Are you tired of paying an enormous amount on flights? Good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting way to convert bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles which you can use to get discounted or even complimentary flights for your desired destinations. With a little bit of imagination and a little bit of 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 and rewards for airline miles. These miles can later be used to pay for discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards will also permit you to use miles to pay for hotel stays or rental car offers.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for successful hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and to establish frequent flyer miles for a specific group of airlines. When it’s time to make a booking, evaluate the cost. If the flight is under $300, it’s best to pay in 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 your frequent flyer accounts to see which airline can give you the best price. All it boils down to is the amount of points or miles in your travel bank for each airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to hacking travel? The first step is to open an account with a sign-up bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards with various benefits and features. It depends on the type of airline, your habits with spending and the features that are most essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit card options that can be perfect 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 have to meet the limit of spending minimum in order to receive the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so be certain to verify this information. Then it’s all about building up miles, and using them to plan your dream trip!
Ready to jet-set with your ideas?
After you’ve accrued your points balance, you’re ready to use them towards nice travel! Different credit card providers will offer different ways to redeem your points. Here are some examples from some of the companies I have experience with:
Getaway by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have an Chase credit card, then you can redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through this portal you’ll have access to nearly every airline, and you can combine money and points to pay for your trip. You can even book completely with points if you’ve 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 still can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with the credit card of your choice.
Are you tired of paying full price for flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United You have the option of paying with either points or dollars? But, be careful in case you do not have enough points you cannot combine dollars and points on one flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re only a couple of point short United gives you the option of buying additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers passengers a relaxing and pleasant travel experience that includes extra space and complimentary snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to that of United Airlines which allows customers to book using either JetBlue either dollars or points but not both. The difference is that JetBlue offers a distinct feature where you can combine your points with family members to accrue points twice as fast. Be sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack into the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel buddy Becca, you’re probably pretty thrifty and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to hit the required amount to qualify for credit card bonuses. But don’t fret because we’ve been there and are here to share our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able to pay for your rent with a credit card, do it! Be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually at least 3 percent. It may be worth it in the long run in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another way to reach the required spending is to cover a medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills in the near future Ask your family members if you can pay for theirs and they will repay you.
Pay off a loan
If you’re a borrower you owe, think about paying them off with an credit card. Be sure to pay the credit card balance completely so that you don’t accumulate additional debt.
Ask your family members for help
Talk to your family and determine if they’ve got any big expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Make sure that you are able to are able to trust the person and that they are aware of the reason for doing this.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season take into consideration buying all your gifts with your credit card. So you’ll be able to meet the minimum spending limit and be ready for gift giving. Be sure to avoid spending more than you contemplating to.
There are plenty of methods to get the most of the travel credit card. You can accrue points or miles to use towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few additional suggestions for maximising your rewards:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
If you’re planning a vacation, make use of you travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel, rental car, and any other travel expenses. In addition, you’ll be able to meet the minimum amount of spending required to qualify for a credit card and earn points, but you’ll also be earning points or miles on these costs.
Use your credit card to pay for your everyday expenditures
Another way to meet the minimum spending requirement to earn rewards is utilising your credit cards to pay every day costs. This can include items like groceries, gas or even your phone bill. Make sure you pay the balance off each month in full so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer bonus points or miles for specific types of purchases, such as eating out or travelling. Be sure to review your rewards program on your credit card and make use of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending routines.
Consider a balance transfer
If you are currently in outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer that balance to a travel credit card with a 0% introductory APR for balance transfer. This will let you pay off the debt without accruing interest, and also help you hit the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus.
Use your points or miles carefully
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of points or miles, be sure to use the points or miles wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card, and evaluate the value of different redemption options. For example you can use points to purchase a flight directly with the airline might offer better value than using them to purchase a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will allow you to enjoy a greater variety of options and greater freedom when it comes to you want to redeem your rewards. For example, you may be eligible to transfer your reward to the frequent flyer program of an airline or hotel rewards program. This gives the benefit of a greater variety of hotels, flights, and other travel perks that may not be available through the rewards program on your credit card.
Additionally, try to find out the card’s benefits. some perks that could reduce your travel costs. Some cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that can be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a friend and both of you earn rewards using your own credit card. Make sure you don’t split the cost on the same card, and be sure to track the rewards you earn separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do to maximizing your travel rewards is to understand your credit card’s rewards program and ensure that you’re making use of it in the most effective way possible. By using an array of methods I’ve described that you can earn rewards fast, exchange rewards for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide range of travel perks.