Are you fed up of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s a fun way to convert sign-up bonuses and incentives into miles which can be used to score discounted or free flights to your ideal destinations. With a little bit of imagination and a little bit of insider knowledge, you can fly for no cost within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of trading credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. These miles can then be used to purchase discount or no-cost flights. Some credit cards also let you redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or rental car discounts.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for successful hacking travel is taking advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and establishing a frequent flyer mile program with a limited number of airlines. When you are ready to make a booking, evaluate the cost. If the price is under $300, it’s generally better to pay in cash and use your miles to pay to take a more costly flight. When the flights start getting over $500, you’ll need to check the frequent flyer account to see which airline can give you the best deal. All it boils down to is the amount of points or miles you have in your travel account for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to hacking travel? First step opening an account with a sign-up bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards with many advantages and features. It depends on the type of airline, spending habits and the features that are most crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards 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 have to meet the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to get the bonus. Every card has different guidelines, so make certain to verify the details. From there, it’s all about racking up miles and using them to plan your dream trip!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your ideas?
After you’ve accrued your points balance, you’re ready to redeem them for some delicious getaway! Different credit card companies offer different ways to redeem your points, but here are some examples from a few of the providers I have experience with:
Escape by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of a Chase cards, you are able to use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In the portal, you’ll have access to virtually every airline and you can make use of a combination of money and points to book your trip. You can even book entirely using points if you’ve got the balance for it! Sometimes even if you don’t have enough points to cover the entire cost, you still can buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with the credit card of your choice.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United, you have the option of paying using dollars or points? Butbe aware that if you don’t have enough points you aren’t able to combine points and dollars on flights. If you’re only a couple of point short United provides the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience , with more legroom as well as free snacks. Plus, their booking process is like United’s that allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue points or dollars but not both. However, JetBlue has a unique feature that lets you pool your points together with family members to accrue points twice as quickly. Just make sure you can establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack into the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel buddy Becca, you’re probably pretty thrifty and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to reach the required amount to qualify for the credit card bonus. 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 an important one! If you’re able to pay for your rent using a credit card, do it! Be prepared to pay a fee, usually at least 3%. It might be worth it in the long run in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another great way to hit the spending limit is to cover an medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses in the near future Ask your relatives if you could pay them for theirs, and they can pay you back.
Repay a loan
If you’re a borrower you owe, think about paying them off with the credit card you have. Make sure to pay off the credit card balance in full so you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Ask your family members to see if they have any large expenses coming up which you could help pay for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to are able to trust the person and that they understand why you’re taking the initiative.
If it’s the holiday season, consider buying all your gifts using the credit card you have. This way you can reach the minimum spending requirement and also be prepared for giving gifts. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you were already planning to.
There are many methods to get the most out of your travel credit card and earn miles or points to spend on the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few more 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 to pay for your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as any other travel-related expenses. In addition, you’ll be able to meet the required amount for your credit card and earn points, but you’ll also earn points or miles on the expenditures.
Make use of your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday costs
Another method to reach the minimum spend and earn points is by making use of your credit card to pay for everyday expenditures. This could be things like food, gas, and even your phone bill. Be sure to pay off the balance in full every month to ensure you don’t accrue interest charges.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or bonus points for specific types of purchases, like dining or travel. Be sure to review the rewards program of your credit card and take advantage of any bonus categories that align with your spending habits.
Take into consideration the possibility of transferring your balance
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a credit card, think about transferring that balance to the travel credit card which has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfer. This will enable you to pay off your debts without accruing interest, and also assist you in reaching the minimum spend for the credit card’s bonus.
Utilize your miles and points wisely
If you’ve amassed a large amount of points or miles, be sure to use the points or miles wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card and then compare the value of different redemption options. For example using your points to purchase a flight directly through the airline may offer better value than using them for a gift card.
Another option is to get a rewards card that allows you to transfer your points to other loyalty programs. This will allow you to have a wider range of options and greater flexibility when you want to redeem your rewards. For example, you may be capable of transferring your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or Hotel rewards programme. This will give the benefit of a wider variety of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks which are not offered through the rewards program on your credit card.
In addition, you should find out whether your credit card has any perks that can reduce your travel expenses. Some cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection, and other benefits that are extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
If you’re traveling with a companion each of you will be able to earn rewards using your own credit card. Make sure you don’t split the cost on the same card, and be sure to keep track of your rewards separately.
The key to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program on your credit card and make sure you’re making use of this program in the most effective method. Utilizing a combination of the strategies I’ve outlined that you can earn rewards quickly, redeem rewards for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide assortment of travel-related perks.