cash and use your miles to pay to book a higher-priced flight. When the flights start getting above $500, you’ll want to look into the frequent flyer account and find out which airline will give you the most value. All it boils down to is the number of miles or points you have in your travel savings account for each airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to hacking travel? The first step is opening an account with a sign-up bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards with many advantages and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, spending habits and the features that are most essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards perfect for travel hacking:
- 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 spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to qualify for the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so be certain to verify the details. Then, it’s all about racking up miles, and using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your ideas?
After you’ve accrued the points balance, you’re ready to use them towards delicious travel! Different credit card companies will have different methods for redeeming your points. Here are a few examples from some of the ones I’ve worked with:
Escape by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own an Chase card, you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through the portal, you’ll get access to almost every airline. You can use a combination of the points as well as cash in order to pay for your travel. You can even book entirely with points if you’ve the balance for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for total price, you can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using every credit card.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for your flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option of paying using dollars or points? Be careful that if you do not have enough points you cannot combine dollars and points on flights. Don’t worry, though, if you’re a few points short, United also offers the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience with extra legroom and free snacks. Plus, their booking process is like United’s that allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue either dollars or points but not both. However, JetBlue has a unique feature where you can 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 the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me and my travel buddy Becca, you’re probably pretty thrifty and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum spend for credit card bonuses. However, don’t be worried, we’ve been through it and are here to share our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able to pay your rent with credit card, then do it! Just be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually about 3 percent. It may be worth it in the end if the bonus is high enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another way to reach the required spending is to pay for the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills in the near future Ask your family members if you can pay their medical bills and they’ll reimburse you.
Make a payment to pay off the loan
If you’re a borrower, consider paying them off with the credit card you have. Just make sure you pay the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask family for help
Discuss your family with them and determine if they’ve got any big expenses coming up which you could help pay for. Make sure that you are able to trust the person and they understand why you’re taking the initiative.
If you’re celebrating the holidays, consider buying all of your gifts with your credit card. So you’ll be able to reach the minimum spending requirement and be ready for gift giving. Be sure to avoid spending more than you contemplating to.
There are many methods to get the most from using your credit or debit card for travel. accumulate miles or points that you can use towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are some additional suggestions for maximising your rewards
Book travel expenses with your credit card
If you’re planning a vacation, make use of the travel credit card to pay for your hotel, flight, rental car, and any other travel-related expenses. Not only will you be able to hit the minimum spend to qualify for a credit card, however, you’ll also earn points or miles on the expenses.
Use your credit card for everyday costs
Another way to meet the minimum spend in order to accumulate points by using your credit card to pay every day costs. This could be items like groceries, gas and even your telephone bill. Be sure to pay off the balance in full every month to ensure you don’t accumulate interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer bonus points or miles on certain kinds of purchases, such as eating out or travelling. Check out the rewards program of your credit card and take advantage of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending routines.
Consider the possibility of transferring your balance
If you are currently in debt on a credit card, you might want to transfer the balance to an account with a travel credit card that has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfers. This will enable you to pay off your debt without accruing interest, and also aid in achieving the minimum amount required to earn the credit card’s bonus.
Make use of your miles or points prudently
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points make sure you use them wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and then compare the benefits of different redemption options. For example using points to book a flight directly with the airline might provide you with a greater value than using them for an gift card.
Another option is to get an rewards card that permits you to transfer your reward points into other loyalty programmes. This allows you to enjoy a greater variety of choices and more flexibility in you want to redeem your rewards. For instance, you might be able to transfer your rewards to the frequent flyer program of an airline or a Hotel rewards programme. This will give the benefit of a larger selection of hotels, flights and other travel benefits that aren’t accessible through the rewards program of your credit card.
Additionally, try to find out if your credit card offers some perks that could save you money on travel-related expenses. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that are very beneficial when traveling.
When you travel with someone else, both of you can earn rewards with your own credit card. Just remember that you can’t divide the cost with the same card. Also, make sure to keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
The key to making the most of your travel rewards is to know the rewards program on your credit card and make sure you’re making use of this program in the most efficient method. Through all of the strategies I’ve outlined that you can get rewards in a short time, use them for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide variety of travel benefits.