Are you tired of spending a fortune on airfare? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel problems. It’s a fun way to convert bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles that can then be used to score discounted or complimentary flights for your desired destinations. With a little bit of imagination and a little bit of insider information, you’ll be jet-setting for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about trading credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can later be used to purchase discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards permit you to use miles towards hotel stays or car rental deals.
How Does it Work?
The key to success in hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and establishing a frequent flyer mile program for a specific group of airlines. When it comes time to book a flight take a look at the price. If the flight is less than $300, it’s best to pay in cash and save your miles for a more expensive flight. If the prices start to rise higher than $500, it’s best to look into your frequent flyer accounts to determine which airline offers you the most value. It all boils down to the amount of points or miles you have in your travel account for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets of travel hacking? First step to open a credit card with a sign-up bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that offer various features and benefits. It all depends on your preferred airline, your habits with spending and what features are essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards 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 have to meet the limit of spending minimum in order to qualify for the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so be sure to look up the details. From there, it’s all about racking up miles and using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your goals?
Now that you’ve built up your points balance, it’s time to cash them in for some sweet travel! Different credit card companies will have different methods of redeeming your points. Here are some examples from some of the providers I’ve had experience with:
Escape with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have a Chase cards, you can redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within it, you’ll have access to nearly every airline and you can use a combination of points and cash to book your trip. You can even book entirely with points if you’ve the balance for it! Sometimes even if you don’t have enough points to cover the 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 flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United, you have the option of paying with either points or dollars? Butbe aware, if you don’t have enough points, you aren’t able to combine points and dollars on the same flight. No worries though, if you’re only a couple of points short, United also offers the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers passengers a relaxing and pleasant travel experience that includes extra legroom as well as free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to that of United Airlines, allowing customers to book using either JetBlue dollar or points, however, not both. The difference is that JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature where you can pool your points together with your family members and earn points twice as fast. Be sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re anything like me and my travel buddy Becca I’m sure you’re pretty economical and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to hit the minimum amount required to earn a credit card bonus. But don’t fret as we’ve done 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 pay your rent with a credit card, do it! Just be prepared to be charged a fee, typically at least 3 percent. It could be worthwhile in the long run in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the minimum spend is to cover the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills due, ask your family members to pay them for theirs, and they will repay you.
Make a payment to pay off the loan
If you have any loans take into consideration making payments on them with the credit card you have. Just make sure you pay the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask family for help
Discuss your family with them and look into any big expenses coming up which you could help pay for. Just make sure you 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 of your gifts with cards from your credit account. This way you can hit that minimum spend and also be ready for giving gifts. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you were planning to.
There are plenty of methods to get the most from using your credit or debit card for travel and accumulate miles or points that you can spend on airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are some additional suggestions for maximising your rewards:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
If you’re planning a vacation, make use of you travel credit card to book your hotel, flight, rental car, and any other travel-related expenses. Not only will you be able to hit the minimum spend to earn your credit card bonus, but you’ll also be earning points or miles on these expenses.
Make use of your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday expenditures
Another method to reach the minimum spending requirement in order to accumulate points by making use of your credit card to pay daily costs. This could include things like gas, groceries, and even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay off the balance each month in full so you don’t pay interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or bonus points for certain types of purchases, including dining or travel. Check out the rewards program of your credit card and avail any bonus categories that match with your spending habits.
Think about the possibility of transferring your balance
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a credit card, consider transferring the balance to an account with a travel credit card that has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfers. This will enable you to pay off your debt without accruing interest. It will also assist you in reaching the minimum spending requirement for the credit card’s bonus.
Utilize your miles and points wisely
If you’ve amassed a large amount of miles or points make sure you use them wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and compare the worth of various redemption options. For instance, using points to book a flight directly with the airline could give you a better value than using them for an gift card.
Another suggestion is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer points to other loyalty programs. This will let you enjoy a greater variety of choices and more flexibility when making use of your rewards. For instance, you might be eligible to transfer your reward to an airline’s frequent flyer program or hotel rewards program. This will give you access to a larger range of flights, hotels as well as other travel perks that may not be offered through the rewards program of your credit card.
Also, determine if your credit card offers certain benefits that will save you money on travel-related costs. Many cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that are invaluable when you travel.
When you travel with a friend and both of you earn rewards using your own credit card. Be aware that you cannot divide the cost with the same card and make sure you keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program of your credit card and ensure that you’re using this program in the most effective method. Utilizing an array of strategies I’ve listed, you’ll be able to get rewards in a short time, use them for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide assortment of travel-related perks.