Are you tired of spending an enormous amount on flights? Well, good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting method to convert welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles which can be used to score discounted or free flights to your desired destinations. With a little imagination and a little bit of insider knowledge, you can travel for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about trading credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. The miles can be used to purchase discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards will also let you redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or rental car deals.
How Does it Work?
The secret to success in travel hacking is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and to establish a frequent flyer mile program with a limited number of airlines. When it comes time to book a flight take a look at the price. If the cost is less than $300, it’s generally better to pay in cash and save your miles to book a higher-priced flight. When the flights start getting over $500, you’ll need to look into those frequent flyer accounts to determine which airline offers you the best deal. All it boils down to is the number of points or miles in your travel bank for each airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to hacking travel? Your first task is opening a credit card with a sign-up offer. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that provide various features and benefits. It is all dependent on the airline, spending habits and what features are crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards excellent to hack 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 spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to qualify for the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so make sure to look up this information. Then, it’s all about racking miles and using them to plan your dream trip!
Ready to jet-set with your ideas?
Once you’ve accumulated the points amount, it’s time to cash them in for some sweet vacation! Different credit card companies have different methods for redeeming your points, but here are a few examples from some of the companies I’ve had experience with:
Take a trip by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have a Chase card, you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within the portal, you’ll have access to almost every airline and you can make use of a combination of money and points to pay for your travel. You can even book completely using points if you’ve got the balance 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 cash using every credit card.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for your flight tickets? Did you not know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option to pay with either points or dollars? Be careful, if you do not have enough points you aren’t able to combine dollars and points for the same flight. No worries though, if you’re a few point short United also offers the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue provides a comfortable and enjoyable travel experience that includes extra space and complimentary snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to United’s that allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue dollar or points, but not both. The difference is that JetBlue has a unique feature that lets you combine your points with your relatives to earn points twice as quickly. Make sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re like me or my travel buddy Becca, you’re probably pretty frugal and it can be daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum spend for the credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried, we’ve been through it and we’re 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 using credit card, go for it! Be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually about 3 percent. It might be worth it over the long term when the bonus is large enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another great way to hit the required spending is to pay for a medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses in the near future Ask your family members if you can pay them for theirs, and they’ll reimburse you.
Make a payment to pay off the loan
If you have any loans take into consideration paying them off with the credit card you have. Be sure to pay off the balance on your credit card completely so that you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask family for help
Discuss your family with them and look into any major expenses in the near future that you can contribute for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to trust the person and they are aware of the reason for doing this.
If it’s the holiday season, consider buying all your gifts using the credit card you have. So you’ll be able to meet the minimum spending limit and also be ready to give gifts. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you already contemplating to.
There are plenty of ways to make the most out of using your credit or debit card for travel. earn miles or points to spend on flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few more ways to maximize the rewards you earn:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
If you’re planning a vacation, make use of you travel credit card to book your hotel, flight, rental car, and any other travel expenses. Not only will you be able to meet the minimum amount of spending required for your credit card reward as well, but you’ll also earn points or miles to cover those costs.
Make use of your credit card to pay for everyday expenses
Another way to meet the minimum spend and earn points is utilising your credit cards for every day costs. This could include things like food, gas and even your telephone bill. Just make sure to pay off the balance in full each month so you don’t accumulate interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or bonus points for specific types of purchases, such as eating out or traveling. Be sure to review your credit card’s rewards program and avail any bonus categories that match with your spending habits.
Take into consideration the possibility of transferring your balance
If you have existing debt on a high-interest credit card, consider transferring that balance to a travel credit card with a 0% introductory APR for balance transfer. This will enable you to pay off the debt without accruing interest, and also help you hit the minimum spend for the credit card’s 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 benefits of different redemption options. For example you can use your points to purchase a flight directly with the airline could provide you with a greater value than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another tip is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer points to other loyalty programs. This will allow you to enjoy a greater variety of options and greater flexibility when redeeming your rewards. For example, you may be capable of transferring your reward to an airline’s frequent flyer program or Hotel rewards programme. This will give an access wider variety of hotels, flights and other travel benefits that aren’t available through your credit card’s rewards program.
Additionally, try to find out if your credit card offers any perks that can reduce your travel expenses. Some cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that are extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
When you travel with someone else each of you will be able to get rewards on your credit card. Be aware that you cannot split the cost on the same card, and be sure you keep track of your rewards separately.
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 making use of it in the most efficient method possible. Through a combination 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 enjoy a wide assortment of travel-related perks.