Are you tired of paying an enormous amount on flights? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s a fun way to convert sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles which can be used to get discounted or even free flights to your ideal destinations. With a little bit of imagination and some know-how, you’ll be jet-setting for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about trading credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. These miles can later be used to purchase discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards will also permit you to use miles to pay for hotel stays or rental car discounts.
How Does it Work?
The key to successful hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and establishing a frequent flyer mile program with a limited number of airlines. When it comes 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 to book a higher-priced flight. If the prices start to rise higher than $500, it’s best to check the frequent flyer account to find out which airline will give you the most value. All it boils down to is the amount of miles or points in your travel bank for every airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to hacking travel? The first step is to open an account with a sign-up offer. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards with a variety of features and benefits. It all depends on your preferred airline, spending habits and what features are crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards perfect 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 have to meet the minimum spend limit in order to get the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of guidelines, so make certain to verify this information. From there, it’s all about racking up miles, and then using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to set sail with your goals?
Once you’ve accumulated your points amount, it’s time to use them towards nice getaway! Different credit card companies will offer different ways to redeem your points. Here are some examples from some of the companies I have experience with:
Take a trip by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of a Chase card, you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through the portal, you’ll get access to virtually every airline and you can use a combination of the points as well as cash in order to pay for your trip. You can book your flight entirely using points if you’ve got enough balance! Sometimes, even if you don’t possess enough points for the full cost, you still can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using any credit card.
Are you fed up of paying full price for your flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option to pay with dollars or points? But, be careful, if you don’t have enough points you aren’t able to combine dollars and points for the same flight. If you’re just a few point short United gives you the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience , with more legroom and free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is like United’s, allowing you to book with either JetBlue points or dollars, however, not both. The difference is that JetBlue has a unique feature where you can combine your points with your family members and earn points twice as quickly. Just make sure you can verify that you are a family member before trying to hack the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re like me and my travel buddy Becca You’re probably quite thrifty and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars in order to meet the required amount to qualify for a credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried as we’ve done it and are here to share our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able to pay for your rent with credit card, go for it! Just be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually around 3 percent. It might be worth it in the end if the bonus is high enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another way to reach the spending limit is to cover the medical bills. 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’ll repay you.
Pay off the loan
If you’re a borrower, consider making payments on them with an credit card. Make sure to pay off the credit card balance in full so you don’t end up with additional debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Discuss your family with them and look into any major expenses in the near future that you can help pay for. Make sure that you are able to trust the person and they know why you’re doing it.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season take into consideration buying all your gifts with the credit card you have. In this way, you’ll meet the minimum spending limit and also be ready for gift giving. Just make sure you’re not paying more than you contemplating to.
There are many ways to get the most from the travel credit card and accrue points or miles 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
Whenever you’re planning a trip, make use of your travel credit card to book your hotel, flight, rental car, and other travel costs. Not only will you achieve the minimum spend for your credit card reward and earn points, however, you’ll also earn points or miles on those expenses.
Make use of your credit card to pay for all your daily expenditures
Another method to reach the minimum spending requirement and earn points is making use of your credit card to pay daily costs. This could include things like food, gas or even your phone bill. Be sure to pay the balance off in full every month to ensure you don’t accrue interest charges.
Make the most of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or points in exchange for specific types of purchases, like eating out or travelling. Be sure to review your credit card’s rewards program and take advantage of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending routines.
Consider a balance transfer
If you have existing outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, consider transferring that balance onto a travel credit card with the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfer. This will allow you to pay off the debt without accruing interest. It will also aid in achieving the minimum spend for the credit card bonus.
Utilize your miles and points carefully
When you’ve earned a significant amount of points or miles Make sure to utilize them in a responsible manner. Review the rewards program for your credit card, and evaluate the benefits of different redemption options. For example, using your points to book a ticket directly with the airline could give you a better value than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer points to other loyalty programs. This allows you to get a wider selection of choices and more flexibility in redeeming your rewards. For instance, you might be capable of transferring your rewards to the frequent flyer program of an airline or a Hotel rewards programme. This gives the benefit of a larger variety of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks which are not accessible through the rewards program on your credit card.
Additionally, try to find out if your credit card offers any perks that can help you save money on travel expenses. Some cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that could be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
When you travel with someone else, both of you can earn rewards using your own credit card. Just remember that you can’t split the cost on the same card. Also, make sure you keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
In the end, the most important thing to do to maximizing your travel rewards is to know the rewards program of your credit card and to ensure you’re making use of your credit card in the most effective way possible. Utilizing an array of methods I’ve described, you’ll be able to get rewards in a short time, use rewards for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad assortment of travel-related perks.