Are you fed up of spending an enormous amount on flights? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting way to convert sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles that can then be used to obtain discounted or free flights to your ideal destinations. With a little imagination and a little bit of insider knowledge, you can travel for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about swapping credit card sign-up bonus and rewards for airline miles. These miles can later be used to purchase discount or no-cost flights. Some credit cards also permit you to use miles to pay for hotel stays or rental car discounts.
How Does it Work?
The key to successful hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and to establish frequent flyer miles on a select group of airlines. When you are ready to book a flight take a look at the price. If the cost is under $300, it’s generally better to pay cash and save your miles to take a more costly flight. If your flights begin to climb over $500, you’ll need to review the frequent flyer account to determine which airline offers you the most value. It all comes down to the amount of miles or points you have in your travel savings account for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to hacking travel? Your first task is to open the credit card that comes with a sign-up offer. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that offer various benefits and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, your spending habits, and the features that are most crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit card options that can be perfect to use for hacking travel:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
Once you’ve been approved for a credit card, you’ll need to hit the minimum spend limit in order to qualify for the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so be certain to verify this information. Then it’s all about building miles and then using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to set sail with your ideas?
Once you’ve accumulated your points amount, it’s time to cash them in for some delicious getaway! Different credit card companies offer different ways to redeem your points, but here are some examples from a few of the ones I’ve had experience with:
Take a trip by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have an Chase cards, you are able to use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In the portal, you’ll get access to nearly every airline, and you can make use of a combination of the points as well as cash in order to pay for your trip. You can book your flight entirely using points if you’ve got the balance for it! Sometimes even if you do not have enough points to cover the entire price, you can buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with every credit card.
Are you tired of paying full price for your flight tickets? Did you not know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option to pay with dollars or points? Be careful in case you don’t have enough points, you can’t combine dollars and points on one flight. No worries though, if you’re a few point short United also offers the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers passengers a relaxing and pleasant travel experience that includes extra legroom and free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines which allows you to book with either JetBlue points or dollars, however, not both. However, JetBlue offers a distinct feature that allows you to pool your points together with your family members and 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 or my travel companion Becca I’m sure you’re pretty frugal and it can be challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to hit the minimum amount required to earn credit card bonuses. However, don’t be worried because we’ve been there and we’re here to share our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able to pay for your rent using a credit card, do it! Make sure you pay a cost, which is usually around 3 percent. It could be worthwhile over the long term if the bonus is high enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another way to reach the minimum spend is to pay for the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills coming up, ask your relatives if you could pay their medical bills and they will reimburse you.
Pay off the loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan, consider paying them off with your credit card. Just make sure you pay off the balance on your credit card in full , so that you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask family for help
Discuss your family with them and determine if they’ve got any large expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Just make sure you trust the person and they know why you’re doing this.
If it’s the holiday season take into consideration buying all your gifts using cards from your credit account. This way you can reach the minimum spending requirement and be ready for gift giving. Just make sure you’re not paying more than you already planning to.
There are a lot of ways to make the most of using your credit or debit card for travel and accrue points or miles to be used towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few more ideas for maximizing the rewards you earn:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, make use of the 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 minimum amount of spending required to qualify for a credit card reward and earn points, however, you’ll also earn points or miles for those expenditures.
Utilize your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday costs
Another way to meet the minimum spending requirement in order to accumulate points utilising your credit cards for every day expenditures. This could be things like gas, groceries or even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay the balance off in full each month so you don’t accumulate interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer bonus points or miles for certain types of purchases, like eating out or traveling. Check out your credit card’s rewards program and take advantage of any bonus categories that match with your spending routines.
Consider the possibility of transferring your balance
If you are currently in debt on a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer the balance to an account with a travel credit card that has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfer. This will enable you to pay off your debts without accruing interest. It will also aid in achieving the minimum spend for the credit card’s bonus.
Make use of your miles or points wisely
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points make sure you use them wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card, and evaluate the value of different redemption options. For example you can use your points to book a ticket directly through the airline may provide you with a greater value than using them for an gift card.
Another suggestion is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer points to other loyalty programs. This will let you get a wider selection of options and greater flexibility in 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 hotel rewards program. This can give the benefit of a wider variety of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks that aren’t offered through the rewards program of your credit card.
In addition, you should discover whether your credit card has certain benefits that will reduce your travel expenses. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection, and other benefits that could be very beneficial when traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a companion and both of you earn rewards with your own credit card. Just remember that you can’t share the costs on the same card. Also, make sure to keep track of your rewards separately.
The key to making the most of your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program of your credit card and ensure that you’re making use of this program in the most efficient method. By using 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 benefit from a wide variety of travel benefits.