Are you fed up of spending a fortune on airfare? Well, good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting method to convert sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles, which you can use to obtain discounted or cheap flights from your ideal destinations. With a little bit of imagination and some information, you’ll travel for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of trading credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can then be used to buy cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards allow you to redeem miles for hotel stays and car rental offers.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for successful travel hacking is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and building out a frequent flyer mile program for a specific group of airlines. When you are ready to book a flight, evaluate the cost. If the cost is under $300, it’s best to pay cash and use your miles to pay to book a higher-priced flight. If your flights begin to climb over $500, you’ll need to look into those frequent flyer accounts to see which airline can give you the best deal. All it boils down to is the number of points or miles you have in your travel bank for each airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets of travel hacking? The first step is opening the credit card that comes with a sign-up offer. There are plenty of great credit cards that offer a variety of benefits and features. It is all dependent on the airline, spending habits and what features are essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards that are perfect 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 have to meet the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to qualify for the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so be sure to check for this information. Then, 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 points?
After you’ve accrued the points balance, you’re ready to cash them in for some delicious travel! Different credit card companies have different methods for redeeming your rewards, here are a few examples from some of the companies I’ve worked with:
Getaway through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you own an Chase credit card, then you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In the portal, you’ll get access to almost every airline and you can make use of a combination of the points as well as cash in order to pay for your next trip. You can book your flight entirely on points if you have the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you do not be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for entire price, you can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using any credit card.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for your flight tickets? Did you know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option to pay with dollars or points? Be careful in case you don’t have enough points, you can’t combine dollars and points for flights. Don’t worry, though, if you’re only a couple of points short, United also offers the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue offers a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience with extra legroom as well as free snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines, allowing customers to book using either JetBlue points or dollars, however, not both. But, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that lets you join your points with family members to accrue points twice as quickly. Make sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack into the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re like me and my travel buddy Becca I’m sure you’re pretty economical 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 some of our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able to pay your rent with credit card, then do it! Just be prepared to pay a fee, usually at least 3 percent. It may be worth it in the long run when the bonus is large enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the spending limit is to cover the medical bills. If you do not have any medical expenses due, ask your family members to pay them for theirs, and they’ll repay you.
Make a payment to pay off the loan
If you have any loans you owe, think about paying them off with the credit card you have. Make sure to pay off the balance on your credit card in full , so that you don’t accumulate additional debt.
Ask family for help
Talk to your family and see if they have any big expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Make sure that you are able to are able to trust the person and that they understand why you’re doing this.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season, consider buying all of your gifts with the credit card you have. So you’ll be able to reach the minimum spending requirement and also be prepared for giving gifts. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you already thinking of.
There are many ways to make the most from using your credit or debit card for travel and accumulate miles or points that you can 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
When you’re planning your next vacation, make use of the travel credit card to pay for your hotel, flight, rental car, and other travel costs. You’ll not only be able to hit the minimum amount of spending required to qualify for a credit card as well, but you’ll also be earning points or miles to cover these costs.
Make use of your credit card to pay for all your daily costs
Another way to meet the minimum spend to earn rewards is utilising your credit cards for everyday expenditures. This can include things like food, gas or even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay off the balance in full each month so you don’t accumulate interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer bonus points or miles on certain kinds of purchases, such as eating out or travelling. Make sure you review your credit card’s rewards program and avail any bonus categories that align with your spending habits.
Take into consideration a balance transfer
If you’re in the middle of a outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, think about transferring that balance to the travel credit card which has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfer. This will let you pay off your debts without accruing interest and simultaneously assist you in reaching the minimum amount required to earn the credit card’s bonus.
Use your points or miles wisely
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of points or miles, be sure to use them in a responsible manner. Review the rewards program for your credit card and then compare the worth of various redemption options. For instance, using points to book a flight directly through the airline may offer better value than using them for a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer rewards to different loyalty program. This will let you get a wider selection of options and greater flexibility when you want to redeem your rewards. For example, you may be capable of transferring your rewards to an airline’s frequent flyer program or Hotel rewards programme. This will give the benefit of a greater range of flights, hotels and other travel benefits which are not available through the rewards program on your credit card.
In addition, you should find out if your credit card offers any perks that can help you save money on travel costs. Many cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that could be invaluable when you travel.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a companion and both of you get rewards on your own credit card. Make sure you don’t split the cost on the same card, and be sure you keep track of your rewards separately.
The key to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to know your credit card’s rewards program and make sure you’re using it in the most efficient way possible. Through all of the strategies I’ve listed in this article, you’ll be able get rewards in a short time, use them for travel experiences that are worth it and take advantage of a broad range of travel perks.