Are you tired of spending a fortune on airfare? Good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel problems. It’s a fun way to convert sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles, which you can use to score discounted or free flights to your ideal destinations. With a bit of creativity and some insider knowledge, you can fly for no cost within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of swapping credit card sign-up bonus as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can then be used to buy discounted or even free flights. Some credit cards also allow you to redeem miles for hotel stays and car rental discounts.
How Does it Work?
The secret to successful hacking travel is taking advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and to establish frequent flyer miles with a limited number of airlines. When you are ready to book a flight take a look at the price. If the flight is less than $300, it’s best 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 review the frequent flyer account to determine which airline offers you the best deal. It all comes down to the amount of points or miles you have in your travel account for each airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to hacking travel? Your first task is to open the credit card that comes that comes with a welcome bonus. There are a lot of fantastic 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 some credit cards that are great 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 need to hit the limit of spending minimum in order to get the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so be certain to verify this information. From there you can begin to rack miles and then using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to set sail with your points?
After you’ve accrued the points balance, it’s time to cash them in for some nice vacation! Different credit card providers will offer different ways to redeem your points, but here are a few examples from some of the providers I’ve worked with:
Take a trip through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you have a Chase card, you are able to redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In the portal, you’ll have access to almost every airline. You can make use of a combination of money and points to pay for your travel. You can even book completely on points if you have the balance for it! Sometimes even if you do not be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for full price, you can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with every credit card.
Are you fed up of paying full price for your flight tickets? Did you know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option of paying with dollars or points? Be careful that if you do not have enough points you cannot combine dollars and points for the same flight. If you’re a few points away, United provides the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience with extra legroom as well as free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to United’s, allowing customers to book using either JetBlue dollar or points, however, not both. However, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that allows you to combine your points with family members to accrue points twice as fast. Be sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack into the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re like me and my travel companion Becca, you’re probably pretty frugal and it can be challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum spend for a credit card bonus. But don’t fret, we’ve been through 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 to pay for your rent using credit card, then do it! Be prepared to pay a fee, usually around 3 percent. It might be worth it in the long run when the bonus is large enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another way to reach the required spending is to cover an medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses coming up, ask your family members to pay them for theirs, and they can repay you.
Repay the loan
If you’re a borrower you owe, think about making payments on them with an credit card. Just make sure you pay off the balance on your credit card in full so you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Talk to your family and look into any major expenses in the near future that you can help pay for. Make sure that you are able to trust the person and they know why you’re taking the initiative.
If it’s the holiday season take into consideration buying all of your gifts with cards from your credit account. So you’ll be able to meet the minimum spending limit and also be ready for giving gifts. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you were already planning to.
There are a lot of ways to get the most out of your travel credit card. You can accrue points or miles to use towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few additional ideas for maximizing your rewards
Make travel reservations using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, make use of your travel credit card to book your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as any other travel expenses. You’ll not only be able to hit the minimum spend to earn your credit card reward as well, but you’ll also be earning points or miles on the expenses.
Use your credit card for all your daily expenditures
Another way to hit the minimum spend to earn rewards is utilising your credit cards to pay for every day expenses. This could be things like gas, groceries or even your phone bill. Make sure you pay off the balance in full every month to ensure you don’t accrue interest charges.
Benefit from bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer bonus points or miles for certain types of purchases, including dining or travel. Make sure you review your rewards program on your credit card and take advantage of any bonus categories that align with your spending routines.
Consider a balance transfer
If you have existing debt on a credit card, you might want to transfer the balance to an account with a travel credit card that has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfer. This will enable you to pay off your debts without accruing interest and simultaneously aid in achieving the minimum amount required to earn the credit card’s bonus.
Use your points or miles prudently
If you’ve amassed a large 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 worth of various redemption options. For instance using your points to book a ticket directly with the airline might offer better value than using them to purchase a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer your rewards to different loyalty program. This will allow you to have a wider range of choices and more freedom when it comes to redeeming your rewards. For example, you may be able to transfer your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a reward program for hotels. This will give you access to a wider range of flights, hotels as well as other travel perks that aren’t accessible through the rewards program of your credit card.
Additionally, try to determine the card’s benefits. some perks that could save you money on travel-related expenses. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection and other benefits that could be invaluable when you travel.
Finally, when you’re traveling with someone else, both of you can earn rewards using your credit card. Make sure you don’t divide the cost with the same card, and be sure to keep track of your rewards separately.
Overall, the key to making the most of your travel rewards is to know the rewards program of your credit card and to ensure you’re making use of your credit card in the most efficient method possible. Utilizing all of the methods I’ve described, you’ll be able to earn rewards fast, exchange rewards for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad range of travel perks.