Are you tired of paying an enormous amount on flights? Well, good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting way to convert credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into miles which can be used to obtain discounted or complimentary flights for your desired destinations. With a bit of imagination and a little bit of insider information, you’ll travel for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about swapping credit card sign-up bonus as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can later be used to buy discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards allow you to redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or car rental discounts.
How Does it Work?
The secret to successful hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and to establish a frequent flyer mile program with a limited number of airlines. When you are ready to book a flight take a look at the price. If the cost is under $300, it’s best to pay cash and use your miles to pay for a more expensive flight. If the prices start to rise above $500, you’ll want to review those frequent flyer accounts to determine which airline offers you the best deal. It all comes down to the amount of points or miles in your travel account for every airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets of travel hacking? First step to open an account with a sign-up bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards that provide many advantages and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, spending habits and what features are essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards perfect to hack travel
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
If you’ve been approved for a credit or debit card, you’ll have to meet the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to receive the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so make sure to look up this information. Then you can begin to rack up miles and using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your goals?
After you’ve accrued your points balance, you’re ready to use them towards delicious travel! Different credit card providers will have different methods for redeeming your rewards, here are some examples from a few of the providers I’ve had experience with:
Take a trip by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have a Chase cards, you are able to redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. In this portal you’ll have access to almost 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 the balance for it! Sometimes even if you don’t have enough points to cover the total cost, you still can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with the credit card of your choice.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for your flight tickets? Did you realize that when booking directly through United You have the option of paying using dollars or points? But, be careful that if you do not have enough points you cannot combine points and dollars for flights. Don’t worry, though, if you’re just a few points short, United also offers the option to purchase additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides passengers a relaxing and pleasant travel experience that includes extra legroom and free snacks. Plus, their booking process is like United’s that allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue dollar or points, however, not both. The difference is that JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that allows you to pool your points together with your family members and earn points twice as fast. 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 anything like me and my travel buddy Becca You’re probably quite frugal and it can be difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to hit the required amount to qualify for credit card bonuses. Don’t worry 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 with credit card, then do it! Be prepared to be charged a fee, typically at least 3%. It could be worthwhile in the long run in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another great way to hit the minimum spend is to pay for an medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills in the near future, ask your family members if you can pay them for theirs, and they will pay you back.
Pay off a loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan you owe, think about paying them off with your credit card. Make sure to pay the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t end up with additional debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Discuss your family with them and look into any major expenses in the near future 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 taking the initiative.
If you’re celebrating the holidays you should consider purchasing all of your gifts with your credit card. In this way, you’ll hit that minimum spend and also be prepared to give gifts. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you were contemplating to.
There are plenty of ways to make the most out of using your credit or debit card for travel. You can earn miles or points to use towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are some additional ideas for maximizing your rewards:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, make use of the travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as other travel costs. In addition, you’ll be able to hit the required amount to qualify for a credit card bonus and earn points, but you’ll also be earning points or miles on those expenditures.
Use your credit card for everyday expenditures
Another way to hit the minimum spending requirement and earn points is by utilising your credit cards to pay everyday expenses. This could be things like food, gas or even your phone bill. Make sure you pay the balance off in full each month so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or points in exchange on certain kinds of purchases, such as eating out or travelling. Check out the rewards program of your credit card and avail the bonus categories that are in line with your spending routines.
Consider a balance transfer
If you are currently in debt on a credit card, consider transferring that balance to a travel credit card with an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfers. 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 bonus.
Utilize your miles and points wisely
If you’ve amassed a large amount of points or miles, be sure to use them wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card and compare the benefits 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 for a gift card.
Another option is to get an rewards card that permits you to transfer your reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will allow you to have a wider range of options and greater flexibility in you want to redeem your rewards. For instance, you might be eligible to transfer your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a reward program for hotels. This will give the benefit of a wider selection of hotels, flights, and other travel perks that aren’t available through the rewards program of your credit card.
In addition, you should determine whether your credit card has some perks that could save you money on travel-related costs. Some cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that are invaluable when you travel.
Finally, when you’re traveling with someone else each of you will be able to get rewards on your own credit card. Be aware that you cannot divide the cost with the same card, and be sure you keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
The key to making the most of your travel rewards is to understand your credit card’s rewards program and to ensure you’re making use of it in the most effective method. Through an array of strategies I’ve listed that you can earn rewards fast, exchange them for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad assortment of travel-related perks.