Are you tired of paying an enormous amount on flights? Then, there’s a 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 which can be used to get discounted or even free flights to your desired destinations. With a little imagination and some information, you’ll be jet-setting for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of swapping credit card sign-up bonus as well as incentives to earn airline miles. The miles can be used to purchase cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards will also let you redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or car rental offers.
How Does it Work?
The secret to success in travel hacking is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and to establish a frequent flyer mile program on a select group of airlines. When it comes time to book a flight consider the cost. If the flight is under $300, it’s usually better to pay cash and use your miles to pay to book a higher-priced flight. If your flights begin to climb over $500, you’ll need to check those frequent flyer accounts and find out which airline will give you the best deal. It all boils down to the amount of points or miles you have in your travel bank for each airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets of travel hacking? First step to open an account with a sign-up bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that offer various advantages and features. It depends on the type of airline, spending habits and what features are essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards that are perfect to use for hacking travel:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
After you’ve been accepted for a credit card, you’ll need to hit the limit of spending minimum in order to get the bonus. Every card has different rules, so make certain to verify this information. From there it’s all about building miles and then using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your ideas?
Once you’ve accumulated your points balance, you’re ready to cash them in for some delicious getaway! Different credit card companies have different methods of redeeming your points, but here are a few examples from some of the companies I’ve had experience with:
Take a trip with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own a Chase card, you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In it, you’ll have access to almost every airline, and you can combine points and cash to book your trip. You can even book entirely with points if you’ve the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for entire cost, you are able to buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using the credit card of your choice.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for your flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United You have the option to pay with dollars or points? Butbe aware in case you don’t have enough points, you can’t combine dollars and points on flights. If you’re just a few points short, United also offers the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than 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 which allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue dollar or points but not both. But, JetBlue offers a distinct feature where you can join 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.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me and my travel companion Becca I’m sure you’re pretty thrifty and it’s difficult to think of spending 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 some of our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able pay your rent using credit card, go for it! Make sure you pay a cost, which is usually about 3 percent. It might be worth it in the long run in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another great way to hit the spending limit is to cover the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills coming up Ask your relatives if you could pay their medical bills and they will reimburse you.
Repay the loan
If you have any loans, consider repaying them using an credit card. Make sure to pay the credit card balance in full so you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask family for help
Discuss your family with them and determine if they’ve got any major expenses in the near future that you can contribute for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to have confidence in the person you are talking to and they know why you’re doing it.
If it’s the holiday season you should consider purchasing all of your gifts with cards from your credit account. So you’ll be able to hit that minimum spend and be ready to give gifts. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you planning to.
There are plenty of ways to make the most of your travel credit card and earn miles or points to be used towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are some additional suggestions for maximising the rewards you earn:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, use you travel credit card to pay for your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as any other travel-related expenses. In addition, you’ll be able to hit the minimum amount of spending required to earn your credit card, however, you’ll also earn points or miles to cover the expenditures.
Utilize your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday expenditures
Another method to reach the minimum amount of spending in order to accumulate points utilising your credit cards for everyday expenses. This could include items like groceries, gas and even your telephone bill. Be sure to pay off the balance each month in full so you don’t accumulate interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or points in exchange on certain kinds of purchases, including eating out or traveling. Make sure you review your rewards program on your credit card and take advantage of any bonus categories that match with your spending routines.
Think about a balance transfer
If you’re in the middle of a outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, think about transferring that balance to an account with a travel credit card that has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfers. This will let you pay off the debt without accruing interest, and also aid in achieving the minimum spend for the credit card’s bonus.
Utilize your miles and points prudently
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of points or miles Make sure to utilize them in a responsible manner. Check out the rewards program on your credit card, and evaluate the benefits of different redemption options. For example using points to purchase a flight directly with the airline could give you a better value than using them to purchase an gift card.
Another option is to get an rewards card that permits you to transfer your reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will let you get a wider selection of options and greater flexibility in you want to redeem your rewards. For instance, you might be eligible to transfer your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a reward program for hotels. This can give you access to a larger variety of hotels, flights and other travel benefits which are not accessible through your credit card’s rewards program.
Additionally, try to determine whether your credit card has certain benefits that will reduce your travel costs. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that can be very beneficial when traveling.
When you travel with a friend and both of you earn rewards using your own credit card. Make sure you don’t split the cost on the same card and make sure to keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
Overall, the key to making the most of your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program on your credit card and make sure you’re using it in the most effective way possible. Through all of the strategies I’ve listed that you can get rewards in a short time, use them for travel experiences that are worth it and benefit from a wide assortment of travel-related perks.