Are you fed up of spending a fortune on airfare? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting way to convert bonus and sign-up incentives into miles which you can use to get discounted or even complimentary flights for your dream destinations. With a little bit of creativity and some insider knowledge, you can fly for no cost in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about trading credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can then be used to pay for cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards let you redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or rental car offers.
How Does it Work?
The key to success in hacking travel is taking advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and establishing frequent flyer miles with a limited number of airlines. When it’s time to book a flight consider the cost. If the flight is under $300, it’s generally better to pay in cash and use your miles to pay for a more expensive flight. If the prices start to rise higher than $500, it’s best to look into the frequent flyer account to determine which airline offers you the best deal. It all comes down to the amount of points or miles in your travel account for every airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to hacking travel? Your first task is to open the credit card that comes with a sign-up offer. There are many great credit cards with many benefits and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, your spending habits, and what features are important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards that are great to use for hacking travel:
- 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 minimum spend limit in order to qualify for the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so be sure to look up this information. Then it’s all about building up miles, and using them to plan your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your points?
After you’ve accrued the points balance, you’re ready to use them towards delicious travel! Different credit card providers will offer different ways to redeem your rewards, here are a few examples from some of the companies I have experience with:
Getaway through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you own an Chase cards, you are able to use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through the portal, you’ll get access to virtually every airline. You can combine the points as well as cash in order to pay for your trip. You can even book completely using points if you’ve got the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for full cost, you still 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 flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United You have the option to pay with either points or dollars? But, be careful, if you do not have enough points you can’t combine dollars and points on flights. Don’t worry, though, if you’re only a couple of points away, United provides the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue provides a comfortable and enjoyable travel experience that includes extra legroom and free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines that allows customers to book using either JetBlue dollar or points, but not both. The difference is that JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature where you can pool your points together with your relatives to earn points twice as quickly. Just make sure you can establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel companion Becca I’m sure you’re pretty economical and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to hit the minimum spend for credit card bonuses. Don’t worry, we’ve been through it and are here to share some of our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able pay your rent with a credit card, do it! Make sure you be charged a fee, typically at least 3%. It may be worth it in the long run when the bonus is large enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another great way to hit the required spending is to cover an medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills in the near future, ask your relatives if you could pay them for theirs, and they’ll reimburse you.
Make a payment to pay off a loan
If you have any loans take into consideration making payments on them with your credit card. Make sure to pay off the balance on your credit card in full so you don’t end up with additional debt.
Ask family for help
Talk to your family and see if they have any large expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Just make sure you are able to trust the person and that they are aware of the reason for doing this.
If it’s the holiday season you should consider purchasing all your gifts with the credit card you have. So you’ll be able to reach the minimum spending requirement and also be ready for giving gifts. Be sure to avoid spending more than you were thinking of.
There are plenty of ways to get the most from your travel credit card. accrue points or miles to 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
Whenever you’re planning a trip, use the travel credit card for booking your hotel, flight, rental car, and any other travel expenses. In addition, you’ll achieve the minimum amount of spending required to qualify for a credit card as well, however, you’ll also earn points or miles for these expenses.
Make use of your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday costs
Another method to reach the minimum amount of spending and earn points is by using your credit card to pay for every day expenditures. This could be things like gas, groceries and even your telephone bill. Just make sure to pay off the balance each month in full so you don’t accumulate interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or bonus points on certain kinds of purchases, like eating out or travelling. Make sure you review the rewards program of your credit card and make use of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending routines.
Consider a balance transfer
If you have existing debt on a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer that balance onto an account with a travel credit card that has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfers. This will allow you to pay off your debts without accruing interest and simultaneously aid in achieving the minimum spending requirement for the credit card’s bonus.
Make use of your miles or points carefully
When you’ve earned a significant amount of miles or points, be sure to use the points or miles wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and 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 to purchase an gift card.
Another tip is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer your reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will let you enjoy a greater variety of options and greater flexibility in redeeming your rewards. For instance, you might be capable of transferring your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or hotel rewards program. This gives the benefit of a larger variety of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks that may not be accessible through your credit card’s rewards program.
Also, discover the card’s benefits. certain benefits that will save you money on travel-related costs. Some cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection, and other benefits that are extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
If you’re traveling with someone else each of you will be able to earn rewards using your credit card. Make sure you don’t share the costs on the same card and make sure you keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
Overall, the key to making the most of your travel rewards is to understand your credit card’s rewards program and to ensure you’re using this program in the most efficient way possible. Utilizing all of the methods I’ve described, you’ll be able to earn rewards quickly, redeem rewards for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide range of travel perks.