Are you tired of spending a fortune on airfare? Well, good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting way to convert bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles, that can then be used to score discounted or complimentary flights for your ideal destinations. With a little imagination and a little bit of insider knowledge, you can be jet-setting for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about swapping credit card sign-up bonus as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can then be used to pay for discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards will also allow you to redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or rental car deals.
How Does it Work?
The secret to successful hacking travel is taking advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and to establish frequent flyer miles with a limited number of airlines. When it’s time to book a flight, evaluate the cost. If the cost is less than $300, it’s best to pay in cash and save your miles for a more expensive flight. When the flights start getting above $500, you’ll want to look into the frequent flyer account to find out which airline will give you the best deal. All it boils down to is the amount of miles or points you have in your travel savings account for each airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to hacking travel? The first step is opening an account with a sign-up offer. There are plenty of great credit cards that provide 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 excellent 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 hit the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to receive the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so make sure to check for the details. Then it’s all about building up miles, and using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to set sail with your points?
Now that you’ve built up your points amount, it’s time to cash them in for some sweet vacation! Different credit card companies have different methods for redeeming your points. Here are a few examples from some of the providers I have experience with:
Escape by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of a Chase cards, you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In it, you’ll get access to virtually every airline, and you can make use of a combination of the points as well as cash in order to book your next trip. You can even book entirely using points if you’ve got the balance for it! Sometimes even if you don’t have enough points to cover the total price, you can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using the credit card of your choice.
Are you tired of paying full price for flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United You have the option of paying using dollars or points? Butbe aware, if you don’t have enough points you aren’t able to combine points and dollars on flights. Don’t worry, though, if you’re just a few points short, United provides the option of buying additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience , with more legroom and free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to United’s which allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue dollar or points however, not both. But, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that allows you to pool your points together with family members to accrue points twice as fast. Make sure to establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack into the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel buddy Becca I’m sure you’re pretty economical and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to hit the required amount to qualify for credit card bonuses. But don’t fret as we’ve done it and are here to share some of our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able to pay for your rent with a credit card, do it! Be prepared to pay a fee, usually at least 3%. It may be worth it over the long term if the bonus is high enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
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 for theirs and they’ll repay you.
Make a payment to pay off a loan
If you have any loans take into consideration making payments on them with the credit card you have. Just make sure you pay off the credit card balance completely so that you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Talk to your family and look into any large expenses coming up which you could help pay for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to are able to trust the person and that they are aware of the reason for doing this.
If you’re celebrating the holidays, consider buying all your gifts using your credit card. In this way, you’ll meet the minimum spending limit and also be prepared to give gifts. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you were thinking of.
There are plenty of methods to get the most out of using your credit or debit card for travel and accrue points or miles to be used towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are some additional suggestions for maximising the rewards you earn:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a vacation, make use of the travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as any other travel-related expenses. You’ll not only achieve the minimum spend for your credit card and earn points, but you’ll also earn points or miles to cover these expenses.
Utilize your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday costs
Another method to reach the minimum spending requirement to earn rewards is by using your credit card for everyday costs. This could be things like food, gas or even your phone bill. Be sure to pay the balance off each month in full so you don’t pay interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or points in exchange for specific types of purchases, such as eating out or travelling. Make sure you review your rewards program on your credit card and take advantage of any bonus categories that align with your spending routines.
Consider the possibility of transferring your balance
If you are currently in debt on a high-interest credit card, consider transferring the balance to an account with a travel credit card that has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfers. This will allow you to pay off your debt without accruing interest, and also help you hit the minimum amount required to earn the credit card’s bonus.
Use your points or miles carefully
When you’ve earned a significant amount of miles or points, be sure to use them in a responsible manner. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and then compare the worth of various redemption options. For example you can use your points to book a ticket directly through the airline may offer better return than using them for a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will let you get a wider selection of choices and more freedom when it comes to redeeming your rewards. For instance, you might be capable of transferring your rewards to an airline’s frequent flyer program or a hotel rewards program. This will give an access greater selection of hotels, flights and other travel benefits that may not be accessible through the rewards program of your credit card.
Also, determine the card’s benefits. any perks that can reduce your travel costs. Some cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that could be invaluable when you travel.
If you’re traveling with someone else each of you will be able to get rewards on your credit card. Be aware that you cannot split the cost on the same card and make sure to keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
Overall, the key to maximizing your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program of your credit card and ensure that you’re using your credit card in the most efficient way possible. Through an array of methods I’ve described that you can get rewards in a short time, use rewards for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad range of travel perks.