Are you fed up of spending a fortune on airfare? Well, good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting way to convert sign-up bonuses and incentives into miles which can be used to score discounted or free flights to your dream destinations. With a little bit of imagination and some information, you’ll fly for no cost within a matter of minutes.
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 pay for discounted or even free flights. Some credit cards also let you redeem miles for hotel stays and car rental deals.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for successful hacking travel is taking advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and establishing a frequent flyer mile program for a specific group of airlines. When you are ready to make a booking consider the cost. If the cost is less than $300, it’s best to pay cash and use your miles to pay to take a more costly flight. When the flights start getting higher than $500, it’s best to review the frequent flyer account to find out which airline will give you the most value. It all comes down to the amount of points or miles in your travel bank for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to hacking travel? Your first task is opening the credit card that comes with a sign-up bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards with many features and benefits. It depends on the type of airline, your spending habits, and the features that are most crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards excellent to hack travel
- 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 minimum spend limit in order to receive the bonus. Every card has different rules, so make sure to look up the details. From there it’s all about building up miles and then using them to book your dream trip!
Ready to jet-set with your ideas?
Once you’ve accumulated the points balance, it’s time to cash them in for some sweet getaway! Different credit card providers will have different methods for redeeming your points. Here are a few examples from some of the providers I’ve had experience with:
Getaway by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of an Chase card, you are able to redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. In it, you’ll get access to virtually every airline. You can combine points and cash to pay for your travel. You can book your flight entirely using points if you’ve got enough balance! Sometimes, even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for total price, you can buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using the credit card of your choice.
Are you tired of paying full price for flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United You have the option of paying with either points or dollars? Butbe aware in case you don’t have enough points, you cannot combine dollars and points for flights. If you’re a few points short, United gives you the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers an enjoyable and comfortable travel experience that includes extra legroom as well as free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is like United’s, allowing customers to book using either JetBlue points or dollars, however, not both. The difference is that JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that lets you join your points with your family members and earn points twice as fast. Be sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack into the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re anything like me and my travel buddy Becca I’m sure you’re pretty frugal and it can be difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars in order to meet the required amount to qualify for credit card bonuses. But don’t fret as we’ve done it and are here to share some of our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able pay your rent with a credit card, do it! Be prepared to pay a fee, usually at least 3 percent. It may be worth it in the long run if the bonus is high enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another way to reach the minimum spend is to cover the medical bills. If you do not have any medical expenses due, ask your relatives if you could pay them for theirs, and they’ll reimburse you.
Make a payment to pay off a loan
If you’re a borrower you owe, think about making payments on them with an credit card. Make sure to pay off the balance on your credit card 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 big expenses coming up which you could help pay for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to have confidence in the person you are talking to and they understand why you’re taking the initiative.
If you’re celebrating the holidays, consider buying all your gifts with your credit card. So you’ll be able to reach the minimum spending requirement and also be ready for gift giving. Be sure to avoid spending more than you planning to.
There are many methods to get the most of using your credit or debit card for travel and earn miles or points to be used towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are some additional ideas for maximizing the rewards you earn:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, use your travel credit card for booking your flight, hotel, rental car, and any other travel expenses. You’ll not only be able to meet the minimum amount of spending required to earn your credit card reward and earn points, but you’ll also earn points or miles for the costs.
Utilize your credit card to pay for all your daily costs
Another way to meet the minimum amount of spending and earn points is by utilising your credit cards for everyday expenses. This could be things like food, gas and even your telephone bill. Just make sure to pay the balance off in full every month to ensure you don’t accumulate interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or points in exchange for certain types of purchases, such as eating out or travelling. Be sure to review your credit card’s rewards program and make use of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending routines.
Take into consideration the possibility of transferring your balance
If you’re in the middle of a outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, think about transferring that balance onto the travel credit card which has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfer. This will allow you to pay off your debt without accruing interest and simultaneously aid in achieving the minimum spending requirement for the credit card’s bonus.
Make use of your miles or points prudently
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of points or miles make sure you use them in a responsible manner. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and compare the benefits of different redemption options. For instance using points to book a ticket directly with the airline might offer better value than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another option is to get an rewards card that permits you to transfer reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will allow you to have a wider range of choices and more flexibility in making use of your rewards. For instance, you might be able to transfer your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or Hotel rewards programme. This gives the benefit of a larger selection of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks that may not be offered through the rewards program on your credit card.
Also, determine if your credit card offers certain benefits that will save you money on travel-related expenses. Many cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection, and other benefits that can be very beneficial when traveling.
If you’re traveling with a friend, both of you can earn rewards using your credit card. Be aware that you cannot share the costs on the same card, and be sure to keep track of your rewards separately.
The key to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program on your credit card and make sure you’re using this program in the most efficient way possible. Utilizing all of the strategies I’ve listed in this article, you’ll be able get rewards in a short time, use them for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide variety of travel benefits.