Are you tired of spending an enormous amount on flights? Well, good news! Travel hacking is the answer to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting way to convert sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles, which can be used to obtain discounted or complimentary flights for your dream destinations. With a bit of imagination and some knowledge, you can travel for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. These miles can later be used to buy cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards let you redeem miles for hotel stays and car rental offers.
How Does it Work?
The key to 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 comes time to make a booking take a look at the price. If the flight is under $300, it’s usually better to pay cash and save your miles to take a more costly flight. If the prices start to rise higher than $500, it’s best to review those frequent flyer accounts and see which airline can give you the most value. It all comes down to the number of points or miles in your travel account for each airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to hacking travel? First step opening the credit card that comes with a sign-up offer. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that offer a variety of features and benefits. It all depends on your preferred airline, your spending habits, and the features that are most crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit card options that can be great for travel hacking:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
After you’ve been accepted for a credit card you’ll have to meet the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to get the bonus. Every card has different rules, so be sure to look up the details. Then it’s all about building up miles and then using them to book your dream vacation!
Ready to jet-set with your goals?
After you’ve accrued the points balance, you’re ready to use them towards nice travel! Different credit card providers will offer different ways to redeem your points, but here are some examples from some of the companies I have experience with:
Take a trip by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of a Chase cards, you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within the portal, you’ll have access to almost every airline, and you can combine the points as well as cash in order to pay for your trip. You can even book entirely using points if you’ve got the balance for it! Sometimes even if you do not possess enough points for the full price, you can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using every credit card.
Are you tired of paying full price for your flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United, you have the option of paying with either points or dollars? Be careful that if you don’t have enough points, you cannot combine points and dollars for flights. If you’re only a couple of point short United also offers the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers a comfortable and enjoyable travel experience that includes extra legroom as well as free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to United’s, allowing passengers to book flights using JetBlue points or dollars, however, not both. However, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that lets you pool your points together with your family members and earn points twice as quickly. Make sure to establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me or my travel companion Becca, you’re probably pretty frugal and it can be daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to reach the required amount to qualify for the credit card bonus. Don’t worry, we’ve been through 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 for your rent with a credit card, do it! Make sure you pay a fee, usually at least 3 percent. It may be worth it in the long run when the bonus is large enough.
Pay 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 take into consideration repaying them using your credit card. Just make sure you pay off the balance on your credit card completely so that you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Discuss your family with them and determine if they’ve got any big expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to have confidence in the person you are talking to and they understand why you’re doing it.
If you’re celebrating the holidays take into consideration buying all your gifts using the credit card you have. So you’ll be able to meet the minimum spending limit and also be prepared for gift giving. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you were planning to.
There are a lot of ways to make the most of using your credit or debit card for travel and earn miles or points to be used towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few additional ways to maximize your rewards:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a vacation, make use of the travel credit card for booking your flight, hotel, rental car, and other travel costs. In addition, you’ll be able to hit the required amount to qualify for a credit card bonus as well, however, you’ll also earn points or miles for the expenditures.
Utilize your credit card to pay for all your daily costs
Another way to hit the minimum spend to earn rewards is by using your credit card for everyday costs. This could include items like groceries, gas or even your phone bill. Be sure to pay the balance off each month in full so you don’t pay interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer bonus points or miles for specific types of purchases, including eating out or travelling. Check out your rewards program on your credit card and take advantage of any bonus categories that match with your spending habits.
Take into consideration the possibility of transferring your balance
If you are currently in outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer that balance to an account with a travel credit card that has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfers. This will enable you to pay off the debt without accruing interest, and also assist you in reaching the minimum spend for the credit card’s bonus.
Make use of your miles or points prudently
When you’ve earned a significant amount of points or miles, be sure to use them wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card, and evaluate the benefits of different redemption options. For instance, using your points to purchase a flight directly with the airline could give you a better value than using them to purchase a gift card.
Another option is to get rewards cards that allow you to transfer reward points into other loyalty programmes. This allows you to enjoy a greater variety of options and greater freedom when it comes to you want to redeem your rewards. For instance, you might be capable of transferring your reward to the frequent flyer program of an airline or Hotel rewards programme. This can give the benefit of a wider selection of hotels, flights, and other travel perks which are not accessible through your credit card’s rewards program.
Also, determine the card’s benefits. certain benefits that will help you save money on travel expenses. Some cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that can be invaluable when you travel.
When you travel with a friend, both of you can get rewards on your own credit card. Just remember that you can’t split the cost on the same card, and be sure you keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
Overall, the key to maximizing your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program on your credit card and to ensure you’re making use of this program in the most efficient way possible. Utilizing an array of strategies I’ve listed that you can earn rewards fast, exchange them for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide range of travel perks.