Are you tired of spending a fortune on airfare? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting method to convert bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles, that can then be used to get discounted or even complimentary flights for your dream destinations. With a bit of imagination and a little bit of insider information, you’ll fly for no cost within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can later be used to buy discount or no-cost flights. Some credit cards also allow you to redeem miles towards hotel stays or car rental discounts.
How Does it Work?
The secret to success in hacking travel is taking advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and to establish frequent flyer miles on a select 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 best to pay in cash and use your miles to pay for a more expensive flight. When the flights start getting above $500, you’ll want to review those frequent flyer accounts and see which airline can give you the most value. It all comes down to the number of points or miles you have in your travel bank for each airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets of travel hacking? The first step is to open the credit card that comes with a sign-up bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards that offer various benefits and features. It depends on the type of airline, spending habits and what features are crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards excellent to hack travel
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
If you’ve been approved for a credit or debit card, you’ll need to reach the minimum spend limit in order to get the bonus. Every card has different guidelines, so make certain to verify the details. From there it’s all about building up miles and using them to plan your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your goals?
Once you’ve accumulated the points balance, you’re ready to use them towards sweet travel! Different credit card companies will have different methods for redeeming your rewards, here are some examples from some of the companies I’ve worked with:
Take a trip with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of a Chase card, you are able to redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within the portal, you’ll get access to virtually every airline and you can make use of a combination of the points as well as cash in order to book your trip. You can even book entirely on points if you have the balance for it! Sometimes even if you don’t have enough points to cover the full cost, you are able to book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using the credit card of your choice.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United You have the option of paying using dollars or points? Be careful that if you don’t have enough points you can’t combine points and dollars on flights. Don’t worry, though, if you’re a few point short United provides the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue provides an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience with extra space and complimentary snacks. Plus, their booking process is like United’s, allowing passengers to book flights using JetBlue either dollars or points, however, not both. The difference is that JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that allows you to join your points with your relatives to earn points twice as fast. 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 and my travel buddy Becca I’m sure you’re pretty thrifty and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to reach the required amount to qualify for a credit card bonus. Don’t worry as we’ve done it and are here to share some of our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important 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 about 3%. It may be worth it in the long run if the bonus is high 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 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.
Pay off the loan
If you have any loans you owe, think about making payments on them with an credit card. Make sure to pay off the credit card balance completely so that you don’t end up with additional debt.
Ask your family members for help
Talk to your family and look into any big expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Make sure that you are able to are able to trust the person and that they are aware of the reason for doing it.
If you’re celebrating the holidays, consider buying all your gifts using the credit card you have. In this way, you’ll hit that minimum spend and also be ready for giving gifts. Be sure to avoid spending more than you were already thinking of.
There are a lot of ways to make the most of using your credit or debit card for travel and earn miles or points to use towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are some additional suggestions for maximising your rewards:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, make use of your travel credit card for booking your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as any other travel-related expenses. In addition, you’ll be able to meet the minimum spend to earn your credit card bonus and earn points, but you’ll also be earning points or miles to cover the costs.
Make use of your credit card to pay for all your daily costs
Another way to meet the minimum spending requirement to earn rewards is making use of your credit card to pay for everyday expenditures. This could be things like gas, groceries, and even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay the balance off in full every month to ensure you don’t pay interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or points in exchange on certain kinds of purchases, like eating out or traveling. Be sure to review the rewards program of your credit card and avail the bonus categories that are in line with your spending routines.
Take into consideration 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 the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfer. This will allow you to pay off the debt without accruing interest, and also assist you in reaching the minimum amount required to earn the credit card’s bonus.
Utilize your miles and points prudently
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points make sure you use the points or miles wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and compare the value of different redemption options. For instance using points to book a flight directly through the airline may 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 rewards to different loyalty program. This will allow you to get a wider selection of options and greater flexibility when making use of your rewards. For example, you may be able to transfer your rewards to an airline’s frequent flyer program or a hotel rewards program. This can give you access to a greater range of flights, hotels, and other travel perks that may not be available through the rewards program on your credit card.
Also, find out if your credit card offers some perks that could help you save money on travel expenses. Some cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that are very beneficial when traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a friend, both of you can earn rewards with your credit card. Be aware that you cannot share the costs on the same card. Also, make sure to keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
Overall, the key to making the most of your travel rewards is to know the rewards program on your credit card and ensure that you’re making use of it in the most effective method. By using all of the strategies I’ve listed in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards quickly, redeem them for travel experiences that are worth it, and enjoy a wide range of travel perks.