Sxsw Travel Hacking 2018

Are you tired of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Well, good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting method to turn credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles that can then be used to score discounted or complimentary flights for your desired destinations. With a bit of imagination and some information, you’ll be jet-setting for free within a matter of minutes.

The Basics of Travel Hacking

Travel hacking is all about exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. The miles can be used to buy discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards let you redeem miles for hotel stays and rental car discounts.

How Does it Work?

The most effective method for successful travel hacking is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and to establish a frequent flyer mile program with a limited number of airlines. When it’s time to book a flight consider the cost. If the price is under $300, it’s generally better to pay in cash and save your miles to book a higher-priced flight. When the flights start getting higher than $500, it’s best to review your frequent flyer accounts to see which airline can give you the best price. It all boils down to the number of miles or points in your travel bank for every airline.

Get Started with Travel Hacking

Ready to learn the secrets to travel hacking? The first step is opening a credit card with a sign-up offer. There are many great credit cards with various features and benefits. It depends on the type of airline, your spending habits, and what features are essential 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 or debit card, you’ll need to hit the minimum spend limit in order to qualify for the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so make sure to check for this information. From there you can begin to rack miles and then 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 redeem them for some delicious travel! Different credit card providers will offer different ways to redeem your points, but here are some examples from some of the ones I’ve worked with:

Getaway through Chase Ultimate Reward

If you own an Chase credit card, then you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In it, you’ll get access to virtually every airline, and you can make use of a combination of points and cash to pay for your trip. You can even book completely on points if you have the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you don’t have enough points to cover the total cost, you are able to buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using every credit card.

 

United

Are you tired of paying the full cost for your flight tickets? Did you know that when you book directly through United, you have the option of paying using dollars or points? Be careful, if you do not have enough points you can’t combine dollars and points for the same flight. If you’re only a couple of points away, United also offers the option to purchase additional miles.

JetBlue

Are you looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides an enjoyable and comfortable travel experience that includes extra space and complimentary snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines that allows customers to book using either JetBlue either dollars or points however, not both. But, JetBlue has a unique feature where you can combine 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 the system.

Hit that Minimum Spend

If you’re anything like me and my travel buddy Becca I’m sure you’re pretty frugal and it can be difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to hit the required amount to qualify for the credit card bonus. But don’t fret as we’ve done it and are here to share some of our tricks and tips.

Pay your rent (if you can)

This is an important one! If you’re able to pay your rent using a credit card, do it! Make sure you pay a fee, usually about 3%. It may be worth it over the long term if the bonus is high enough.

Pay for a medical bill

Another great way to hit the spending limit is to pay for an medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses due Ask your relatives if you could pay them for theirs, and they’ll pay you back.

Pay off the loan

If you’re a borrower, consider repaying them using your credit card. Make sure to pay off the balance on your credit card in full so you don’t accrue more debt.

Ask your family members for help

Ask your family members to look into any large expenses coming up which you could help pay for. Make sure that you are able to trust the person and they understand why you’re taking the initiative.

Give presents

If you’re in the middle of the holiday season take into consideration buying all your gifts with your credit card. So you’ll be able to reach the minimum spending requirement and also be ready for giving gifts. Be sure to avoid spending more than you already thinking of.

There are many methods to get the most of using your credit or debit card for travel. earn miles or points to be used towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few additional suggestions for maximising your rewards:

Book travel expenses with your credit card

If you’re planning a vacation, make use of your travel credit card for booking your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as any other travel expenses. Not only will you achieve the minimum amount of spending required to qualify for a credit card reward as well, but you’ll also be earning points or miles to cover those expenditures.

Utilize your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday costs

Another method to reach the minimum spending requirement in order to accumulate points using your credit card to pay for everyday expenditures. This could be items like groceries, gas and even your telephone bill. Make sure you pay the balance off each month in full so you don’t accumulate interest.

Make the most 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 your rewards program on your credit card and avail any bonus categories that match with your spending habits.

Consider the possibility of transferring your balance

If you’re in the middle of a debt on a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer that balance to an account with a travel credit card that has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfers. This will allow you to pay off your debts without accruing interest. It will also help you hit the minimum spend for the credit card’s bonus.

Use your points or miles prudently

If you’ve amassed a large amount of miles or points make sure you use them wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and then compare the benefits of different redemption options. For example you can use points to book a ticket directly through the airline may provide you with a greater return than using them for the purchase of a gift card.

Another option is to get an rewards card that permits you to transfer reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will let you get a wider selection of options and greater flexibility in you want to redeem your rewards. For example, you may be able to transfer your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a hotel rewards program. This can give an access larger selection of hotels, flights, and other travel perks that aren’t offered through the rewards program on your credit card.

Also, discover the card’s benefits. some perks that could reduce your travel costs. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that could be very beneficial when traveling.

Finally, when you’re traveling with a friend, both of you can get rewards on your own credit card. Make sure you don’t share the costs on the same card and make sure to keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.

Overall, the key to maximizing your travel rewards is to know the rewards program on your credit card and to ensure you’re using this program in the most effective way possible. Utilizing an array of strategies I’ve outlined that you can earn rewards fast, exchange them for travel experiences that are worth it and benefit from a wide range of travel perks.