Are you tired of paying an enormous amount on flights? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel woes. It’s a fun way to turn credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles, which you can use to get discounted or even free flights to your desired destinations. With a little bit of imagination and some knowledge, you can be jet-setting for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about trading credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. These miles can then be used to pay for cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards will also permit you to use 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 to establish frequent flyer miles with a limited number of airlines. When you are ready to book a flight, evaluate the cost. If the cost is under $300, it’s usually better to pay cash and use your miles to pay for a more expensive flight. If your flights begin to climb above $500, you’ll want to look into those frequent flyer accounts to find out which airline will give you the best price. It all comes down to the amount of points or miles in your travel account for each airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to hacking travel? First step to open the credit card that comes with a sign-up bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards with many benefits and features. It is all dependent on the airline, spending habits and what features are important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit card options that can be excellent to hack travel
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
If you’ve been approved for a credit card you’ll need to hit the limit of spending minimum in order to get the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of guidelines, so make sure to check for this information. Then, it’s all about racking miles and using them to plan your dream trip!
Are you ready to set sail with your goals?
Once you’ve accumulated the points amount, it’s time to redeem them for some sweet getaway! Different credit card providers will have different methods of redeeming your rewards, here are some examples from a few of the ones I have experience with:
Getaway by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of a Chase credit card, then you are able to redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within it, you’ll get access to virtually every airline. You can make use of a combination of the points as well as cash in order to book your next trip. You can even book entirely on points if you have the balance for it! Sometimes even if you do not be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for total price, you can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using any credit card.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United You have the option of paying with either points or dollars? Be careful, if you do not have enough points you can’t combine dollars and points on the same flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re only a couple of point short United gives you the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers passengers a relaxing and pleasant travel experience that includes extra space and complimentary snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to United’s which allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue dollar or points, however, not both. The difference is that JetBlue has a unique feature that lets you combine your points with your relatives to earn points twice as quickly. Be sure to establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack into the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re like me and my travel buddy Becca You’re probably quite thrifty and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to hit the required amount to qualify for credit card bonuses. However, don’t be worried as we’ve done it 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 pay your rent using a credit card, do it! Just be prepared to pay a fee, usually about 3 percent. It may be worth it over the long term if the bonus is high enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another excellent way to meet the spending limit is to pay for a medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses coming up Ask your family members to pay for theirs and they can repay you.
Pay off the loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan you owe, think about repaying them using your credit card. Make sure to pay off the credit card balance in full so you don’t accumulate additional debt.
Ask family for help
Ask your family members to look into any large expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Make sure that you are able to have confidence in the person you are talking to and they understand why you’re doing this.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season you should consider purchasing all your gifts with the credit card you have. This way you can meet the minimum spending limit and be ready for giving gifts. Be sure to avoid paying more than you planning to.
There are plenty of methods to get the most of using your credit or debit card for travel and earn miles or points to be used towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few additional ways to maximize your rewards:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
When you’re planning your next vacation, make use of your travel credit card for booking your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as any other travel expenses. Not only will you be able to hit the minimum amount of spending required to qualify for a credit card bonus, but you’ll also be earning points or miles on those expenditures.
Make use of your credit card to pay for everyday costs
Another way to hit the minimum amount of spending in order to accumulate points using your credit card for daily expenditures. This could be things like gas, groceries or even your phone bill. Be sure to pay off the balance each month in full so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Make the most of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or bonus points for specific types of purchases, including 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.
Consider a balance transfer
If you have existing debt on a high-interest credit card, think about transferring the balance to the travel credit card which has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfers. This will let you pay off your debts without accruing interest and simultaneously help you hit the minimum spending requirement for the credit card bonus.
Utilize your miles and points carefully
When you’ve earned a significant amount of points or miles, be sure to use them wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and compare the worth of various redemption options. For instance, using points to book a flight directly with the airline could give you a better value than using them to purchase the purchase of a gift card.
Another tip is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer rewards to different loyalty program. This allows you to get a wider selection of choices and more flexibility when you want to redeem your rewards. For instance, you might be able to transfer your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or reward program for hotels. This gives the benefit of a wider variety of hotels, flights and other travel benefits which are not offered through the rewards program of your credit card.
Also, determine if your credit card offers any perks that can save you money on travel-related costs. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that can be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a friend each of you will be able to earn rewards with your credit card. Be aware that you cannot share the costs on the same card and make sure to track your rewards separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do to maximizing your travel rewards is to know the rewards program on your credit card and to ensure you’re making use of it in the most efficient method possible. Utilizing a combination of the strategies I’ve outlined that you can get rewards in a short time, use them for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide assortment of travel-related perks.