Are you tired of paying an enormous amount on flights? Good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting way to convert bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles, which can be used to get discounted or even complimentary flights for your desired destinations. With a little bit of imagination and some knowledge, you can travel for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about swapping credit card sign-up bonus as well as incentives to earn airline miles. The miles can be used to pay for discounted or even free flights. Some credit cards also permit you to use miles for hotel stays and car rental discounts.
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 with a limited number of airlines. When it comes time to make a booking, evaluate the cost. If the cost is less than $300, it’s best to pay in cash and save your miles to take a more costly flight. When the flights start getting above $500, you’ll want to check those frequent flyer accounts and find out which airline will give you the most value. It all boils down to the number of points or miles in your travel bank for each airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to travel hacking? Your first task is to open a credit card with a sign-up bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that provide a variety of benefits and features. It is all dependent on the airline, your habits with spending and the features that are most crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards perfect 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 card, you’ll need to hit the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to get the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of guidelines, so make sure to check for this information. Then you can begin to rack up miles, and then using them to book your dream vacation!
Ready to jet-set with your points?
After you’ve accrued your points balance, you’re ready to redeem them for some sweet getaway! Different credit card companies offer different ways to redeem your points. Here are a few examples from some of the companies I’ve worked with:
Escape with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of an Chase cards, you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within the portal, you’ll get access to virtually every airline. You can make use of a combination of points and cash to book your next trip. You can even book completely 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 full cost, you are able to purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with every credit card.
Are you tired of paying full price for your flight tickets? Did you not know that when you book directly through United, you have the option of paying using either points or dollars? But, be careful, if you do not have enough points you cannot combine points and dollars for flights. If you’re just a few points away, United provides the option of buying additional miles.
Are you 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. Plus, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines, allowing you to book with either JetBlue either dollars or points however, not both. But, JetBlue has a unique feature where you can join your points with your relatives to earn points twice as fast. Just make sure you can verify that you are a family member before trying to hack the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re like me and my travel companion Becca, you’re probably pretty thrifty and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to reach the required amount to qualify for the credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried 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 an important one! If you’re able to pay for your rent using a credit card, do it! Just be prepared to pay a fee, usually about 3%. It could be worthwhile in the long run if the bonus is high enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the minimum spend is to pay for the medical bills. If you do not have any medical expenses due Ask your family members if you can pay them for theirs, and they will reimburse you.
Make a payment to pay off a loan
If you have any loans take into consideration paying them off with an credit card. Make sure to pay off the balance on your credit card in full , so that you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Talk to your family and determine if they’ve got 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 understand why you’re doing it.
If you’re celebrating the holidays you should consider purchasing all of your gifts with your credit card. So you’ll be able to reach the minimum spending requirement and be ready for gift giving. Make sure that you’re not paying more than you already planning to.
There are many ways to make the most of using your credit or debit card for travel. accrue points or miles to use towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few additional suggestions for maximising the rewards you earn:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, use your travel credit card to pay for your hotel, flight, rental car, and any other travel-related expenses. In addition, you’ll achieve the required amount to earn your credit card and earn points, however, you’ll also earn points or miles on these costs.
Use your credit card to pay for your everyday expenses
Another way to meet the minimum spend in order to accumulate points utilising your credit cards to pay daily expenses. This can include items like groceries, gas or even your phone bill. Make sure you pay off the balance in full each month so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Benefit from bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or points in exchange for certain types of purchases, including eating out or traveling. Check out the rewards program of your credit card and avail any bonus categories that align with your spending habits.
Think about the possibility of transferring your balance
If you have existing debt on a credit card, you might want to transfer that balance onto a travel credit card with the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfers. This will allow you to pay off your debts without accruing interest. It will also assist you in reaching the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus.
Make use of your miles or points wisely
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of points or miles Make sure to utilize the points or miles wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card, and evaluate the benefits of different redemption options. For instance, using points to book a flight directly with the airline could offer better value than using them for an gift card.
Another tip is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer points to other loyalty programs. This will allow you to have a wider range of choices and more flexibility when redeeming your rewards. For instance, you might be able to transfer your rewards to the frequent flyer program of an airline or reward program for hotels. This will give an access wider variety of hotels, flights, and other travel perks which are not accessible through the rewards program of your credit card.
Also, find out if your credit card offers certain benefits that will save you money on travel-related expenses. Many cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that could be very beneficial when traveling.
When you travel with someone else and both of you earn rewards using your credit card. Be aware that you cannot split the cost on the same card. Also, make sure to keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
In the end, the most important thing to do to making the most of your travel rewards is to know your credit card’s rewards program and ensure that you’re using it in the most efficient method. Through all of the methods I’ve described that you can get rewards in a short time, use them for travel experiences that are worth it, and enjoy a wide range of travel perks.