Are you tired of spending a fortune on airfare? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking is the answer to your travel-related problems. It’s a fun way to convert welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles which you can use to get discounted or even cheap flights from your dream destinations. With a little imagination and some knowledge, you can fly for no cost within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. The miles can be used to buy discount or no-cost flights. Some credit cards also allow you to redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or rental car deals.
How Does it Work?
The key to successful hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and building out frequent flyer miles with a limited number 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 generally better to pay cash and save your miles for a more expensive flight. When the flights start getting over $500, you’ll need to review your frequent flyer accounts and find out which airline will give you the best deal. It all comes down to the number of miles or points in your travel bank for every airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to hacking travel? Your first task is to open a credit card with a sign-up bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards that provide various benefits and features. It is all dependent on the airline, your spending habits, and the features that are most essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit card options that can be perfect to use for hacking travel:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
If you’ve been approved for a credit card, you’ll need to reach the limit of spending minimum in order to get the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so be certain to verify this information. From there it’s all about building up miles, and using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your points?
Once you’ve accumulated the points balance, it’s time to cash them in for some delicious getaway! Different credit card companies will offer different ways to redeem your rewards, here are some examples from a few of the companies I’ve had experience with:
Escape with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have a Chase cards, you can redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. In the portal, you’ll get access to nearly every airline. You can make use of a combination of points and cash to book your trip. You can even book entirely using points if you’ve got the funds to pay for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t have enough points to cover the full price, you can buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with any credit card.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for your flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option to pay with dollars or points? Be careful, if you do not have enough points you aren’t able to combine points and dollars for one flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re only a couple of points short, United also offers the option of buying additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides a comfortable and enjoyable travel experience that includes extra legroom as well as free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is like United’s that allows customers to book using either JetBlue points or dollars, however, not both. However, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that allows you to combine your points with family members to accrue points twice as quickly. Just make sure you can prove you’re really family before trying to hack the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel buddy Becca I’m sure you’re pretty frugal and it can be difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to reach the minimum spend for a credit card bonus. Don’t worry, we’ve been through it and are 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! Just be prepared to be charged a fee, typically around 3 percent. It might be worth it in the long run when the bonus is large enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another way to reach the required spending is to cover a medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses due then ask your family members to pay them for theirs, and they’ll repay you.
Repay the loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan, consider making payments on them with the credit card you have. Be sure to pay off the balance on your credit card in full , so that you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Discuss your family with them and determine if they’ve got any large expenses coming up which you could help pay for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to have confidence in the person you are talking to and they are aware of the reason for taking the initiative.
If you’re celebrating the holidays take into consideration buying all your gifts using cards from your credit account. This way you can meet the minimum spending limit and be ready to give gifts. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you were already contemplating to.
There are many ways to get the most of your travel credit card. accrue points or miles to spend on the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are some additional ways to maximize the rewards you earn:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a vacation, make use of your travel credit card to book your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as any other travel-related expenses. Not only will you achieve the minimum spend for your credit card bonus and earn points, but you’ll also earn points or miles for the expenses.
Make use of your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday expenditures
Another way to hit the minimum spending requirement and earn points is by utilising your credit cards for every day expenditures. 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.
Benefit from bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or bonus points for certain types of purchases, such as dining or travel. Check out your rewards program on your credit card and take advantage of any bonus categories that align with your spending habits.
Take into consideration the possibility of transferring your balance
If you have existing debt on a credit card, think about transferring that balance onto a travel credit card with a 0% introductory APR for balance transfer. This will enable you to pay off your debts without accruing interest. It will also assist you in reaching the minimum spending requirement for the credit card bonus.
Use your points or miles prudently
If you’ve amassed a large amount of points or miles, be sure to use them in a responsible manner. Review the rewards program for your credit card, and evaluate the worth of various redemption options. For instance using points to purchase a flight directly with the airline might give you a better return than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer your points to other loyalty programs. This will let you have a wider range of choices and more freedom when it comes to redeeming your rewards. For instance, you might be eligible to transfer your rewards to an airline’s frequent flyer program or Hotel rewards programme. This will give an access greater range of flights, hotels, and other travel perks that may not be accessible through your credit card’s rewards program.
In addition, you should discover the card’s benefits. some perks that could reduce your travel expenses. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that are invaluable when you travel.
When you travel with a friend each of you will be able to earn rewards using your credit card. Be aware that you cannot divide the cost with the same card, and be sure you keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do to reaping the maximum benefits from your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program on your credit card and make sure you’re using it in the most effective method possible. By using a combination of the strategies I’ve outlined that you can earn rewards quickly, redeem rewards for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide range of travel perks.