Are you fed up of spending a fortune on airfare? Well, good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting way to convert bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles which you can use to get discounted or even complimentary flights for your desired destinations. With a bit of imagination and some information, you’ll fly for no cost 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. These miles can then be used to buy discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards will also allow you to redeem miles towards hotel stays or rental car deals.
How Does it Work?
The secret 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 make a booking, evaluate the cost. If the cost is less than $300, it’s generally better to pay cash and use your miles to pay to take a more costly flight. If your flights begin to climb above $500, you’ll want to review your frequent flyer accounts and find out which airline will give you the best price. It all comes down to the number of points or miles in your travel bank for each airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to hacking travel? The first step is opening the credit card that comes that comes with a welcome bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that offer many advantages and features. It depends on the type of airline, your spending habits, and the features that are most important 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
If you’ve been approved for a credit card you’ll need to reach the minimum spend limit in order to get the bonus. Each card has its own guidelines, so make sure to look up the details. From there you can begin to rack up miles, and using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your ideas?
Once you’ve accumulated your points amount, it’s time to cash them in for some delicious getaway! Different credit card providers will have different methods of redeeming your rewards, here are some examples from some of the ones I have experience with:
Escape by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have a Chase credit card, then you are able to use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within the portal, you’ll have access to virtually every airline, and you can make use of a combination of money and points to book your travel. You can even book entirely using points if you’ve got enough balance! Sometimes even if you don’t possess enough points for the total price, you can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using every credit card.
Are you tired of paying full price for your flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United you can choose the option of paying with either points or dollars? But, be careful, if you don’t have enough points you cannot combine dollars and points on the same flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re a few points away, United also offers the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue provides passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience with extra legroom and free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is like United’s that allows you to book with either JetBlue dollar or points but not both. But, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature where you can combine your points with family members to accrue points twice as fast. Be sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re like me and my travel buddy Becca I’m sure you’re pretty thrifty and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum amount required to earn 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 huge one! If you’re able pay your rent with credit card, then do it! Be prepared to be charged a fee, typically at least 3 percent. It might be worth it over the long term when the bonus is large enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another way to reach the required spending is to pay for a medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses in the near future then ask your relatives if you could pay their medical bills and they’ll pay you back.
Repay the loan
If you’re a borrower take into consideration paying them off with an credit card. Make sure to pay off the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask family for help
Ask your family members to determine if they’ve got any major expenses in the near future that you can help pay for. Make sure that you are able to trust the person and they know why you’re doing this.
If you’re celebrating the holidays, consider buying all of your gifts with the credit card you have. So you’ll be able to reach the minimum spending requirement and also be ready to give gifts. Just make sure you’re not paying more than you thinking of.
There are plenty of ways to get the most of your travel credit card. 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 your rewards
Book travel expenses with your credit card
If you’re planning a vacation, make use of you travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as any other travel-related expenses. In addition, you’ll be able to hit the minimum spend to earn your credit card reward, but you’ll also earn points or miles to cover these expenditures.
Use your credit card for everyday costs
Another method to reach the minimum spend to earn rewards is by using your credit card to pay everyday expenditures. This can include items like groceries, gas or even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay off the balance in full every month to ensure you don’t accumulate interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide 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 align with your spending routines.
Think about a balance transfer
If you have existing outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, think about transferring that balance to an account with a travel credit card that has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfer. This will allow you to pay off your debts without accruing interest and simultaneously aid in achieving 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 you use the points or miles wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and compare the benefits of different redemption options. For instance using points to purchase a flight directly with the airline might offer better value than using them for an gift card.
Another option is to get rewards cards that allow you to transfer your reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will allow you to enjoy a greater variety of choices and more flexibility in redeeming your rewards. For instance, you might be able to transfer your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or hotel rewards program. This gives an access greater selection of hotels, flights, and other travel perks that may not be offered through your credit card’s rewards program.
Also, discover if your credit card offers certain benefits that will reduce your travel expenses. Some cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that can be very beneficial when traveling.
When you travel with a friend and both of you get rewards on your own credit card. Just remember that you can’t share the costs on the same card, and be sure to track your rewards in a separate manner.
In the end, the most important thing to do to making the most of your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program on your credit card and make sure you’re using your credit card in the most efficient method. Through an array of methods I’ve described that you can earn rewards fast, exchange them for travel experiences that are worth it, and enjoy a wide range of travel perks.