Are you tired of paying an enormous amount on flights? Well, good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting method to convert sign-up bonuses and incentives into miles which can be used to score discounted or cheap flights from your ideal destinations. With a bit of imagination and some information, you’ll travel for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of trading credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. The miles can be used to pay for cheap or free flight tickets. Some credit cards also allow you to redeem miles for hotel stays and rental car deals.
How Does it Work?
The key to success in hacking travel is taking advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and establishing frequent flyer miles with a limited number of airlines. When you are ready to book a flight, evaluate the cost. If the price is less than $300, it’s generally better to pay in cash and save your miles for a more expensive flight. If the prices start to rise higher than $500, it’s best to check your frequent flyer accounts and determine which airline offers you the most value. It all boils down to the number of points or miles you have in your travel savings account for every airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to travel hacking? The first step is to open a credit card with a sign-up offer. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards with various advantages and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, your spending habits, and what features are crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards 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 minimum spend limit in order to receive the bonus. Every card has different guidelines, so make sure to look up the details. From there, it’s all about racking up miles, and using them to book your dream vacation!
Ready to jet-set with your points?
Once you’ve accumulated the points amount, it’s time to cash them in for some delicious travel! Different credit card companies will have different methods for redeeming your points. Here are some examples from a few of the ones I’ve worked with:
Take a trip by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own a Chase card, you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In it, you’ll have access to almost every airline and you can combine the points as well as cash in order to book your travel. You can even book entirely with points if you’ve the balance for it! Sometimes even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for total price, you can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using every credit card.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for your flight tickets? Did you realize that when booking directly through United You have the option to pay with dollars or points? Be careful, if you do not have enough points you aren’t able to combine points and dollars for one flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re a few points away, United gives you the option to purchase additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience with extra legroom and free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is like United’s that allows customers to book using either JetBlue points or dollars however, not both. But, JetBlue has a unique feature where you can join your points with your family members and earn points twice as quickly. Make sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me and my travel buddy Becca You’re probably quite thrifty and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the required amount to qualify for a credit card bonus. But don’t fret as we’ve done it and are here to share some of our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able to pay your rent with credit card, then do it! Make sure you pay a cost, which is usually at least 3 percent. It could be worthwhile in the end in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another great way to hit the minimum spend is to pay for a medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills due then ask your family members if you can pay for theirs and they will repay you.
Repay a loan
If you’re a borrower, consider making payments on them with an credit card. Just make sure you pay off the balance on your credit card in full , so that you don’t end up with additional debt.
Ask your family members for help
Talk to your family and determine if they’ve got any major expenses in the near future that you can contribute for. Just make sure you have confidence in the person you are talking to and they are aware of the reason for doing it.
If you’re celebrating the holidays take into consideration buying all your gifts with cards from your credit account. In this way, you’ll meet the minimum spending limit and also be prepared to give gifts. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you were thinking of.
There are plenty of ways to get the most from using your credit or debit card for travel and accumulate miles or points that you can be used towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are some additional ideas for maximizing 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 flight, hotel or rental car, as well as any other travel expenses. Not only will you be able to meet the minimum spend to earn your credit card reward as well, but you’ll also be earning points or miles to cover these expenses.
Use your credit card to pay for your everyday expenditures
Another way to meet the minimum amount of spending and earn points is by using your credit card to pay daily expenditures. This can include items like groceries, gas and even your telephone bill. Be sure to pay off the balance in full every month to ensure you don’t accrue interest charges.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or points in exchange for specific types of purchases, such as eating out or traveling. Check out your credit card’s rewards program and make use of any bonus categories that match with your spending routines.
Take into consideration a balance transfer
If you are currently in debt on a credit card, think about transferring the balance to a travel credit card with the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfers. This will enable you to pay off the debt without accruing interest, and also assist you in reaching the minimum amount required to earn the credit card’s bonus.
Utilize your miles and points carefully
When you’ve earned a significant amount of points or miles Make sure to utilize them in a responsible manner. Examine the rewards program of your credit card, and evaluate the value of different redemption options. For instance, using points to book a flight directly with the airline might provide you with a greater value than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another option is to get a rewards card that allows you to transfer your reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will allow you to enjoy a greater variety of options and greater flexibility when making use of your rewards. For example, you may be able to transfer your reward to the frequent flyer program of an airline or hotel rewards program. This can give you access to a larger variety of hotels, flights and other travel benefits that aren’t available through your credit card’s rewards program.
Additionally, try to determine the card’s benefits. any perks that can reduce your travel costs. Some cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that could be invaluable when you travel.
If you’re traveling with a friend each of you will be able to earn rewards using your own credit card. Just remember that you can’t divide the cost with the same card, and be sure to keep track of your rewards separately.
The key to making the most of your travel rewards is to know the rewards program of your credit card and ensure that you’re using your credit card in the most effective method. Utilizing an array of methods I’ve described in this article, you’ll be able get rewards in a short time, use rewards for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide range of travel perks.