Life Hacker Travel Hacking

Are you fed up of spending an enormous amount on flights? Well, good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting method to turn credit card 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 bit of imagination and a little bit of insider knowledge, you can fly for no cost in no time.

The Basics of Travel Hacking

Travel hacking is the art of 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 allow you to redeem miles towards hotel stays or car rental discounts.

How Does it Work?

The secret to success in hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and building out a frequent flyer mile program for a specific group of airlines. When it’s time to make a booking consider the cost. If the price is less than $300, it’s usually better to pay in cash and save your miles to book a higher-priced flight. If your flights begin to climb above $500, you’ll want to check your frequent flyer accounts to see which airline can give you the best price. All it boils down to is the amount of points or miles you have in your travel bank for every airline.

Get Started with Travel Hacking

Ready to learn the secrets of travel hacking? The first step is opening a credit card with a sign-up offer. There are plenty of great credit cards that provide various features and benefits. It is all dependent on the airline, spending habits and the features that are most crucial to you.

Top Credit Card Picks

Here are some credit cards perfect to use for hacking travel:

  • Chase Sapphire Reserve
  • Chase United Explorer
  • JetBlue Mastercard
  • Capital One Venture X

If you’ve been approved for a credit card, you’ll need to hit the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to get the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of guidelines, so make certain to verify the details. From there you can begin to rack miles and using them to plan your dream trip!

Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your ideas?

Once you’ve accumulated the points amount, it’s time to redeem them for some nice getaway! Different credit card companies offer different ways to redeem your points, but here are some examples from some of the ones I have experience with:

Take a trip through Chase Ultimate Reward

If you own a Chase credit card, then you are able to redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In the portal, you’ll have access to nearly every airline and you can make use of a combination of money and points to pay for your next trip. You can book your flight entirely with points if you’ve the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you don’t have enough points to cover the full price, you can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using every credit card.

 

United

Are you tired of paying full price for your flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United You have the option of paying with either points or dollars? But, be careful, if you don’t have enough points, you can’t combine dollars and points on one flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re a few points short, United provides the possibility of purchasing additional miles.

JetBlue

Are you looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue offers passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience , with more legroom as well as free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to United’s that allows customers to book using either JetBlue dollar 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. Be sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack into the system.

Hit that Minimum Spend

If you’re anything like me and my travel buddy Becca I’m sure you’re pretty frugal and it can be challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum amount required to earn credit card bonuses. Don’t worry as we’ve done it and we’re here to share our tricks and tips.

Pay your rent (if you can)

This is a huge one! If you’re able to pay your rent using credit card, then do it! Be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually about 3 percent. It may be worth it over the long term when the bonus is large enough.

Pay for a medical bill

Another great way to hit the spending limit is to pay for an medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills due, ask your family members if you can pay for theirs and they’ll reimburse you.

Repay a loan

If you’re a borrower take into consideration making payments on them with an credit card. Make sure to pay off the credit card balance completely so that you don’t accumulate additional debt.

Ask family members for assistance

Talk to your family and look into any big expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Just make sure you are able to trust the person and that they understand why you’re doing it.

Buy presents

If it’s the holiday season you should consider purchasing all your gifts with your credit card. This way you can hit that minimum spend and also be ready for giving gifts. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you already contemplating to.

There are plenty of ways to get the most from using your credit or debit card for travel. You can accumulate miles or points that you can spend on the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few additional suggestions for maximising your rewards:

Book travel expenses with your credit card

When you’re planning your next vacation, make use of you travel credit card for booking your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as other travel costs. You’ll not only be able to hit the minimum spend for your credit card bonus and earn points, but you’ll also be earning points or miles to cover the expenditures.

Use your credit card for all your daily expenditures

Another way to hit the minimum amount of spending in order to accumulate points using your credit card to pay for every day expenditures. This could include things like gas, groceries, and even your phone bill. Make sure you pay off the balance in full every month to ensure you don’t pay interest.

Make the most of bonus categories

Some travel credit cards will offer miles or bonus points for certain types of purchases, including dining or travel. Check out your rewards program on your credit card and avail any bonus categories that align with your spending routines.

Consider a balance transfer

If you’re in the middle of a outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer that balance to an account with a travel credit card that has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfer. This will let you pay off your debts without accruing interest and simultaneously aid in achieving the minimum spend for the credit card’s bonus.

Use your points or miles wisely

When you’ve earned a significant amount of miles or points make sure you use them in a responsible manner. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and then compare the value of different redemption options. For instance, using your points to purchase a flight directly with the airline could give you a better value than using them for an gift card.

Another tip is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will allow you to enjoy a greater variety of options and greater flexibility in making use of your rewards. For example, you may be capable of transferring your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or Hotel rewards programme. This gives an access larger variety of hotels, flights, and other travel perks that may not be available through your credit card’s rewards program.

In addition, you should discover if your credit card offers any perks that can reduce your travel costs. Many cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that can be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.

If you’re traveling with a companion each of you will be able to get rewards on your own credit card. Make sure you don’t share the costs on the same card. Also, make sure you keep track of the rewards you earn separately.

Overall, the key to reaping the maximum benefits from your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program of your credit card and make sure you’re making use of your credit card in the most effective method possible. Utilizing all of the strategies I’ve outlined that you can get rewards in a short time, use them for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide assortment of travel-related perks.