Are you tired of paying an enormous amount on flights? Well, good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting way to convert welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles which you can use to obtain discounted or cheap flights from your dream destinations. With a little imagination and a little bit of insider know-how, you’ll fly for no cost within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about swapping credit card sign-up bonus and incentives for airline miles. The miles can be used to purchase discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards will also permit you to use miles for hotel stays and rental car offers.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for success in hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and establishing a frequent flyer mile program on a select group of airlines. When it comes time to make a booking consider the cost. If the price is under $300, it’s best to pay cash and save your miles for a more expensive flight. If your flights begin to climb above $500, you’ll want to review your frequent flyer accounts to find out which airline will give you the most value. It all comes down to the number of points or miles you have in your travel savings account for each airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to hacking travel? Your first task is to open an account with a sign-up bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that provide many features and benefits. It all depends on your preferred airline, spending habits and the features that are most important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit card options that can be excellent to use for hacking travel:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
If you’ve been approved for a credit card you’ll have to meet the limit of spending minimum in order to qualify for the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so make sure to look up this information. From there it’s all about building miles and using them to plan your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your goals?
Once you’ve accumulated the points balance, it’s time to cash them in for some nice travel! Different credit card companies will offer different ways to redeem your points. Here are some examples from some of the ones I have experience with:
Getaway with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have an Chase credit card, then you are able to redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In the portal, you’ll have access to almost every airline. You can use a combination of money and points to book your travel. You can even book entirely on points if you have the balance for it! Sometimes even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for total cost, you are able to buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using any credit card.
Are you fed up of paying full price for your flight tickets? Did you know that when you book directly through United You have the option of paying using either points or dollars? Butbe aware in case you do not have enough points you cannot combine dollars and points on one flight. No worries though, if you’re only a couple of points short, United gives you the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides a comfortable and enjoyable travel experience that includes extra legroom as well as free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to United’s that allows you to book with either JetBlue either dollars or points but not both. However, JetBlue has a unique feature that lets you combine your points with family members to accrue points twice as quickly. Make sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack into the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me and my travel buddy Becca, you’re probably pretty frugal and it can be difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to reach the minimum spend for credit card bonuses. But don’t fret because we’ve been there and we’re 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 your rent with a credit card, do it! Be prepared to pay a fee, usually at least 3%. It may be worth it in the end when the bonus is large enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another great way to hit the required spending is to pay for a medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses in the near future, ask your relatives if you could pay their medical bills and they can reimburse you.
Pay off a loan
If you have any loans, consider making payments on them with an credit card. Make sure to pay the credit card balance completely so that you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask family for help
Discuss your family with them and determine if they’ve got any big expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Just make sure you have confidence in the person you are talking to and they are aware of the reason for doing it.
If you’re celebrating the holidays, consider buying all your gifts with the credit card you have. In this way, you’ll hit that minimum spend and also be ready for giving gifts. Be sure to avoid spending more than you contemplating to.
There are plenty of ways to get the most of using your credit or debit card for travel. accumulate miles or points that you can spend on airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few more ideas for maximizing your rewards:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a vacation, make use of you travel credit card to book your flight, hotel, rental car, and any other travel-related expenses. In addition, you’ll be able to hit the required amount to qualify for a credit card reward, however, you’ll also earn points or miles on these expenditures.
Utilize your credit card to pay for all your daily expenditures
Another way to meet the minimum amount of spending in order to accumulate points making use of your credit card for daily expenses. This can include things like food, gas and even your telephone bill. Make sure you pay off the balance each month in full so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Make the most of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or bonus points on certain kinds of purchases, including eating out or traveling. Be sure to review the rewards program of your credit card and avail any bonus categories that match with your spending routines.
Think about a balance transfer
If you have existing debt on a high-interest credit card, consider transferring the balance to the travel credit card which has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfers. This will allow you to pay off your debts without accruing interest, and also aid in achieving the minimum spending requirement for the credit card bonus.
Use your points or miles prudently
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 worth of various redemption options. For instance, using your points to purchase a flight directly with the airline could provide you with a greater value than using them for a gift card.
Another option is to get an rewards card that permits you to transfer your rewards to different loyalty program. This will allow you to enjoy a greater variety of options and greater freedom when it comes to making use of your rewards. For example, you may be able to transfer your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a hotel rewards program. This will give an access larger range of flights, hotels and other travel benefits which are not accessible through the rewards program on your credit card.
In addition, you should find out if your credit card offers certain benefits that will help you save money on travel costs. Many cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that can be invaluable when you travel.
If you’re traveling with someone else each of you will be able to earn rewards with your credit card. Just remember that you can’t divide the cost with the same card. Also, make sure to track your rewards separately.
The key to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to know the rewards program on your credit card and ensure that you’re using it in the most efficient way possible. Utilizing all of the strategies I’ve outlined, you’ll be able to earn rewards fast, exchange rewards for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide variety of travel benefits.