Are you fed up of spending an enormous amount on flights? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking is the answer to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting way to convert credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into miles which can be used to score discounted or free flights to your desired destinations. With a little bit of imagination and some information, you’ll travel for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about swapping credit card sign-up bonus and rewards for airline miles. These miles can later be used to buy discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards permit you to use miles to pay for hotel stays or rental car offers.
How Does it Work?
The key to success in travel hacking is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and building out frequent flyer miles on a select group of airlines. When you are ready to book a flight take a look at the price. If the price is under $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 over $500, you’ll need to review the frequent flyer account to determine which airline offers you the best price. It all boils down to the number of points or miles in your travel bank for every airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to hacking travel? The first step is opening the credit card that comes with a sign-up offer. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that offer various advantages and features. It is all dependent on the airline, spending habits and what features are crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards excellent to use for hacking travel:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
Once you’ve been approved for a credit card you’ll have to meet the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to receive the bonus. Each card has its own guidelines, so make certain to verify the details. Then you can begin to rack miles and using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your ideas?
After you’ve accrued your points balance, you’re ready to redeem them for some nice getaway! Different credit card companies have different methods of redeeming your points, but here are some examples from a few of the ones I’ve had experience with:
Escape through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you have a Chase cards, you are able to redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through this portal you’ll get access to almost every airline. You can use a combination of money and points to book your travel. You can book your flight entirely with points if you’ve 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 buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using every credit card.
Are you fed up of paying full price for flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United, you have the option to pay with either points or dollars? Be careful, if you don’t have enough points you aren’t able to combine points and dollars on one flight. If you’re just a few point short United gives you the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience , with more legroom as well as free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is like United’s, allowing you to book with either JetBlue points or dollars however, not both. But, JetBlue offers a distinct feature where you can pool your points together with family members to accrue points twice as fast. Just make sure you can prove you’re really family before trying to hack into the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me and my travel companion Becca, you’re probably pretty thrifty and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the required amount to qualify for a credit card bonus. Don’t worry as we’ve done it and are 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 for your rent with a credit card, do it! Just be prepared to pay a fee, usually at least 3 percent. It might be worth it in the end in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another way to reach the spending limit is to pay for the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills in the near future, ask your family members to pay for theirs and they will pay you back.
Repay the loan
If you’re a borrower you owe, think about making payments on them with the credit card you have. Make sure to pay off the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Discuss your family with them and determine if they’ve got any major expenses in the near future that you can help pay for. Just make sure you trust the person and they know why you’re doing it.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season, consider buying all your gifts with cards from your credit account. So you’ll be able to hit that minimum spend and be ready for gift giving. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you planning to.
There are plenty of ways to get the most of your travel credit card. accumulate miles or points that you can use towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few more ways to maximize your rewards
Book travel expenses with your credit card
When you’re planning your next vacation, make use of the travel credit card to book your flight, hotel, rental car, and any other travel expenses. You’ll not only be able to meet the minimum spend to earn your credit card as well, but you’ll also be earning points or miles on the costs.
Make use of your credit card to pay for everyday expenditures
Another method to reach the minimum amount of spending to earn rewards is by utilising your credit cards for everyday costs. This could be things like gas, groceries or even your phone bill. Make sure you pay off the balance in full each month so you don’t accumulate interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or points in exchange for certain types of purchases, including eating out or travelling. Make sure you review your credit card’s rewards program and take advantage of any bonus categories that match with your spending habits.
Take into consideration a balance transfer
If you are currently in debt on a credit card, think about transferring that balance onto a travel credit card with the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfer. This will allow you to pay off your debts without accruing interest, and also help you hit the minimum amount required to earn the credit card’s bonus.
Use your points or miles prudently
When you’ve earned a significant amount of points or miles make sure you use them in a responsible manner. Review the rewards program for your credit card and compare the worth of various redemption options. For example using your points to book a ticket directly with the airline might offer better value than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another tip is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer your points to other loyalty programs. This will allow you to have a wider range of options and greater freedom when it comes to you want to redeem your rewards. For instance, you might be able to transfer your reward to an airline’s frequent flyer program or a Hotel rewards programme. This will give the benefit of a greater range of flights, hotels, and other travel perks that aren’t accessible through your credit card’s rewards program.
In addition, you should discover the card’s benefits. certain benefits that will help you save money on travel expenses. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that can be invaluable when you travel.
If you’re traveling with a companion and both of you earn rewards with your own credit card. Just remember that you can’t split the cost on the same card and make sure to keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
The key to reaping the maximum benefits from your rewards for travel is to be aware of your credit card’s rewards program and make sure you’re using your credit card in the most effective method. By using all of the strategies I’ve listed in this article, you’ll be able get rewards in a short time, use rewards for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide variety of travel benefits.