Are you fed up of spending an enormous amount on flights? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting way to convert bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles that can then be used to get discounted or even complimentary flights for your dream 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 swapping credit card sign-up bonus and incentives for airline miles. The miles can be used to pay for cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards allow you to redeem miles for hotel stays and car rental discounts.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for successful hacking travel is taking advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and building out a frequent flyer mile program for a specific group of airlines. When you are ready to book a flight consider the cost. If the price is less than $300, it’s usually better to pay cash and use your miles to pay for a more expensive flight. If the prices start to rise over $500, you’ll need to check your frequent flyer accounts to see which airline can give you the best deal. It all comes down to the amount of points or miles you have in your travel account for every airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to travel hacking? Your first task is to open the credit card that comes that comes with a welcome bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards with various benefits and features. It depends on the type of airline, spending habits and the features that are most essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit card options that can be perfect 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 qualify for the bonus. Every card has different rules, so be certain to verify the details. Then you can begin to rack up miles and using them to plan your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your ideas?
Once you’ve accumulated your points balance, you’re ready to cash them in for some sweet travel! Different credit card companies have different methods of redeeming your points, but here are some examples from a few of the providers I have experience with:
Getaway with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of an Chase card, you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through this portal you’ll get access to virtually every airline and you can combine money and points to pay for your trip. You can even book completely using points if you’ve got the balance for it! Sometimes even if you don’t have enough points to cover the full cost, you are able to 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 the full cost for your flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United, you have the option to pay with either points or dollars? Butbe aware, if you don’t have enough points, you can’t combine points and dollars on one flight. If you’re just a few points away, United provides the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue provides an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience with extra legroom as well as free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines, allowing you to book with 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. Just make sure you can establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel buddy Becca You’re probably quite economical and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to reach the minimum spend for credit card bonuses. However, don’t be worried, we’ve been through it and we’re here to share our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able pay your rent using a credit card, do it! Make sure you pay a fee, usually around 3%. It might be worth it in the long run if the bonus is high enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another great way to hit the required spending is to pay for an medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills coming up then ask your family members to pay their medical bills and they’ll reimburse you.
Pay off the loan
If you have any loans, consider paying them off with the credit card you have. Just make sure you pay off the balance on your credit card completely so that you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Talk to your family and look into any large expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Make sure that you are able to are able to trust the person and that they know why you’re doing this.
If it’s the holiday season take into consideration buying all of your gifts with cards from your credit account. This way you can meet the minimum spending limit and also be ready to give gifts. Be sure to avoid paying more than you planning to.
There are plenty of ways to get the most of using your credit or debit card for travel. accumulate miles or points that you can be used towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few additional suggestions for maximising the rewards you earn:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, use the travel credit card for booking your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as any other travel-related expenses. Not only will you be able to meet the minimum amount of spending required to qualify for a credit card bonus, but you’ll also earn points or miles to cover these expenditures.
Utilize your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday expenses
Another way to meet the minimum spending requirement and earn points is by making use of your credit card to pay for everyday expenditures. This can include things like food, gas or even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay the balance off in full every month to ensure you don’t accumulate interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or bonus points for certain types of purchases, such as dining or travel. Be sure to review the rewards program of your credit card and make use of any bonus categories that match with your spending habits.
Think about the possibility of transferring your balance
If you’re in the middle of a outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer the balance to a travel credit card with an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will let you pay off your debts without accruing interest and simultaneously assist you in reaching the minimum spending requirement for the credit card’s bonus.
Use your points or miles prudently
When you’ve earned a significant 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 worth of various redemption options. For instance using your points to purchase a flight directly through the airline may give you a better return than using them for an gift card.
Another tip is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer rewards to different loyalty program. This will allow you to have a wider range of options and greater freedom when it comes to making use of your rewards. For example, you may be able to transfer your reward to the frequent flyer program of an airline or a Hotel rewards programme. This will give the benefit of a larger variety of hotels, flights, and other travel perks which are not accessible through the rewards program on your credit card.
Additionally, try to determine the card’s benefits. certain benefits that will reduce your travel expenses. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that can be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
If you’re traveling with someone else, both of you can get rewards on your own credit card. Just remember that you can’t split the cost on the same card and make sure you keep track of your rewards separately.
Overall, the key to maximizing your travel rewards is to know your credit card’s rewards program and ensure that you’re using it in the most effective method. Through a combination of the strategies I’ve outlined, you’ll be able to earn rewards fast, exchange them for travel experiences that are worth it and take advantage of a broad assortment of travel-related perks.