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 a fun way to convert sign-up bonuses and incentives into miles that can then be used to obtain discounted or cheap flights from 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 all about exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can then be used to pay for discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards will also allow you to redeem miles towards hotel stays or rental car discounts.
How Does it Work?
The secret to success in travel hacking is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and to establish frequent flyer miles on a select group of airlines. When you are ready to make a booking, evaluate the cost. If the cost is under $300, it’s best to pay in cash and use your miles to pay to take a more costly flight. If the prices start to rise over $500, you’ll need to look into your frequent flyer accounts and see which airline can give you the most value. It all boils down to the amount of points or miles you have in your travel savings account for each airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to hacking travel? 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 that offer many benefits and features. It is all dependent on the airline, spending habits and what features are important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards that are great 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 spending limit for minimum expenditure 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 using them to plan your dream vacation!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your points?
After you’ve accrued the points balance, you’re ready to redeem them for some nice vacation! Different credit card providers will offer different ways to redeem your rewards, here are a few examples from some of the companies I’ve had experience with:
Getaway with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have an Chase card, you are able to redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through it, you’ll get access to almost every airline and you can combine money and points to pay for your travel. You can even book completely on points if you have the funds to pay for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t possess enough points for the full price, you can buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using any credit card.
Are you fed up of paying full price for flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United you can choose the option of paying using dollars or points? Be careful in case you don’t have enough points you cannot combine dollars and points on one flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re only a couple of points short, United provides the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue provides a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience with extra legroom as well as free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to that of United Airlines which allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue either dollars or points, however, not both. The difference is that JetBlue offers a distinct 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 into the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me or my travel buddy Becca You’re probably quite thrifty and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to hit the required amount to qualify for a credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried, we’ve been through it and are here to share our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able to pay for your rent with credit card, go for it! Make sure you be charged a fee, typically about 3 percent. It could be worthwhile over the long term if the bonus is high enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another way to reach the minimum spend is to pay for an medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses coming up Ask your family members to pay them for theirs, and they can pay you back.
Repay a loan
If you’re a borrower, consider paying them off with an credit card. Be sure to pay off the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask family for help
Discuss your family with them and determine if they’ve got any big expenses coming up which you could help pay for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to have confidence in the person you are talking to and they are aware of the reason for doing it.
If it’s the holiday season, consider buying all your gifts with your credit card. In this way, you’ll reach the minimum spending requirement and also be prepared for giving gifts. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you were contemplating to.
There are plenty of ways to make the most of using your credit or debit card for travel. accrue points or miles to use towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few more ideas for maximizing your rewards:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, use the travel credit card to pay for your hotel, flight, rental car, and any other travel-related expenses. Not only will you be able to meet the minimum spend for your credit card reward, but you’ll also be earning points or miles for these expenses.
Utilize your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday costs
Another method to reach the minimum spending requirement to earn rewards is making use of your credit card to pay daily expenditures. This could include items like groceries, gas and even your telephone bill. Just make sure to pay off the balance in full every month to ensure you don’t accumulate interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide bonus points or miles on certain kinds of purchases, such as eating out or travelling. Check out your credit card’s rewards program and make use of any bonus categories that align with your spending habits.
Think about a balance transfer
If you’re in the middle of a outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, think about transferring that balance onto the travel credit card which has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will enable you to pay off your debts without accruing interest, and also aid in achieving the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus.
Utilize your miles and points carefully
When you’ve earned a significant amount of points or miles, be sure to use the points or miles wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card and compare the value of different redemption options. For example using points to purchase a flight directly with the airline could offer better value than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer points to other loyalty programs. This allows you to get a wider selection of choices and more flexibility in making use of your rewards. For example, you may be capable of transferring your rewards to an airline’s frequent flyer program or reward program for hotels. This will give you access to a larger selection of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks which are not offered through the rewards program on your credit card.
In addition, you should find out the card’s benefits. some perks that could reduce your travel costs. Many cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that could be very beneficial when traveling.
If you’re traveling with a friend, both of you can get rewards on your own credit card. Be aware that you cannot split the cost on the same card and make sure you keep track of your rewards separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do to making the most of your travel rewards is to understand your credit card’s rewards program and ensure that you’re making use of your credit card in the most effective method possible. Through a combination of the methods I’ve described in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards fast, exchange them for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad variety of travel benefits.