Are you tired of paying thousands of dollars on travel? Good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s a fun way to convert bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles, which can be used to obtain discounted or free flights to your desired destinations. With a little creativity and some insider know-how, you’ll be jet-setting for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. The miles can be used to purchase cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards will also allow you to redeem miles towards hotel stays or rental car discounts.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for success in hacking travel is taking advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and establishing frequent flyer miles for a specific group of airlines. When it’s time to make a booking consider the cost. If the cost is under $300, it’s generally better to pay cash and use your miles to pay for a more expensive flight. When the flights start getting above $500, you’ll want to check those frequent flyer accounts and see which airline can give you the best deal. It all comes down to the amount of points or miles you have in your travel bank for every airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to hacking travel? Your first task is opening a credit card with a sign-up offer. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that offer many 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 a few credit cards that are great to use for hacking travel:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
If you’ve been approved for a credit or debit card, you’ll need to hit the limit of spending minimum in order to qualify for the bonus. Every card has different rules, so be sure to look up this information. From there, it’s all about racking up miles and using them to plan your dream vacation!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your ideas?
After you’ve accrued your points balance, it’s time to redeem them for some delicious travel! Different credit card providers will have different methods for redeeming your points. Here are a few examples from some of the companies I have experience with:
Escape by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own a Chase card, you are able to redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In the portal, you’ll get access to almost every airline. You can use a combination of money and points to book your next trip. You can even book entirely with points if you’ve enough balance! Sometimes, even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for full cost, you still can buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with every credit card.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United You have the option of paying with dollars or points? Be careful, if you don’t have enough points, you aren’t able to combine dollars and points for one flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re a few points away, United gives you the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue provides a comfortable and enjoyable travel experience that includes extra space and complimentary snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is like United’s which allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue dollar or points however, not both. The difference is that JetBlue offers a distinct feature where you can combine your points with your relatives to earn points twice as quickly. Just make sure you can prove you’re really family before trying to hack the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re 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 amount required to earn the credit card bonus. Don’t worry as we’ve done it and we’re here to share some of our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able pay your rent with a credit card, do it! Just be prepared to pay a fee, usually about 3 percent. It may 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 required spending is to pay for the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills coming up then ask your family members to pay for theirs and they’ll reimburse you.
Make a payment to pay off a loan
If you have any loans you owe, think about repaying them using your credit card. Just make sure you pay off the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t accrue additional debt.
Ask family for help
Discuss your family with them and see if they have any large expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to trust the person and they understand why you’re doing this.
If it’s the holiday season you should consider purchasing all of your gifts with the credit card you have. In this way, you’ll hit that minimum spend and also be ready for giving gifts. Be sure to avoid spending more than you already contemplating to.
There are many methods to get the most from your travel credit card. You can accrue points or miles to be used towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are some additional ideas for maximizing your rewards
Make travel reservations using your credit card
When you’re planning your next vacation, make use of your travel credit card for booking your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as any other travel expenses. Not only will you achieve the minimum amount of spending required to earn your credit card reward and earn points, however, you’ll also earn points or miles on these costs.
Utilize your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday costs
Another method to reach the minimum amount of spending to earn rewards is using your credit card for every day costs. This could be things like food, gas and even your telephone bill. Just make sure to pay off the balance in full every month to ensure you don’t pay interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or bonus points for certain types of purchases, such as eating out or traveling. Be sure to review your rewards program on your credit card and avail the bonus categories that are in line with your spending habits.
Think about a balance transfer
If you are currently in debt on a high-interest credit card, consider transferring that balance to a travel credit card with the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfer. This will let you pay off your debt without accruing interest, and also help you hit the minimum spending requirement for the credit card’s bonus.
Use your points or miles wisely
If you’ve amassed a large amount of points or miles, be sure to use them in a responsible manner. Examine the rewards program of your credit card, and evaluate the value of different redemption options. For instance you can use points to book a flight directly with the airline could offer better return than using them for a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer your reward points into other loyalty programmes. This allows you to get a wider selection of choices and more flexibility in redeeming your rewards. For instance, you might be capable of transferring your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a Hotel rewards programme. This will give an access larger range of flights, hotels as well as other travel perks which are not offered through your credit card’s rewards program.
In addition, you should determine the card’s benefits. some perks that could help you save money on travel costs. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that could be invaluable when you travel.
When you travel with a companion and both of you earn rewards using your own credit card. Be aware that you cannot divide the cost with the same card. Also, make sure you keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
The key to making the most of your travel rewards is to know the rewards program of your credit card and make sure you’re making use of it in the most efficient method possible. Through a combination of the methods I’ve described, you’ll be able to earn rewards fast, exchange them for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad range of travel perks.