Are you fed up of spending an enormous amount on flights? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s a fun way to convert sign-up bonuses and incentives into miles that can then be used to get discounted or even free flights to your dream destinations. With a little imagination and a little bit of insider information, you’ll be jet-setting for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. These miles can then be used to pay for cheap or free flight tickets. Some credit cards also allow you to redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or rental car discounts.
How Does it Work?
The key to successful travel hacking is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and to establish a frequent flyer mile program on a select group 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 usually better to pay cash and save your miles to take a more costly flight. If the prices start to rise over $500, you’ll need to check those frequent flyer accounts to find out which airline will give you the best deal. All it boils down to is the amount of points or miles you have in your travel bank for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to hacking travel? Your first task 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 habits with spending and what features are essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit card options that can be excellent to hack travel
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
After you’ve been accepted 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 rules, so make sure to look up this information. From there you can begin to rack miles and using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your points?
Once you’ve accumulated the points balance, it’s time to cash them in for some nice vacation! Different credit card companies will have different methods for redeeming your points. Here are some examples from some of the ones I’ve had experience with:
Take a trip through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you own an Chase credit card, then you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In it, you’ll have access to almost every airline and you can make use of a combination of money and points to pay for your next trip. You can even book completely using points if you’ve got enough balance! Sometimes even if you don’t have enough points to cover the total cost, you are able to purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using any credit card.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for your flight tickets? Did you realize that when booking directly through United, you have the option to pay with dollars or points? But, be careful, if you do not have enough points you cannot combine points and dollars on one flight. No worries though, if you’re a few point short United gives you the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue offers an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience , with more legroom as well as free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is like United’s which allows you to book with either JetBlue points or dollars, however, not both. However, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature where you can join your points with family members to accrue points twice as quickly. Just make sure you can verify that you are a family member before trying to hack the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re like me and my travel companion Becca, you’re probably pretty economical and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum amount required to earn credit card bonuses. But don’t fret because we’ve been there and are here to share some of our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able pay your rent using credit card, go for it! Just be prepared to be charged a fee, typically around 3 percent. It could be worthwhile over the long term if the bonus is high enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the required spending is to cover an medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills due Ask your relatives if you could pay for theirs and they can pay you back.
Make a payment to pay off a loan
If you’re a borrower take into consideration paying them off with the credit card you have. Make sure to pay the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t accrue additional debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Ask your family members to look into any large expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Just make sure you have confidence in the person you are talking to and they know why you’re doing it.
If it’s the holiday season, consider buying all your gifts using cards from your credit account. So you’ll be able to hit that minimum spend and also be prepared for giving gifts. Just make sure you’re not paying more than you contemplating to.
There are many ways to get the most out of the travel credit card. You can accrue points or miles to be used towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few additional ways to maximize the rewards you earn:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
When you’re planning your next vacation, make use of you travel credit card to pay for your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as other travel costs. In addition, you’ll achieve the minimum amount of spending required to earn your credit card bonus, but you’ll also earn points or miles on these expenses.
Use your credit card for everyday expenditures
Another method to reach the minimum spend to earn rewards is by utilising your credit cards to pay for everyday costs. This can include items like groceries, gas and even your telephone bill. Just make sure to pay the balance off in full each month so you don’t accumulate interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or bonus points on certain kinds of purchases, including eating out or travelling. Make sure you review your rewards program on your credit card and avail any bonus categories that align with your spending habits.
Take into consideration the possibility of transferring your balance
If you are currently in debt on a credit card, consider transferring the balance to a travel credit card with a 0% introductory APR for balance transfer. This will let you pay off your debt without accruing interest. It will also help you hit the minimum amount required to earn the credit card’s bonus.
Make use of your miles or points wisely
If you’ve amassed a large amount of points or miles, be sure to use the points or miles wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and compare the worth of various redemption options. For instance you can use your points to purchase a flight directly with the airline could give you a better value than using them to purchase the purchase of a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer rewards to different loyalty program. This will let you have a wider range of choices and more freedom when it comes to making use of your rewards. For instance, you might be eligible to transfer your rewards to the frequent flyer program of an airline or Hotel rewards programme. This can give an access wider selection of hotels, flights and other travel benefits that may not be accessible through the rewards program on your credit card.
Additionally, try to determine if your credit card offers certain benefits that will help you save money on travel expenses. Some cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection and other benefits that can be very beneficial when traveling.
If you’re traveling with a companion each of you will be able to earn rewards with your credit card. Make sure you don’t divide the cost with the same card, and be sure you keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do to reaping the maximum benefits from your rewards for travel is to be aware of your credit card’s rewards program and to ensure you’re making use of your credit card in the most effective method. Through a combination of the strategies I’ve outlined, you’ll be able to earn rewards quickly, redeem rewards for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide variety of travel benefits.