Are you fed up of spending an enormous amount on flights? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s a fun way to convert credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into miles which you can use to score discounted or cheap flights from your desired destinations. With a bit of imagination and some information, you’ll be jet-setting 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. These miles can then be used to buy discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards will also let you redeem miles towards hotel stays or rental car offers.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for successful hacking travel is taking advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and establishing frequent flyer miles with a limited number of airlines. When it comes time to book a flight, evaluate the cost. If the cost is under $300, it’s usually better to pay cash and save your miles to take a more costly flight. If your flights begin to climb higher than $500, it’s best to look into those frequent flyer accounts to see which airline can give you the most value. It all boils down to the number of points or miles in your travel account for every airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to hacking travel? The first step is to open the credit card that comes that comes with a welcome bonus. There are many great credit cards with a variety of advantages and features. It is all dependent on the airline, spending habits and what features are crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards that are perfect to hack 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 receive the bonus. Every card has different guidelines, so make sure to check for this information. From there you can begin to rack miles and using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your goals?
Once you’ve accumulated your points balance, you’re ready to cash them in for some nice getaway! Different credit card companies will have different methods for redeeming your rewards, here are some examples from some of the providers I’ve had experience with:
Escape through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you’re a holder of an Chase credit card, then you are able to redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In this portal you’ll get access to nearly every airline and you can make use of a combination of money and points to pay for your next trip. You can even book entirely with points if you’ve the balance for it! Sometimes even if you do not have enough points to cover the full cost, you still can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using every credit card.
Are you fed up of paying full price for your flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United, you have the option of paying with dollars or points? Butbe aware that if you don’t have enough points, you aren’t able to combine dollars and points for one flight. If you’re a few points short, United provides the option of buying additional miles.
Are you 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 allows you to pool your points together with family members to accrue points twice as quickly. Just make sure you can verify that you are a family member before trying to hack the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel buddy Becca You’re probably quite thrifty and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to reach the minimum spend for the credit card bonus. Don’t worry as we’ve done it and we’re 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 with a credit card, do it! Make sure you pay a cost, which is usually at least 3 percent. It could be worthwhile in the end when the bonus is large enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another great way to hit the required spending is to pay for a medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills due, ask your relatives if you could pay them for theirs, and they will reimburse you.
Make a payment to pay off the loan
If you have any loans, consider making payments on them with your credit card. Be sure to pay off the balance on your credit card in full , so that you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Discuss your family with them and look into any large expenses coming up which you could help pay for. Make sure that you are able to are able to trust the person and that they understand why you’re taking the initiative.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season, consider buying all your gifts with the credit card you have. This way you can hit that minimum spend and be ready for giving gifts. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you were planning to.
There are plenty of ways to get the most out of using your credit or debit card for travel. You can earn miles or points to use towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few additional ideas for maximizing the rewards you earn:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, use the travel credit card for booking your hotel, flight, rental car, and any other travel expenses. In addition, you’ll achieve the minimum amount of spending required to qualify for a credit card bonus, however, you’ll also earn points or miles to cover these expenditures.
Make use of your credit card to pay for all your daily expenses
Another way to hit the minimum spend and earn points is by utilising your credit cards to pay for daily expenditures. This can include things like gas, groceries, and 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
Many travel credit cards 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 take advantage of any bonus categories that match with your spending habits.
Take into consideration a balance transfer
If you have existing debt on a credit card, think about transferring that balance onto a travel credit card with the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfer. This will allow you to pay off the debt without accruing interest and simultaneously assist you in reaching the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus.
Use your points or miles carefully
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points, be sure to use them wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card, and evaluate the benefits of different redemption options. For example, using points to book a flight directly with the airline might give you a better value than using them for an gift card.
Another tip is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer your reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will allow you to enjoy a greater variety of choices and more flexibility when redeeming your rewards. For instance, you might be eligible to transfer your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or hotel rewards program. This can give you access to a larger range of flights, hotels and other travel benefits which are not accessible through the rewards program on your credit card.
In addition, you should discover if your credit card offers any perks that can reduce your travel costs. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that can be very beneficial when traveling.
If you’re traveling with a friend, both of you can earn rewards using your own credit card. Be aware that you cannot divide the cost with the same card. Also, make sure to keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
Overall, the key to reaping the maximum benefits from your rewards for travel is to be aware of your credit card’s rewards program and make sure you’re using it in the most effective way possible. By using all of the strategies I’ve listed, you’ll be able to get rewards in a short time, use rewards for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide range of travel perks.