Are you tired of paying 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 credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles, which can be used to get discounted or even cheap flights from your dream destinations. With a little bit of creativity and some insider know-how, you’ll travel for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about swapping credit card sign-up bonus and rewards for airline miles. The miles can be used to purchase cheap or free flight tickets. Some credit cards also let you redeem miles for hotel stays and car rental offers.
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 frequent flyer miles for a specific group of airlines. When you are ready to make a booking take a look at the price. If the flight is less than $300, it’s usually better to pay cash and use your miles to pay to book a higher-priced flight. If the prices start to rise above $500, you’ll want to check those frequent flyer accounts and find out which airline will give you the most value. All it boils down to is the number of points or miles in your travel bank for every airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to hacking travel? The first step is to open a credit card with a sign-up offer. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that offer a variety of features and benefits. It depends on the type of airline, your habits with spending and what features are crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards excellent 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 need to hit the limit of spending minimum in order to qualify for the bonus. Each card has its own guidelines, so make certain to verify the details. Then, it’s all about racking miles and using them to book your dream trip!
Ready to jet-set with your points?
Now that you’ve built up your points amount, it’s time to redeem them for some nice travel! Different credit card companies have different methods for redeeming your points, but here are a few examples from some of the ones I’ve worked with:
Getaway by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own a Chase credit card, then you are able to redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through it, you’ll get access to virtually every airline. You can make use of a combination of the points as well as cash in order to book your trip. You can even book completely with points if you’ve enough balance! 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 fed up of paying the full cost for your flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option of paying using either points or dollars? Butbe aware that if you don’t have enough points, you can’t combine points and dollars on flights. No worries though, if you’re a few points away, United gives you the option of buying additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides a comfortable and enjoyable travel experience that includes extra legroom and free snacks. Plus, their booking process is like United’s that allows customers to book using either JetBlue points or dollars however, not both. But, 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 verify that you are a family member before trying to hack into the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re like me or my travel buddy Becca You’re probably quite thrifty and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to reach the required amount to qualify for a credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried because we’ve been there 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 using credit card, then do it! Just be prepared to be charged a fee, typically around 3 percent. It may be worth it in the end in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the spending limit is to pay for a medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses coming up Ask your relatives if you could pay for theirs and they’ll repay you.
Pay off the loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan, consider repaying them using the credit card you have. Just make sure you pay the credit card balance in full so you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Talk to your family and determine if they’ve got any big expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to trust the person and they know why you’re doing this.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season, consider buying all of your gifts with your credit card. This way you can reach the minimum spending requirement and also be ready to give gifts. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you were contemplating to.
There are a lot of ways to make the most out of the travel credit card and earn miles or points to spend on the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few more suggestions for maximising the rewards you earn:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, use the travel credit card for booking your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as any other travel-related expenses. In addition, you’ll achieve the minimum amount of spending required for your credit card and earn points, but you’ll also be earning points or miles to cover the expenses.
Make use of your credit card to pay for all your daily expenses
Another way to hit the minimum spending requirement in order to accumulate points using your credit card for every day costs. This could be items like groceries, gas, and even your phone bill. Be sure to pay the balance off each month in full so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Benefit from bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or points in exchange for certain types of purchases, including eating out or travelling. Check out the rewards program of your credit card and avail the bonus categories that are in line with your spending routines.
Think about a balance transfer
If you are currently in debt on a high-interest credit card, think about transferring that balance onto an account with a travel credit card that has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfer. This will allow you to pay off your 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 carefully
When you’ve earned a significant amount of points or miles make sure you use them wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card, and evaluate the value of different redemption options. For instance you can use points to book a flight directly with the airline might provide you with a greater return than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer your points to other loyalty programs. This will allow you to enjoy a greater variety of choices and more flexibility in you want to redeem your rewards. For example, you may be capable of transferring your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a hotel rewards program. This can give an access greater selection of hotels, flights, and other travel perks which are not accessible through your credit card’s rewards program.
Additionally, try to find out whether your credit card has any perks that can help you save money on 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, both of you can earn rewards with your own credit card. Be aware that you cannot share the costs on the same card. Also, 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 the rewards program of your credit card and make sure you’re using it in the most efficient method. Through all of the methods I’ve described that you can get rewards in a short time, use them for travel experiences that are worth it and take advantage of a broad variety of travel benefits.