Are you tired of spending an enormous amount on flights? Good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting method to convert sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles, which can be used to get discounted or even free flights to your ideal destinations. With a little creativity and some insider information, you’ll travel for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about swapping credit card sign-up bonus as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can later be used to purchase cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards will also allow you to redeem miles for hotel stays and rental car discounts.
How Does it Work?
The key to success in hacking travel is taking advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and establishing a frequent flyer mile program for a specific group of airlines. When it comes time to book a flight, evaluate the cost. If the price is under $300, it’s generally better 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 review the frequent flyer account to determine which airline offers you the most value. It all boils down to the amount of points or miles you have in your travel account for every airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to travel hacking? Your first task is opening a credit card with a sign-up offer. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that offer a variety of advantages and features. It depends on the type of airline, your spending habits, and what features are important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards perfect to hack travel
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
After you’ve been accepted for a credit card, you’ll have to meet the limit of spending minimum in order to get the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so be certain to verify 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 goals?
Now that you’ve built up the points balance, it’s time to use them towards sweet getaway! Different credit card companies have different methods of redeeming your points. Here are a few examples from some of the providers I’ve had experience with:
Escape through Chase Ultimate Reward
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 nearly every airline, and you can make use of a combination of points and cash to book your travel. You can book your flight entirely with points if you’ve the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you do not possess enough points for the entire price, you can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using the credit card of your choice.
Are you fed up of paying full price for 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 can’t combine points and dollars for flights. No worries though, if you’re only a couple of point short United provides the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience , with more legroom as well as free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is like United’s that allows you to book with either JetBlue dollar or points, however, not both. The difference is that JetBlue has a unique feature where you can pool your points together with your family members and earn points twice as quickly. Just make sure you can prove you’re really family before trying to hack into the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel buddy Becca, you’re probably pretty frugal and it can be challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus. Don’t worry, we’ve been through it and we’re here to share our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able pay your rent using a credit card, do it! Make sure you pay a cost, which is usually at least 3%. It could be worthwhile in the end 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 an medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses coming up Ask your family members if you can pay their medical bills and they can repay you.
Make a payment to pay off a loan
If you have any loans, consider paying them off with your credit card. Be sure to pay off the balance on your credit card in full so you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Ask your family members to 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 know why you’re taking the initiative.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season take into consideration buying all your gifts using the credit card you have. In this way, you’ll meet the minimum spending limit and also be ready for giving gifts. Just make sure you’re not paying more than you already contemplating to.
There are a lot of ways to make the most from using your credit or debit card for travel. You can earn miles or points to use towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few more suggestions for maximising the rewards you earn:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, use your travel credit card to book your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as any other travel-related expenses. You’ll not only achieve the minimum spend to qualify for a credit card reward and earn points, however, you’ll also earn points or miles for these expenditures.
Make use of your credit card to pay for everyday expenses
Another method to reach the minimum amount of spending to earn rewards is by making use of your credit card to pay everyday expenditures. This could be items like groceries, gas or even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay the balance off each month in full so you don’t accumulate interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or bonus points for certain types of purchases, such as dining or travel. Check out your rewards program on your credit card and take advantage of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending habits.
Think about a balance transfer
If you are currently in outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, think about transferring the balance to a travel credit card with an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfers. This will let you pay off the debt without accruing interest and simultaneously assist you in reaching 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 in a responsible manner. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and then compare the benefits of different redemption options. For instance, using your points to book a ticket directly with the airline might provide you with a greater value than using them to purchase a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer rewards to different loyalty program. This allows you to have a wider range of choices and more flexibility in redeeming your rewards. For example, you may be able to transfer your rewards to the frequent flyer program of an airline or a Hotel rewards programme. This gives an access larger selection of hotels, flights, and other travel perks which are not offered through the rewards program of your credit card.
Also, discover the card’s benefits. certain benefits that will help you save money on travel expenses. Some cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that are extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a friend and both of you earn rewards using your own credit card. Make sure you don’t share the costs on the same card, and be sure you keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
In the end, the most important thing to do 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 this program in the most effective way possible. By using an array of strategies I’ve outlined in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards quickly, redeem rewards for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide variety of travel benefits.