Are you fed up 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 way to convert sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles, that can then be used to obtain discounted or free flights to your desired destinations. With a bit of creativity and some insider knowledge, you can fly for no cost within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about swapping credit card sign-up bonus as well as incentives to earn airline miles. The miles can be used to purchase discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards will also let you redeem miles towards hotel stays or rental car deals.
How Does it Work?
The secret to success in travel hacking is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and building out frequent flyer miles for a specific group of airlines. When you are ready to make a booking take a look at the price. If the price is under $300, it’s best to pay cash and use your miles to pay to book a higher-priced flight. If your flights begin to climb above $500, you’ll want to look into those frequent flyer accounts and determine which airline offers you the best deal. It all comes down to the amount of points or miles in your travel bank for each airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets of travel hacking? The first step is opening the credit card that comes with a sign-up offer. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards with many advantages and features. It depends on the type of airline, spending habits and the features that are most important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit card options that can be excellent to hack travel
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
Once you’ve been approved for a credit card, you’ll need to hit the limit of spending minimum in order to qualify for the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of guidelines, so make sure to look up the details. From there you can begin to rack up miles and then using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your points?
Once you’ve accumulated the points balance, you’re ready to redeem them for some sweet travel! Different credit card companies will have different methods for redeeming your points. Here are a few examples from some of the companies I have experience with:
Getaway by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have a Chase credit card, then you can redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within this portal you’ll get access to almost every airline. You can use a combination of the points as well as cash in order to book your travel. You can even book completely on points if you have the balance 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 any credit card.
Are you fed up of paying full price for your flight tickets? Did you know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option of paying with either points or dollars? Be careful, if you don’t have enough points you cannot combine points and dollars for one flight. If you’re just a few points short, United gives you the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue offers passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience , with more legroom and free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines that allows you to book with either JetBlue either dollars or points but not both. But, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature where you can combine your points with your relatives to earn points twice as quickly. Make sure to establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack into the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me or my travel buddy Becca I’m sure you’re pretty frugal and it can be difficult to think of spending 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, go for it! Be prepared to pay a fee, usually about 3%. It may be worth it in the end if the bonus is high enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the required spending is to pay for an medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses coming up, ask your relatives if you could pay for theirs and they will reimburse you.
Repay the loan
If you have any loans, consider repaying them using an credit card. Be sure to pay the credit card balance in full so you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Discuss your family with them and determine if they’ve got any big expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Make sure that you are able to trust the person and they know why you’re doing it.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season take into consideration buying all your gifts using cards from your credit account. So you’ll be able to reach the minimum spending requirement and also be prepared for giving gifts. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you already thinking of.
There are plenty of methods to get the most from the travel credit card. You can earn miles or points to spend on airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few more ways to maximize the rewards you earn:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a vacation, make use of the travel credit card to book your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as any other travel-related expenses. You’ll not only achieve the minimum spend to earn your credit card bonus and earn points, but you’ll also earn points or miles on those expenditures.
Utilize your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday expenses
Another method to reach the minimum spending requirement and earn points is utilising your credit cards to pay for everyday expenditures. This could be things like food, gas, and even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay off the balance each month in full so 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, including eating out or traveling. Check out your rewards program on your credit card and make use of any bonus categories that align with your spending routines.
Take into consideration a balance transfer
If you are currently in debt on a credit card, consider transferring the balance to an account with a travel credit card that has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will allow you to pay off the debt without accruing interest. It will also aid in achieving the minimum amount required to earn the credit card’s bonus.
Make use of your miles or points carefully
When you’ve earned a significant amount of points or miles, be sure to use them wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and then compare the value of different redemption options. For instance using points to book a ticket directly through the airline may provide you with a greater value than using them for a gift card.
Another option is to get rewards cards that allow you to transfer your rewards to different loyalty program. This allows you to get a wider selection of options and greater freedom when it comes to making use of your rewards. For example, you may be able to transfer your reward to the frequent flyer program of an airline or a hotel rewards program. This can give an access wider variety of hotels, flights, and other travel perks that aren’t available through your credit card’s rewards program.
Also, discover the card’s benefits. any perks that can help you save money on 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.
When you travel with someone else, both of you can earn rewards with your own credit card. Make sure you don’t split the cost on the same card, and be sure you keep track of your rewards separately.
Overall, the key to maximizing your travel rewards is to understand your credit card’s rewards program and make sure you’re making use of this program in the most effective way possible. Utilizing an array of strategies I’ve outlined that you can get rewards in a short time, use them for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide variety of travel benefits.