Are you fed up of spending a fortune on airfare? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking is the answer to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting way to convert bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles which you can use to obtain discounted or complimentary flights for your desired destinations. With a bit of creativity and some insider know-how, you’ll travel for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. The miles can be used to pay for cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards will also let you redeem miles for hotel stays and rental car offers.
How Does it Work?
The secret to successful travel hacking is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and to establish a frequent flyer mile program on a select group of airlines. When you are ready to make a booking consider the cost. If the price is under $300, it’s best to pay cash and save your miles to book a higher-priced flight. If your flights begin to climb higher than $500, it’s best to check those frequent flyer accounts and see which airline can give you the most value. All it boils down to is the number of points or miles you have in your travel account for each airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets of travel hacking? First step to open the credit card that comes with a sign-up offer. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that offer many features and benefits. It all depends on your preferred airline, your spending habits, and the features that are most important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit card options that can be perfect 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 spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to get the bonus. Every card has different rules, so make sure to check for the details. From there, it’s all about racking up miles and then using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your ideas?
Once you’ve accumulated your points amount, it’s time to cash them in for some nice travel! Different credit card companies will have different methods of redeeming your points. Here are a few examples from some of the ones I’ve worked with:
Escape through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you own a Chase cards, you are able to use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within the portal, you’ll get access to nearly every airline, and you can make use of a combination of money and points to pay for your travel. You can even book completely on points if you have enough balance! Sometimes even if you do not be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for total cost, you are able to book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using the credit card of your choice.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United You have the option of paying with dollars or points? Butbe aware that if you do not have enough points you cannot combine dollars and points for the same flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re a few points away, United provides the option to purchase additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue offers passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience with extra space and complimentary snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines, allowing passengers to book flights using JetBlue dollar or points however, not both. However, JetBlue offers a distinct feature where you can combine your points with your relatives to earn points twice as quickly. Just make sure you can establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me or my travel companion Becca I’m sure you’re pretty thrifty and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to reach the minimum spend for the credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried 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 to pay for your rent with credit card, go for it! Just be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually at least 3 percent. It might be worth it in the end when the bonus is large enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another great way to hit the spending limit is to pay for the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills in the near future Ask your family members to pay them for theirs, and they’ll pay you back.
Pay off a loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan take into consideration repaying them using your credit card. Be sure to pay the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask family for help
Discuss your family with them and see if they have any big expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Make sure that you are able to trust the person and they know why you’re taking the initiative.
If you’re celebrating the holidays you should consider purchasing all your gifts with cards from your credit account. In this way, you’ll meet the minimum spending limit and be ready for gift giving. Just make sure you’re not paying more than you planning to.
There are a lot of ways to get the most of the travel credit card. You can accrue points or miles to use towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few additional ideas for maximizing your rewards:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, use the travel credit card for booking your flight, hotel, rental car, and any other travel expenses. You’ll not only be able to hit the minimum amount of spending required for your credit card bonus as well, however, you’ll also earn points or miles for these expenses.
Make use of your credit card to pay for everyday expenditures
Another way to hit the minimum spending requirement to earn rewards is using your credit card to pay for daily costs. This could include items like groceries, gas, and even your phone bill. Make sure you pay off the balance in full every month to ensure you don’t accumulate interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or bonus points for certain types of purchases, such as dining or travel. Check out your rewards program on your credit card and take advantage of any bonus categories that align with your spending habits.
Consider a balance transfer
If you are currently in debt on a credit card, you might want to transfer the balance to a travel credit card with an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfers. This will let you pay off your debts without accruing interest, and also aid in achieving the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus.
Use your points or miles carefully
If you’ve amassed a large amount of points or miles Make sure to utilize them wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card, and evaluate the benefits of different redemption options. For instance you can use 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 rewards cards that allow you to transfer points to other loyalty programs. This will let you have a wider range of choices and more flexibility in making use of your rewards. For instance, you might be capable of transferring your reward to an airline’s frequent flyer program or reward program for hotels. This can give you access to a greater variety of hotels, flights and other travel benefits that may not be accessible through the rewards program of your credit card.
Also, determine the card’s benefits. some perks that could reduce your travel expenses. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection, and other benefits that can be invaluable when you travel.
Finally, when you’re traveling with someone else and both of you earn rewards with your credit card. Just remember that you can’t split the cost on the same card and make sure to track the rewards you earn separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program of your credit card and to ensure you’re using your credit card in the most efficient method. Utilizing all of the methods I’ve described, you’ll be able to get rewards in a short time, use them for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide range of travel perks.