Are you fed up of spending an enormous amount on flights? Good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting method to convert bonus and sign-up incentives into miles which can be used to score discounted or complimentary flights for your ideal destinations. With a bit of imagination and a little bit of insider know-how, you’ll fly for no cost in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. These miles can then be used to purchase cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards let you redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or rental car discounts.
How Does it Work?
The key to success in hacking travel is taking advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and establishing frequent flyer miles with a limited number of airlines. When it’s time to book a flight take a look at the price. If the flight is less than $300, it’s generally 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 review those frequent flyer accounts and determine which airline offers you the best price. It all boils down to the number of miles or points in your travel account for each airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to travel hacking? The first step is to open the credit card that comes with a sign-up bonus. There are many great credit cards that offer many features and benefits. It all depends on your preferred airline, your spending habits, and what features are essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards great 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 minimum spend limit in order to get the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of guidelines, so make sure to check for the details. Then it’s all about building up miles and using them to plan your dream trip!
Ready to jet-set with your ideas?
After you’ve accrued your points amount, it’s time to use them towards nice vacation! Different credit card companies offer different ways to redeem your rewards, here are some examples from a few of the companies I’ve worked with:
Getaway with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own a Chase cards, you are able to redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through it, you’ll have access to nearly every airline, and you can make use of a combination of the points as well as cash in order to pay for your travel. You can even book entirely 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 are able to purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using the credit card of your choice.
Are you tired of paying full price for your flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United You have the option of paying with either points or dollars? But, be careful that if you don’t have enough points you aren’t able to combine dollars and points on one flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re just a few point short United provides the option to purchase additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue offers a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience , with more legroom and free snacks. Plus, their booking process is like United’s, allowing customers to book using either JetBlue points or dollars, but not both. However, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature where you can join your points with your relatives to earn points twice as fast. Be sure to establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re like me or my travel companion Becca, you’re probably pretty economical and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to reach the minimum spend for the 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 your rent using credit card, then do it! Make sure you pay a fee, usually at least 3%. It could be worthwhile in the long run in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the spending limit is to pay for an medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills in the near future then ask your family members to pay them for theirs, and they will pay you back.
Pay off a loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan take into consideration repaying them using your credit card. Make sure to pay the credit card balance completely so that you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Talk to your family and look into any major expenses in the near future that you can contribute for. Make sure that you are able to have confidence in the person you are talking to and they understand why you’re doing this.
If you’re celebrating the holidays you should consider purchasing all your gifts using the credit card you have. In this way, you’ll reach the minimum spending requirement and also be ready for giving gifts. Be sure to avoid spending more than you thinking of.
There are a lot of ways to make the most from using your credit or debit card for travel and accrue points or miles to be used towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are some additional suggestions for maximising your rewards
Make travel reservations using your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, make use of your travel credit card for booking your flight, hotel, rental car, and any other travel-related expenses. You’ll not only be able to meet the minimum spend to earn your credit card and earn points, but you’ll also earn points or miles to cover these expenses.
Make use of your credit card to pay for everyday expenses
Another way to meet the minimum spending requirement to earn rewards is by utilising your credit cards to pay everyday costs. This could include things like food, gas, and even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay the balance off in full each month so you don’t pay interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or bonus points on certain kinds of purchases, including dining or travel. Check out your credit card’s rewards program and take advantage of any bonus categories that align with your spending routines.
Take into consideration the possibility of transferring your balance
If you have existing outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, consider transferring the balance to a travel credit card with the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfers. This will let you pay off your debts without accruing interest and simultaneously help you hit the minimum spend for the credit card’s bonus.
Make use of your miles or points wisely
If you’ve amassed a large amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize them wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and compare the value of different redemption options. For example you can use your points to book a ticket directly through the airline may offer better value than using them to purchase a gift card.
Another option is to get an rewards card that permits you to transfer rewards to different loyalty program. This will let you enjoy a greater variety of options and greater freedom when it comes to making use of your rewards. For example, you may be capable of transferring your reward to an airline’s frequent flyer program or hotel rewards program. This can give an access wider variety of hotels, flights and other travel benefits that may not be accessible through your credit card’s rewards program.
In addition, you should discover the card’s benefits. some perks that could reduce your travel costs. Some cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection and other benefits that could 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. Just remember that you can’t divide the cost with the same card. Also, make sure you keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
Overall, the key to maximizing your travel rewards is to understand your credit card’s rewards program and to ensure you’re making use of your credit card in the most efficient method possible. Utilizing an array of strategies I’ve listed, you’ll be able to get rewards in a short time, use them for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide variety of travel benefits.