Are you fed up of spending an enormous amount on flights? Well, good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s a fun way to convert sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles that can then be used to obtain discounted or free flights to your dream destinations. With a little bit of creativity and some insider knowledge, you can travel for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. These miles can then be used to buy discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards let you redeem miles for hotel stays and car rental offers.
How Does it Work?
The secret to successful hacking travel is taking advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and building out frequent flyer miles for a specific group of airlines. When it’s time to book a flight take a look at the price. If the flight is under $300, it’s best to pay in cash and use your miles to pay to book a higher-priced flight. If the prices start to rise over $500, you’ll need to review those frequent flyer accounts to determine which airline offers you the most value. All it boils down to is the amount of miles or points in your travel account for every airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets of travel hacking? The first step is opening a credit card with a sign-up bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards that offer a variety of benefits and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, your habits with spending and the features that are most important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards great to hack travel
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
Once you’ve been approved for a credit or debit card, you’ll need to hit the minimum spend limit in order to qualify for the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of guidelines, so make sure to look up this information. From there it’s all about building miles and using them to plan your dream vacation!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your ideas?
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. Here are some examples from a few of the companies I have experience with:
Escape with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own a Chase credit card, then you are able to use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through it, you’ll get access to nearly every airline, and you can use a combination of the points as well as cash in order to pay for your travel. You can even book completely using points if you’ve got the funds to pay for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t possess enough points for the total cost, you still can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using every credit card.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for your flight tickets? Did you know that when you book directly through United, you have the option of paying using dollars or points? But, be careful in case you don’t have enough points, you cannot combine dollars and points on flights. If you’re only a couple of point short United provides the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue provides an enjoyable and comfortable travel experience that includes extra legroom as well as free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to United’s which allows customers to book using either JetBlue points or dollars, however, not both. The difference is that JetBlue has a unique feature where you can pool your points together with family members to accrue points twice as fast. Be sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack into the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel buddy Becca You’re probably quite frugal and it can be challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to hit the minimum amount required to earn a credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried as we’ve done it and we’re here to share our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able pay your rent with a credit card, do it! Just be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually around 3 percent. It could be worthwhile over the long term when the bonus is large enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another excellent way to meet the minimum spend is to cover a medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses in the near future then ask your relatives if you could pay them for theirs, and they will reimburse you.
Make a payment to pay off a loan
If you’re a borrower, consider paying them off with an credit card. Just make sure you pay the credit card balance completely so that you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Discuss your family with them and look into any large expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Just make sure you are able to trust the person and that they understand why you’re doing this.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season, consider buying all your gifts with cards from your credit account. This way you can meet the minimum spending limit and also be prepared to give gifts. Make sure that you’re not paying more than you planning to.
There are plenty of ways to get the most out of using your credit or debit card for travel. earn miles or points to be used towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few additional ways to maximize your rewards
Make travel reservations using your credit card
If you’re planning a vacation, make use of the travel credit card to pay for your hotel, flight, rental car, and other travel costs. In addition, you’ll be able to meet the required amount to qualify for a credit card bonus and earn points, but you’ll also be earning points or miles for the costs.
Make use of your credit card to pay for everyday expenditures
Another way to hit the minimum spending requirement in order to accumulate points using your credit card for daily expenses. This can include items like groceries, gas and even your telephone bill. Make sure you pay off the balance in full every month to ensure you don’t pay 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 traveling. Make sure you review the rewards program of your credit card and take advantage of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending routines.
Take into consideration a balance transfer
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a high-interest credit card, consider transferring the balance to the travel credit card which has 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 spend for the credit card’s bonus.
Utilize your miles and points carefully
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points make sure you use them in a responsible manner. Examine the rewards program of your credit card, and evaluate the value of different redemption options. For example using points to book a ticket directly with the airline could offer better value than using them for a gift card.
Another option is to get rewards cards that allow you to transfer your reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will allow you to enjoy a greater variety of options and greater flexibility in making use of your rewards. For example, you may be eligible to transfer your rewards to the frequent flyer program of an airline or reward program for hotels. This can give the benefit of a larger range of flights, hotels as well as other travel perks which are not accessible through the rewards program on your credit card.
Also, discover the card’s benefits. some perks that could help you save money on travel costs. Many cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that can be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
If you’re traveling with a companion and both of you earn rewards with your own credit card. Make sure you don’t split the cost on the same card, and be sure to keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
Overall, the key to making the most of your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program on your credit card and ensure that you’re making use of it in the most effective method. Utilizing an array of methods I’ve described, you’ll be able to earn rewards fast, exchange rewards for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide range of travel perks.