Are you tired of paying an enormous amount on flights? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel problems. It’s a fun way to convert sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles which you can use to obtain discounted or complimentary flights for your ideal destinations. With a bit of imagination and a little bit of insider knowledge, you can travel for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. The miles can be used to buy cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards will also let you redeem miles for hotel stays and car rental discounts.
How Does it Work?
The key to success in hacking travel is taking advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and to establish a frequent flyer mile program with a limited number of airlines. When it’s time to book a flight take a look at the price. If the price is under $300, it’s usually better to pay in cash and save your miles to book a higher-priced flight. If your flights begin to climb above $500, you’ll want to look into your frequent flyer accounts to see which airline can give you the most value. It all comes down to the amount of miles or points you have in your travel savings account for each airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to hacking travel? First step opening an account with a sign-up offer. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards with various benefits and features. It is all dependent on the airline, your spending habits, and the features that are most crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards that are excellent 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 card, you’ll have to meet the limit of spending minimum in order to qualify for the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so be sure to check for the details. Then it’s all about building miles and using them to book your dream vacation!
Ready to jet-set with your goals?
Now that you’ve built up your points balance, you’re ready to cash them in for some nice getaway! Different credit card companies will have different methods of redeeming your points. Here are some examples from a few of the companies I have experience with:
Take a trip with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of an Chase cards, you can redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through it, you’ll have access to nearly every airline. You can combine points and cash to pay for your travel. You can even book entirely on points if you have the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you do not be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for full price, you can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with any credit card.
Are you tired of paying full price for your flight tickets? Did you know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option of paying using dollars or points? Be careful that if you don’t have enough points, you can’t combine dollars and points on flights. No worries though, if you’re just a few point short United provides the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience , with more space and complimentary snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to United’s which allows you to book with either JetBlue points or dollars, however, not both. However, JetBlue offers a distinct feature where you can pool your points together with family members to accrue points twice as quickly. Be sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack into the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me and my travel buddy Becca I’m sure you’re pretty economical and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars in order to meet the required amount to qualify for credit card bonuses. But don’t fret as we’ve done it and we’re here to share our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able to pay for your rent with credit card, go for it! Be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually around 3 percent. It could be worthwhile in the long run if the bonus is high enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the spending limit is to pay for an medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills in the near future, ask your relatives if you could pay their medical bills and they’ll repay you.
Repay the loan
If you’re a borrower take into consideration repaying them using an credit card. Just make sure you pay the credit card balance in full so you don’t accrue additional debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Discuss your family with them and see if they have any large expenses coming up that you can help pay 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 it.
If it’s the holiday season take into consideration buying all your gifts using your credit card. This way you can reach the minimum spending requirement and also be prepared for gift giving. Be sure to avoid paying more than you already contemplating to.
There are many ways to get the most of your travel credit card. earn miles or points to be used towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few more ideas for maximizing the rewards you earn:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, use your travel credit card for booking your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as other travel costs. You’ll not only achieve the minimum amount of spending required for your credit card and earn points, but you’ll also be earning points or miles on these expenditures.
Utilize your credit card to pay for all your daily expenditures
Another way to meet the minimum spending requirement and earn points is by making use of your credit card to pay every day costs. This could include things like gas, groceries, and even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay off the balance each month in full so you don’t pay interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or bonus points for certain 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 habits.
Consider the possibility of transferring your balance
If you have existing outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer the balance to an account with a travel credit card that has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfer. This will let you pay off your debts without accruing interest. It will also help you hit the minimum spending requirement for the credit card bonus.
Utilize your miles and points carefully
When you’ve earned a significant amount of points or miles make sure you use them in a responsible manner. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and then compare the benefits of different redemption options. For example, using your points to purchase a flight directly through the airline may give you a better return than using them for 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 let you enjoy a greater variety of options and greater flexibility in redeeming your rewards. For example, you may be capable of transferring your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a hotel rewards program. This gives an access greater range of flights, hotels and other travel benefits which are not available through the rewards program of your credit card.
Additionally, try to discover the card’s benefits. some perks that could save you money on travel-related costs. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection and other benefits that are extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
If you’re traveling with a companion and both of you earn rewards using your own credit card. Make sure you don’t divide the cost with the same card and make sure to track the rewards you earn separately.
Overall, the key to maximizing your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program of your credit card and make sure you’re making use of it in the most effective method possible. Utilizing all of the methods I’ve described that you can earn rewards fast, exchange rewards for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad assortment of travel-related perks.