Are you fed up of spending an enormous amount on flights? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting method to convert sign-up bonuses and incentives into miles which can be used to obtain discounted or complimentary flights for your dream destinations. With a little imagination and a little bit of insider know-how, you’ll travel for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about swapping credit card sign-up bonus and rewards for airline miles. These miles can later be used to buy discounted or even free flights. Some credit cards also permit you to use miles towards hotel stays or car rental discounts.
How Does it Work?
The secret to successful hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and to establish a frequent flyer mile program on a select group of airlines. When it’s time to make a booking take a look at the price. If the cost is less than $300, it’s best 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 check those frequent flyer accounts to determine which airline offers you the best price. It all comes down to the number of points or miles in your travel bank for each airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to hacking travel? Your first task is opening a credit card that comes with a welcome bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that offer many benefits and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, spending habits and the features that are most important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards 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 card, you’ll need to hit the minimum spend limit in order to receive 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 trip!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your points?
After you’ve accrued your points amount, it’s time to redeem them for some nice travel! Different credit card companies will have different methods for redeeming your rewards, here are some examples from a few of the providers I have experience with:
Getaway by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have an Chase card, you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within it, you’ll have access to almost every airline and you can use a combination of money and points to pay for your next trip. You can even book completely with points if you’ve the balance for it! Sometimes even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for total price, you can buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using the credit card of your choice.
Are you tired of paying full price for flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United You have the option to pay with dollars or points? Butbe aware that if you do not have enough points you cannot combine dollars and points for one flight. If you’re only a couple of points short, United gives you the option to purchase additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides passengers a relaxing and pleasant travel experience that includes extra legroom and free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to United’s that allows customers to book using either JetBlue dollar or points, however, not both. The difference is that JetBlue has a unique feature that lets you join your points with your family members and earn points twice as fast. Just make sure you can verify that you are a family member before trying to hack into the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me and my travel buddy Becca You’re probably quite economical and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to hit the minimum spend for a credit card bonus. Don’t worry because we’ve been there and are here to share some of our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able to pay your rent with a credit card, do it! Be prepared to be charged a fee, typically around 3 percent. It may be worth it in the end when the bonus is large enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another great way to hit the minimum spend is to pay for the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills coming up Ask your family members to pay for theirs and they’ll pay you back.
Pay off a loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan take into consideration making payments on them with your credit card. Be sure to pay off the balance on your credit card completely so that you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Talk to your family and see if they have any major expenses in the near future that you can contribute for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to have confidence in the person you are talking to and they understand why you’re doing it.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season, consider buying all your gifts with cards from your credit account. This way you can hit that minimum spend and be ready for giving gifts. Just make sure you’re not paying more than you planning to.
There are many methods to get the most of using your credit or debit card for travel and earn miles or points to use towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are some additional ideas for maximizing the rewards you earn:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a vacation, make use of you travel credit card to pay for your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as any other travel expenses. You’ll not only be able to meet the minimum spend for your credit card bonus, but you’ll also be earning points or miles for these expenses.
Make use of your credit card to pay for everyday expenses
Another way to meet the minimum spend and earn points is by utilising your credit cards to pay every day costs. This can include things like food, gas or even your phone bill. Make sure you pay off the balance in full every month to ensure you don’t pay interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or points in exchange for specific types of purchases, including eating out or traveling. Check out your credit card’s rewards program and avail any bonus categories that match with your spending habits.
Take into consideration a balance transfer
If you have existing 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 transfers. This will enable you to pay off your debts without accruing interest, and also help you hit the minimum spending requirement for the credit card bonus.
Make use of your miles or points carefully
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points make sure you use the points or miles wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card, and evaluate the benefits of different redemption options. For instance using points to purchase a flight directly with the airline might give you a better value than using them for an gift card.
Another suggestion is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer your rewards to different loyalty program. This will allow you to get a wider selection of options and greater flexibility in redeeming your rewards. For instance, you might be able to transfer your reward to an airline’s frequent flyer program or a hotel rewards program. This gives you access to a larger variety of hotels, flights and other travel benefits that may not be offered through the rewards program on your credit card.
In addition, you should discover the card’s benefits. some perks that could save you money on travel-related costs. Some cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection and other benefits that can be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a companion, both of you can earn rewards using your credit card. Be aware that you cannot divide the cost with the same card, and be sure to track your rewards separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do to making the most of your travel rewards is to know the rewards program on your credit card and to ensure you’re using it in the most effective method possible. By using all of the strategies I’ve listed in this article, you’ll be able get rewards in a short time, use them for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad range of travel perks.