Are you tired of paying an enormous amount on flights? Good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting way to convert welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles, which can be used to score discounted or complimentary flights for your desired destinations. With a little bit of imagination and some information, you’ll travel for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of trading credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. The miles can be used to buy cheap or free flight tickets. Some credit cards also let you redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or car rental deals.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for successful hacking travel is taking advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and establishing a frequent flyer mile program on a select group of airlines. When it’s time to make a booking consider the cost. If the cost is under $300, it’s best to pay in cash and use your miles to pay for a more expensive flight. If the prices start to rise higher than $500, it’s best to look into the frequent flyer account and determine which airline offers you the best price. It all boils down to the number of miles or points you have in your travel savings account for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to travel hacking? The first step is to open an account that comes with a welcome bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards with many benefits and features. It depends on the type of airline, spending habits and the features that are most crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards that are perfect to hack 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 reach the minimum spend limit in order to receive the bonus. Every card has different guidelines, so make sure to look up this information. Then it’s all about building up miles, and using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your ideas?
Once you’ve accumulated the points balance, you’re ready to redeem them for some sweet vacation! Different credit card providers will have different methods for redeeming your points. Here are some examples from some of the companies I’ve worked with:
Take a trip by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have an Chase card, you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In this portal you’ll have access to almost every airline. You can use a combination of points and cash to book your trip. You can book your flight entirely with points if you’ve enough balance! Sometimes even if you don’t possess enough points for the full cost, you still can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with every credit card.
Are you fed up of paying full price for your flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United you can choose the option of paying with dollars or points? Butbe aware that if you don’t have enough points, you aren’t able to combine points and dollars for the same flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re a few points away, United gives you the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience with extra legroom and free snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines that allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue points or dollars, however, not both. But, JetBlue offers a distinct feature that allows you to pool your points together with your family members and earn points twice as fast. Just make sure you can prove you’re really family before trying to hack the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re like me and my travel companion Becca You’re probably quite thrifty and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to hit 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 tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able to pay for your rent using credit card, then do it! Be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually about 3 percent. It could be worthwhile over the long term in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another great way to hit the spending limit is to pay for an medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses due then ask your family members to pay them for theirs, and they’ll reimburse you.
Repay a loan
If you’re a borrower, consider repaying them using an credit card. Make sure to pay the credit card balance in full so you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Discuss your family with them and look into any large expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Just make sure you have confidence in the person you are talking to and they are aware of the reason for doing this.
If it’s the holiday season, consider buying all your gifts with cards from your credit account. So you’ll be able to reach the minimum spending requirement and also be ready for gift giving. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you planning to.
There are many ways to get the most of using your credit or debit card for travel. You can accumulate miles or points that you can use towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few more ideas for maximizing your rewards:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a vacation, make use of the travel credit card for booking your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as other travel costs. In addition, you’ll achieve the minimum spend to qualify for a credit card reward as well, but you’ll also be earning points or miles on those expenses.
Utilize your credit card to pay for everyday expenses
Another way to meet the minimum spend in order to accumulate points using your credit card to pay for everyday costs. This could include things like gas, groceries, and even your phone bill. Make sure you pay off the balance in full each month so you don’t pay interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer bonus points or miles for specific types of purchases, including eating out or travelling. Check out the rewards program of your credit card and avail any bonus categories that match with your spending routines.
Think about the possibility of transferring your balance
If you are currently in debt on a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer that balance to a travel credit card with an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will enable you to pay off your debts without accruing interest and simultaneously aid in achieving the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus.
Make use of your miles or points carefully
If you’ve amassed a large amount of points or miles, be sure to use the points or miles wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and compare the value of different redemption options. For example, using points to book a flight directly through the airline may provide you with a greater return than using them for an gift card.
Another tip is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer reward points into other loyalty programmes. This allows you to enjoy a greater variety of options and greater flexibility in making use of your rewards. For example, you may be capable of transferring your rewards to the frequent flyer program of an airline or a reward program for hotels. This can give an access larger selection of hotels, flights, and other travel perks that may not be available through the rewards program on your credit card.
Also, discover the card’s benefits. certain benefits that will reduce your travel costs. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that could be very beneficial when traveling.
When you travel with someone else and both of you earn rewards with your own credit card. Be aware that you cannot share the costs on the same card, and be sure to track your rewards in a separate manner.
The key to making the most of your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program on your credit card and to ensure you’re using it in the most effective method possible. By using an array of methods I’ve described, you’ll be able to earn rewards fast, exchange them for travel experiences that are worth it, and enjoy a wide assortment of travel-related perks.