Are you fed up of spending a fortune on airfare? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting method to convert sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles that can then be used to score discounted or cheap flights from your desired destinations. With a little bit of creativity and some insider 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 and rewards for airline miles. These miles can later be used to pay for discount or no-cost flights. Some credit cards also allow you to redeem miles for hotel stays and car rental offers.
How Does it Work?
The secret to success in hacking travel is taking advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and establishing frequent flyer miles for a specific group of airlines. When you are ready to make a booking consider the cost. If the cost is under $300, it’s usually better to pay cash and save your miles to book a higher-priced flight. If your flights begin to climb above $500, you’ll want to check your frequent flyer accounts and find out which airline will give you the most value. It all boils down to the number of points or miles you have in your travel bank for each airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to travel hacking? First step to open the credit card that comes that comes with a welcome bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that offer various features and benefits. It all depends on your preferred airline, spending habits and the features that are most crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards perfect to hack 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 hit the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to qualify for the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so be certain to verify this information. Then 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 ideas?
After you’ve accrued your points balance, it’s time to use them towards sweet getaway! Different credit card providers will have different methods for redeeming your points, but here are some examples from a few of the companies I’ve worked with:
Getaway with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own a Chase credit card, then you are able to redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through this portal you’ll have access to almost every airline, and you can combine the points as well as cash in order to pay for your next trip. You can even book completely using points if you’ve got the balance for it! Sometimes even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for full cost, you are able to book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using any credit card.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for your flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United You have the option to pay with either points or dollars? Butbe aware, if you don’t have enough points, you aren’t able to combine dollars and points for the same flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re only a couple of point short United provides the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue offers an enjoyable and comfortable travel experience that includes extra legroom as well as free snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines which allows you to book with either JetBlue points or dollars however, not both. But, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that lets you combine your points with your family members and earn points twice as fast. 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 companion Becca, you’re probably pretty economical and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to hit the required amount to qualify for a credit card bonus. But don’t fret as we’ve done 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! Just be prepared to be charged a fee, typically at least 3%. It may be worth it over the long term when the bonus is large enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the required spending is to pay for a medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills due, ask your family members if you can pay for theirs and they can reimburse you.
Make a payment to pay off a loan
If you have any loans, consider paying them off with your credit card. Be sure to pay the credit card balance completely so that you don’t end up with additional debt.
Ask your family members for help
Discuss your family with them and determine if they’ve got any major expenses in the near future that you can help pay for. Just make sure you trust the person and they know why you’re taking the initiative.
If you’re celebrating the holidays take into consideration buying all your gifts with the credit card you have. In this way, you’ll hit that minimum spend and also be ready to give gifts. Be sure to avoid paying more than you already planning to.
There are plenty of ways to make the most from the travel credit card. accumulate miles or points that you can use towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are some additional ways to maximize your rewards:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
If you’re planning a vacation, make use of your travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel, rental car, and any other travel-related expenses. In addition, you’ll be able to hit the minimum spend to qualify for a credit card as well, but you’ll also be earning points or miles for those expenses.
Utilize your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday expenditures
Another way to hit the minimum spend to earn rewards is making use of your credit card for everyday expenditures. This can include items like groceries, gas or even your phone bill. Be sure to pay the balance off in full every month to ensure you don’t accrue interest charges.
Benefit from bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or bonus points on certain kinds of purchases, like eating out or traveling. Be sure to review the rewards program of your credit card and make use of any bonus categories that match with your spending habits.
Take into consideration a balance transfer
If you have existing outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, think about transferring that balance onto a travel credit card with a 0% introductory APR for balance transfer. This will let you pay off the debt without accruing interest, and also assist you in reaching the minimum spending requirement for the credit card bonus.
Use your points or miles prudently
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of points or miles Make sure to utilize the points or miles wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and then compare the value of different redemption options. For example you can use points to book a ticket directly through the airline may provide you with a greater value than using them to purchase a gift card.
Another tip is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer rewards to different loyalty program. This will let you have a wider range of options and greater flexibility when making use of your rewards. For instance, you might be able to transfer your rewards to an airline’s frequent flyer program or a hotel rewards program. This can give the benefit of a larger selection of hotels, flights, and other travel perks that may not be available through the rewards program on your credit card.
Also, find out if your credit card offers some perks that could save you money on travel-related expenses. Many cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that are invaluable when you travel.
If you’re traveling with a companion and both of you earn rewards with your own credit card. Make sure you don’t divide the cost with the same card. Also, make sure to track the rewards you earn separately.
Overall, the key to maximizing your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program on your credit card and ensure that you’re using your credit card in the most effective method possible. Utilizing all of the methods I’ve described, you’ll be able to earn rewards quickly, redeem them for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide variety of travel benefits.