Are you tired of paying an enormous amount on flights? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting way to convert credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into miles that can then be used to score discounted or cheap flights from your ideal destinations. With a little imagination and some knowledge, you can travel for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of swapping credit card sign-up bonus as well as incentives to earn airline miles. The miles can be used to purchase discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards will also permit you to use miles to pay for hotel stays or car rental deals.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for success in travel hacking is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and establishing a frequent flyer mile program for a specific group of airlines. When it comes time to make a booking take a look at the price. If the flight is less than $300, it’s generally better to pay cash and use your miles to pay for a more expensive flight. When the flights start getting above $500, you’ll want to check the frequent flyer account and determine which airline offers you the best price. All it boils down to is the amount of points or miles you have in your travel account for each airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to hacking travel? Your first task is to open an account with a sign-up offer. There are many great credit cards with various benefits and features. It is all dependent on the airline, spending habits and what features are crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards that are excellent 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 have to meet the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to get the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so make certain to verify this information. From there you can begin to rack miles and using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your points?
Once you’ve accumulated the points balance, you’re ready to use them towards sweet vacation! Different credit card companies will have different methods of redeeming your rewards, here are some examples from some of the companies I’ve had experience with:
Take a trip with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of a Chase credit card, then you are able to redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within the portal, you’ll get access to almost every airline and you can use a combination of points and cash to pay for your next trip. You can even book completely with points if you’ve the balance for it! Sometimes even if you do not be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for full cost, you are able to purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using every credit card.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United, you have the option of paying using dollars or points? Butbe aware that if you don’t have enough points you can’t combine points and dollars on the same flight. No worries though, if you’re just a few points away, United gives you the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience with extra legroom and free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to United’s, allowing customers to book using either JetBlue dollar or points but not both. However, JetBlue offers a distinct feature that allows you to join your points with your relatives to earn points twice as fast. Be sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack into the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re like me or my travel buddy Becca I’m sure you’re pretty frugal and it can be challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the required amount to qualify for the credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried, we’ve been through it and are here to share some of our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able pay your rent using credit card, go for it! Make sure you be charged a fee, typically about 3%. It could be worthwhile in the long run if the bonus is high enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another great way to hit the minimum spend is to cover a medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses coming up then ask your family members to pay for theirs and they will repay you.
Make a payment to pay off a loan
If you’re a borrower, consider making payments on them with the credit card you have. Make sure to pay off the balance on your credit card completely so that you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Discuss your family with them and look into any large expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to trust the person and they understand why you’re doing it.
If you’re celebrating the holidays take into consideration buying all your gifts with the credit card you have. This way you can hit that minimum spend and be ready for giving gifts. Be sure to avoid spending more than you planning to.
There are a lot of methods to get the most from your travel credit card. earn miles or points to spend on flights or other travel-related expenses. 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 pay for your flight, hotel, rental car, and other travel costs. In addition, you’ll be able to meet the minimum amount of spending required for your credit card, however, you’ll also earn points or miles for those expenses.
Make use of your credit card to pay for all your daily expenditures
Another way to hit the minimum amount of spending and earn points is by making use of your credit card to pay every day expenditures. This could include things like gas, groceries and even your telephone bill. Make sure you pay off the balance in full every month to ensure 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, such as dining or travel. Be sure to review your rewards program on your credit card and take advantage of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending routines.
Consider the possibility of transferring your balance
If you are currently in outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer that balance onto 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 also help you hit the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus.
Make use of your miles or points prudently
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of points or miles, be sure to use them in a responsible manner. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and compare the worth of various redemption options. For instance, using your points to purchase a flight directly with the airline might provide you with a greater value than using them to purchase the purchase of a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer rewards to different loyalty program. This will allow you to enjoy a greater variety of options and greater flexibility when redeeming your rewards. For example, you may be able to transfer your rewards to the frequent flyer program of an airline or a reward program for hotels. This can give you access to a greater range of flights, hotels as well as other travel perks that may not be accessible through your credit card’s rewards program.
Additionally, try to find out if your credit card offers any perks that can save you money on travel-related costs. Some cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection, and other benefits that could be very beneficial when traveling.
If you’re traveling with a companion, both of you can earn rewards with your own credit card. Be aware that you cannot divide the cost with the same card. Also, make sure to keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program on your credit card and make sure you’re making use of your credit card in the most efficient way possible. By using an array of strategies I’ve listed, you’ll be able to get rewards in a short time, use them for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad variety of travel benefits.