Are you tired of paying an enormous amount on flights? Well, good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting way to convert sign-up bonuses and incentives into miles that can then be used to get discounted or even free flights to your dream destinations. With a little bit of imagination and a little bit of insider information, 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 permit you to use miles for hotel stays and rental car deals.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for success in hacking travel is taking advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and building out a frequent flyer mile program with a limited number of airlines. When it’s time to book a flight, evaluate the cost. If the flight is under $300, it’s best to pay in cash and use your miles to pay to take a more costly flight. When the flights start getting higher than $500, it’s best to check the frequent flyer account to determine which airline offers you the best price. All it boils down to is the amount of points or miles in your travel account for each airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to travel hacking? Your first task is opening an account with a sign-up bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards with many features and benefits. It all depends on your preferred airline, spending habits and what features are crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit card options that can be great 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 or debit card, you’ll need to reach the limit of spending minimum in order to receive 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 up miles and using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your goals?
Once you’ve accumulated your points amount, it’s time to cash them in for some delicious getaway! Different credit card companies will have different methods for redeeming your points, but here are a few examples from some of the providers I’ve had experience with:
Take a trip through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you have a Chase cards, you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In this portal you’ll get access to virtually every airline and you can make use of a combination of money and points to pay for your travel. You can even book entirely on points if you have enough balance! Sometimes even if you don’t 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 flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United, you have the option to pay with dollars or points? But, be careful that if you don’t have enough points, you aren’t able to combine points and dollars on one flight. No worries though, if you’re a few point short United gives you the option of buying 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 that of United Airlines that allows customers to book using either JetBlue either dollars or points, but not both. The difference is that JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that allows you to combine your points with your family members and earn points twice as fast. Make sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me and my travel companion Becca, you’re probably pretty economical and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to reach the required amount to qualify for the credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried because we’ve been there and we’re here to share some of our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able pay your rent with credit card, go for it! Be prepared to pay a fee, usually at least 3 percent. It may be worth it over the long term if the bonus is high enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the required spending is to cover the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills coming up, ask your family members to pay their medical bills and they’ll repay you.
Repay a loan
If you’re a borrower, consider paying them off with your credit card. Make sure to pay off the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Talk to your family and look into any major expenses in the near future that you can contribute for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to 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 take into consideration buying all of your gifts with cards from your credit account. In this way, you’ll meet the minimum spending limit and also be prepared for giving gifts. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you were thinking of.
There are many ways to get the most out of using your credit or debit card for travel and accumulate miles or points that you can spend on airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are some additional suggestions for maximising your rewards
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a vacation, make use of you travel credit card for booking your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as other travel costs. Not only will you achieve the minimum spend for your credit card reward and earn points, however, you’ll also earn points or miles to cover those expenditures.
Make use of your credit card to pay for everyday expenses
Another way to hit the minimum spend to earn rewards is using your credit card to pay daily costs. This could include things like gas, groceries, and even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay off the balance in full every month to ensure you don’t accrue interest charges.
Take advantage of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or points in exchange for specific types of purchases, like eating out or traveling. Check out the rewards program of your credit card and avail any bonus categories that align with your spending habits.
Take into consideration a balance transfer
If you are currently in outstanding debt due to 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 transfers. This will enable you to pay off your debts without accruing interest. It will also assist you in reaching the minimum spending requirement for the credit card bonus.
Make use of your miles or points prudently
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of points or miles Make sure to utilize them wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and then compare the benefits of different redemption options. For instance, using your points to purchase a flight directly with the airline could offer better return than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another option is to get rewards cards that allow you to transfer points to other loyalty programs. This allows you to have a wider range of choices and more flexibility in you want to redeem your rewards. For example, you may be capable of transferring your rewards to an airline’s frequent flyer program or Hotel rewards programme. This will give you access to a larger variety of hotels, flights, and other travel perks which are not accessible through your credit card’s rewards program.
Also, determine if your credit card offers some perks that could save you money on travel-related expenses. Some cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that are extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with someone else and both of you get rewards on your credit card. Just remember that you can’t split the cost on the same card. Also, make sure to keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
The key to reaping the maximum benefits from your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program on your credit card and make sure you’re making use of it in the most efficient method possible. Through an array of strategies I’ve outlined that you can earn rewards fast, exchange them for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide range of travel perks.