Are you tired of spending an enormous amount on flights? Good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting method to convert sign-up bonuses and incentives into miles which you can use to score discounted or cheap flights from your ideal destinations. With a 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 exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. The miles can be used to buy discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards will also permit you to use miles for hotel stays and car rental discounts.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for success in hacking travel is taking advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and to establish a frequent flyer mile program on a select group of airlines. When it’s time to make a booking take a look at the price. If the cost is less than $300, it’s usually better to pay in cash and save your miles for a more expensive flight. If your flights begin to climb 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 savings account for each airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets of travel hacking? First step opening an account with a sign-up offer. There are many great credit cards that offer a variety of features and benefits. It depends on the type of airline, spending habits and the features that are most essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards great to hack travel
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
After you’ve been accepted for a credit or debit card, you’ll need to reach the minimum spend limit in order to get the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so be certain to verify the details. From there, it’s all about racking up miles and then using them to book your dream trip!
Ready to jet-set with your points?
Now that you’ve built up your points balance, it’s time to cash them in for some nice travel! Different credit card companies will offer different ways to redeem your points. Here are some examples from some of the companies I’ve worked with:
Escape by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have a Chase card, you are able to redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within it, you’ll have access to almost every airline. You can make use of a combination of points and cash to pay for your travel. You can even book completely on points if you have the balance for it! Sometimes even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for total price, you 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 your flight tickets? Did you realize that when booking directly through United You have the option of paying with either points or dollars? Butbe aware that if you don’t have enough points, you cannot combine dollars and points for the same flight. 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? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience with extra space and complimentary snacks. Additionally, their booking process is like United’s that allows you to book with either JetBlue points or dollars however, not both. The difference is that JetBlue has a unique feature where you can combine 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 into the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel buddy Becca You’re probably quite thrifty and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars in order to meet the required amount to qualify for credit card bonuses. Don’t worry as we’ve done it and we’re here to share our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able to pay your rent with credit card, then do it! Just be prepared to be charged a fee, typically about 3%. It may be worth it in the end when the bonus is large enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the required spending is to cover an medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills coming up, ask your relatives if you could pay their medical bills and they will repay you.
Pay off a loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan you owe, think about paying them off with your credit card. Be sure to pay off the credit card balance in full so you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Discuss your family with them and look into any large expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Just make sure you have confidence in the person you are talking to and they understand why you’re taking the initiative.
If it’s the holiday season you should consider purchasing all of your gifts with cards from your credit account. In this way, you’ll reach the minimum spending requirement and also be prepared for giving gifts. Just make sure you’re not paying more than you already thinking of.
There are many ways to get the most of the travel credit card. You can accrue points or miles to be used towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few more ways to maximize the rewards you earn:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, make use of the travel credit card to pay for your hotel, flight, rental car, and any other travel expenses. In addition, you’ll be able to hit the required amount to earn your credit card, but you’ll also earn points or miles on these expenditures.
Use your credit card to pay for your everyday costs
Another method to reach the minimum spending requirement and earn points is using your credit card for everyday costs. This could include items like groceries, gas, and even your phone bill. Make sure you pay the balance off in full each month so you don’t pay interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or bonus points for certain types of purchases, such as dining or travel. Make sure you review your rewards program on your credit card and avail the bonus categories that are in line with your spending habits.
Consider a balance transfer
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a high-interest credit card, think about transferring that balance onto the travel credit card which has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfers. This will allow you to pay off the debt without accruing interest. It will also assist you in reaching the minimum spend for the credit card bonus.
Make use of your miles or points prudently
If you’ve amassed a large amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize them wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and compare the benefits of different redemption options. For instance, using your points to book a ticket directly with the airline might give you a better value than using them to purchase the purchase of a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer your rewards to different loyalty program. This will let you get a wider selection of choices and more flexibility in redeeming your rewards. For example, you may be able to transfer your rewards to the frequent flyer program of an airline or hotel rewards program. This gives the benefit of a wider selection of hotels, flights and other travel benefits that aren’t available through the rewards program on your credit card.
Additionally, try to discover if your credit card offers any perks that can save you money on travel-related expenses. Many cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection, and other benefits that could be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
When you travel with a friend each of you will be able to earn rewards using your credit card. Just remember that you can’t split the cost on the same card and make sure to track the rewards you earn separately.
Overall, the key to making the most of your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program on your credit card and to ensure you’re using it in the most effective way possible. By using an array of methods I’ve described in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards fast, exchange rewards for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad assortment of travel-related perks.