Are you tired of paying an enormous amount on flights? Well, good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s a fun way to convert welcome bonuses and other incentives into miles which can be used to obtain discounted or free flights to your ideal destinations. With a little bit of imagination and some 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 as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can then be used to pay for discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards let you redeem miles for hotel stays and car rental discounts.
How Does it Work?
The secret to success in hacking travel is taking advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and building out a frequent flyer mile program on a select group of airlines. When it comes time to make a booking take a look at the price. If the cost is under $300, it’s generally better to pay cash and save your miles to book a higher-priced flight. If the prices start to rise higher than $500, it’s best to review those frequent flyer accounts and determine which airline offers you the best price. All it boils down to is the amount of miles or points you have in your travel savings account for each airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to travel hacking? Your first task is to open an account with a sign-up offer. There are plenty of great credit cards that offer various advantages and features. It depends on the type of airline, your habits with spending and what features are essential 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
After you’ve been accepted for a credit card, you’ll need to hit the limit of spending minimum in order to get the bonus. Every card has different rules, so be certain to verify this information. From there, it’s all about racking miles and using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your goals?
Now that you’ve built up the points amount, it’s time to redeem them for some sweet travel! Different credit card providers will offer different ways to redeem 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. Within it, you’ll get access to virtually every airline, and you can make use of a combination of points and cash to pay for your next trip. You can even book completely using points if you’ve got enough balance! Sometimes even if you do not be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for total price, you can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using any credit card.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United You have the option of paying using either points or dollars? But, be careful that if you do not have enough points you can’t combine dollars and points on flights. No worries though, if you’re only a couple of points short, United provides the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue offers a comfortable and enjoyable travel experience that includes extra space and complimentary snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is like United’s that allows customers to book using either JetBlue dollar or points, but not both. But, JetBlue has a unique feature where you can pool your points together with your relatives to earn points twice as quickly. Be sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack into the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel buddy Becca, you’re probably pretty frugal and it can be challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus. But don’t fret, we’ve been through it and we’re here to share our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able pay your rent using credit card, go for it! Be prepared to pay a fee, usually at least 3 percent. It might be worth it over the long term when the bonus is large enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the spending limit is to pay for the medical bills. If you do not have any medical expenses coming up then ask your family members to pay them for theirs, and they’ll reimburse you.
Repay the loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan take into consideration making payments on them with the credit card you have. Just make sure you pay off the balance on your credit card in full , so that you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Talk to your family and see if they have any large expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Make sure that you are able to are able to trust the person and that they know why you’re doing this.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season you should consider purchasing all your gifts with the credit card you have. This way you can reach the minimum spending requirement and be ready to give gifts. Be sure to avoid paying more than you contemplating to.
There are plenty of ways to make the most out of the travel credit card. earn miles or points to be used towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few additional suggestions for maximising your rewards
Book travel expenses with your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, use you travel credit card to book your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as other travel costs. You’ll not only achieve the required amount to earn your credit card, but you’ll also be earning points or miles to cover those expenses.
Make use of your credit card to pay for everyday expenditures
Another method to reach the minimum amount of spending and earn points is utilising your credit cards to pay everyday costs. This could include things like gas, groceries and even your telephone bill. Just make sure to pay off the balance in full each month so you don’t pay interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or points in exchange on certain kinds of purchases, like eating out or travelling. Check out the rewards program of your credit card and avail any bonus categories that align with your spending habits.
Take into consideration a balance transfer
If you have existing outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, think about transferring the balance to an account with a travel credit card that has a 0% introductory APR 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 carefully
If you’ve amassed a large amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize them in a responsible manner. Check out the rewards program on your credit card, and evaluate the benefits of different redemption options. For instance you can use your points to purchase a flight directly with the airline might give you a better value than using them for a gift card.
Another tip is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer rewards to different loyalty program. This will allow you to get a wider selection of choices and more freedom when it comes to you want to redeem your rewards. For instance, you might be eligible to transfer your reward to the frequent flyer program of an airline or a hotel rewards program. This gives an access larger selection of hotels, flights and other travel benefits that may not be available through your credit card’s rewards program.
In addition, you should determine if your credit card offers any perks that can reduce your travel costs. Some cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection, and other benefits that could be very beneficial when traveling.
When you travel with someone else, both of you can earn rewards with your own credit card. Make sure you don’t share the costs on the same card. Also, make sure you keep track of your rewards separately.
Overall, the key to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to understand your credit card’s rewards program and make sure you’re making use of it in the most efficient method. Through an array of methods I’ve described, you’ll be able to earn rewards fast, exchange them for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad variety of travel benefits.