Are you tired of paying a fortune on airfare? Good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting method to convert sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles which can be used to get discounted or even complimentary flights for your dream destinations. With a bit of imagination and a little bit of insider information, you’ll fly for no cost in no time.
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. These miles can then be used to buy discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards allow you to redeem miles for hotel stays and rental car deals.
How Does it Work?
The key to successful hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and building out a frequent flyer mile program for a specific group of airlines. When it’s time to book a flight take a look at the price. If the cost is less than $300, it’s usually better to pay cash and save your miles for a more expensive flight. If the prices start to rise above $500, you’ll want to look into the frequent flyer account and see which airline can give you the most value. It all comes down to the number of points or miles you have in your travel savings account for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to hacking travel? The first step is opening an account that comes with a welcome bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards with various features and benefits. It depends on the type of airline, your spending habits, and what features are essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some 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 have to meet the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to receive the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of guidelines, so make sure to look up the details. From there you can begin to rack up miles and using them to plan your dream vacation!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your goals?
Now that you’ve built up your points balance, it’s time to cash them in for some sweet travel! Different credit card providers will have different methods of redeeming your points, but here are a few examples from some of the ones I’ve worked with:
Escape by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own an Chase cards, you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In it, you’ll have access to almost every airline and you can combine the points as well as cash in order to book your trip. You can even book entirely on points if you have enough balance! Sometimes even if you do not possess enough points for the entire price, you can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using any credit card.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for your flight tickets? Did you not know that when you book directly through United You have the option to pay with either points or dollars? Be careful, if you don’t have enough points you cannot combine points and dollars for flights. No worries though, if you’re a few points short, United gives you the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers a comfortable and enjoyable travel experience that includes extra legroom as well as free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is like United’s that allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue dollar or points, but not both. But, JetBlue has a unique feature that allows you to combine your points with family members to accrue points twice as quickly. Make sure to establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack into the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me and my travel buddy Becca, you’re probably pretty frugal and it can be daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to reach the required amount to qualify for the credit card bonus. 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 a huge one! If you’re able pay your rent using a credit card, do it! Make sure you be charged a fee, typically about 3 percent. It may be worth it over the long term in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another way to reach the minimum spend is to cover an medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses coming up then ask your family members to pay them for theirs, and they can pay you back.
Pay off the loan
If you have any loans you owe, think about repaying them using your credit card. Just make sure you pay off the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t accrue additional debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Discuss your family with them and look into any large expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Just make sure you are able to trust the person and that they know why you’re doing this.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season, consider buying all your gifts with the credit card you have. In this way, you’ll reach the minimum spending requirement and also be prepared for gift giving. Be sure to avoid paying more than you already thinking of.
There are plenty of ways to make the most out of the travel credit card. accumulate miles or points that you can be used towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few additional suggestions for maximising your rewards:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, make use of your travel credit card for booking your flight, hotel, rental car, and other travel costs. You’ll not only be able to hit the minimum amount of spending required to qualify for a credit card bonus, however, you’ll also earn points or miles for the costs.
Utilize your credit card to pay for all your daily expenditures
Another way to hit the minimum spending requirement in order to accumulate points making use of your credit card for daily expenditures. This could be items like groceries, gas and even your telephone bill. Make sure you pay the balance off in full each month so you don’t accumulate interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide bonus points or miles for specific types of purchases, like eating out or traveling. Be sure to review your rewards program on your credit card and avail any bonus categories that match with your spending habits.
Take into consideration a balance transfer
If you are currently in debt on 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 transfer. This will enable you to pay off your debts without accruing interest. It will also assist you in reaching the minimum spend for the credit card’s bonus.
Utilize your miles and points prudently
When you’ve earned a significant amount of miles or points, be sure to use them in a responsible manner. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and compare the benefits of different redemption options. For instance, using your points to book a flight directly with the airline could provide you with a greater value than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer your points to other loyalty programs. This allows you to have a wider range of choices and more freedom when it comes to you want to redeem your rewards. For example, you may be eligible to transfer your reward to the frequent flyer program of an airline or a hotel rewards program. This will give you access to a larger selection of hotels, flights and other travel benefits that may not be offered through the rewards program on your credit card.
Also, find out if your credit card offers some perks that could save you money on travel-related expenses. Some cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection, and other benefits that can be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
If you’re traveling with a friend, both of you can earn rewards using your own credit card. Be aware that you cannot share the costs on the same card. Also, make sure to keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
Overall, the key to making the most of your rewards for travel is to be aware of your credit card’s rewards program and make sure you’re making use of this program in the most effective way possible. Utilizing an array of strategies I’ve listed that you can earn rewards quickly, redeem them for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide range of travel perks.