Are you fed up of spending an enormous amount on flights? Well, good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting method to convert bonus and sign-up incentives into miles that can then be used to get discounted or even cheap flights from your dream destinations. With a little bit of imagination and some knowledge, you can be jet-setting for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of trading credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can then be used to buy cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards will also let you redeem miles towards hotel stays or rental car discounts.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for success in travel hacking is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and to establish a frequent flyer mile program with a limited number of airlines. When you are ready to make a booking consider the cost. If the price is under $300, it’s generally better to pay cash and use your miles to pay to take a more costly flight. When the flights start getting over $500, you’ll need to review your frequent flyer accounts and see which airline can give you the best price. It all comes down to the number of miles or points you have in your travel savings account for each airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets of travel hacking? Your first task is opening an account with a sign-up bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards with various features and benefits. It depends on the type of airline, your spending habits, and what features are crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards excellent to use for hacking travel:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
After you’ve been accepted for a credit card you’ll need to hit the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to qualify for the bonus. Every card has different rules, so make sure to check for this information. Then you can begin to rack up 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 your points amount, it’s time to use them towards nice vacation! Different credit card companies offer different ways to redeem your points. Here are a few examples from some of the ones I have experience with:
Escape through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you own an Chase credit card, then you are able to redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. In it, you’ll have access to almost every airline. You can use a combination of points and cash to book your travel. You can even book completely on points if you have enough balance! Sometimes even if you don’t have enough points to cover the total price, you can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using any credit card.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for your flight tickets? Did you realize that when booking directly through United, you have the option of paying with dollars or points? Be careful that if you do not have enough points you can’t combine dollars and points on the same flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re just a few point short United provides the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue offers a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience , with more legroom as well as free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to that of United Airlines, allowing passengers to book flights using JetBlue points or dollars, however, not both. But, JetBlue offers a distinct feature that lets you join 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 into the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me or my travel companion Becca I’m sure you’re pretty thrifty and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet 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 our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able to pay for your rent using credit card, then do it! Make sure you be charged a fee, typically at least 3%. It could be worthwhile over the long term in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another way to reach the minimum spend is to cover 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’ll repay you.
Repay the loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan you owe, think about repaying them using the credit card you have. Make sure to pay off the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask family for help
Discuss your family with them and see if they have any big 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 understand why you’re taking the initiative.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season you should consider purchasing all your gifts using cards from your credit account. In this way, you’ll reach the minimum spending requirement and be ready for gift giving. Just make sure you’re not paying more than you already planning to.
There are many methods to get the most out of the travel credit card. accumulate miles or points that you can be used towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are some additional suggestions for maximising your rewards:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, use the travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as any other travel expenses. Not only will you be able to meet the minimum amount of spending required for your credit card reward and earn points, but you’ll also earn points or miles on those expenses.
Use your credit card to pay for your everyday costs
Another way to meet the minimum spend in order to accumulate points using your credit card to pay for everyday costs. This could be items like groceries, gas or even your phone bill. Make sure you pay the balance off each month in full so you don’t accumulate interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or points in exchange for specific types of purchases, like eating out or travelling. Check out the rewards program of your credit card and take advantage of any bonus categories that align with your spending habits.
Think about the possibility of transferring your balance
If you have existing outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, consider transferring that balance onto an account with a travel credit card that has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfers. This will allow you to pay off the debt without accruing interest, and also assist you in reaching the minimum spending requirement for the credit card’s bonus.
Use your points or miles prudently
If you’ve amassed a large amount of points or miles make sure you use them wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card and compare the benefits of different redemption options. For instance using points to book a flight directly through the airline may provide you with a greater return than using them for an gift card.
Another tip is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer points to other loyalty programs. This will let you get a wider selection of choices and more freedom when it comes to making use of your rewards. For instance, you might be able to transfer your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a Hotel rewards programme. This can give an access wider selection of hotels, flights and other travel benefits which are not accessible through the rewards program of your credit card.
Also, find out whether your credit card has any perks that can save you money on travel-related expenses. Some cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that could be invaluable when you travel.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a friend and both of you get rewards on your credit card. Be aware that you cannot divide the cost with the same card and make sure to keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
Overall, the key to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to know your credit card’s rewards program and to ensure you’re making use of your credit card in the most effective way possible. Through a combination of the methods I’ve described, you’ll be able to earn rewards fast, exchange them for travel experiences that are worth it and benefit from a wide variety of travel benefits.