Are you fed up of spending an enormous amount on flights? Good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting method to turn credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles which can be used to get discounted or even complimentary flights for your desired destinations. With a little imagination and a little bit of insider information, you’ll be jet-setting for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. These miles can later be used to pay for discounted or even free flights. Some credit cards also allow you to redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or car rental offers.
How Does it Work?
The secret to successful hacking travel is taking advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and building out frequent flyer miles for a specific group of airlines. When you are ready to book a flight, evaluate the cost. If the cost is less than $300, it’s generally better to pay in cash and use your miles to pay to book a higher-priced flight. If your flights begin to climb over $500, you’ll need to review your frequent flyer accounts and find out which airline will give you the best deal. All it boils down to is the number of points or miles you have in your travel account for each airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets of travel hacking? The first step is opening a credit card with a sign-up bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards with a variety of features and benefits. It is all dependent on the airline, spending habits and what features are essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards that are perfect to hack travel
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
After you’ve been accepted for a credit or debit card, you’ll need to reach the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to get the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so be sure to check for the details. From there you can begin to rack up miles and then using them to book your dream vacation!
Ready to jet-set with your ideas?
Once you’ve accumulated your points balance, it’s time to use them towards sweet travel! Different credit card providers will have different methods of redeeming your points. Here are some examples from some of the companies I’ve worked with:
Getaway by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own a Chase card, you are able to redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through it, you’ll have access to almost every airline and you can make use of a combination of the points as well as cash in order to pay for your travel. You can even book entirely with points if you’ve enough balance! Sometimes even if you do not have enough points to cover the total price, you can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with any credit card.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for your flight tickets? Did you know that when you book directly through United You have the option of paying with dollars or points? But, be careful, if you do not have enough points you cannot combine points and dollars for flights. No worries though, if you’re only a couple of points away, United gives you the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience with extra legroom as well as free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to United’s, allowing customers to book using either JetBlue either dollars or points but not both. However, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that allows you to pool your points together with family members to accrue points twice as fast. Be sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack into the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me and my travel companion Becca I’m sure you’re pretty frugal and it can be challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to hit the minimum amount required to earn credit card bonuses. 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 a credit card, do it! Be prepared to be charged a fee, typically about 3%. It might be worth it in the end in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another excellent way to meet the minimum spend is to pay for the medical bills. If you do not have any medical expenses coming up Ask your family members to pay them for theirs, and they will pay you back.
Make a payment to pay off a loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan you owe, think about paying them off with the credit card you have. Just make sure you pay the credit card balance in full so 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 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 you’re in the middle of the holiday season, consider buying all of your gifts with the credit card you have. This way you can reach the minimum spending requirement and also be ready for gift giving. Be sure to avoid paying more than you planning to.
There are many methods to get the most of using your credit or debit card for travel. You can accrue points or miles to spend on flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few additional ways to maximize 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 book your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as any other travel expenses. In addition, you’ll be able to hit the required amount for your credit card reward as well, but you’ll also be earning points or miles for the expenses.
Utilize your credit card to pay for all your daily costs
Another way to meet the minimum spend to earn rewards is using your credit card to pay every day costs. This could include items like groceries, gas and even your telephone bill. Just make sure to pay the balance off in full every month to ensure you don’t accrue interest charges.
Take advantage of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide bonus points or miles on certain kinds of purchases, like dining or travel. Be sure to review your credit card’s rewards program and avail any bonus categories that match with your spending habits.
Take into consideration the possibility of transferring your balance
If you are currently in outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer that balance to a travel credit card with the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfers. This will allow you to pay off the debt without accruing interest and simultaneously assist you in reaching the minimum spend for the credit card bonus.
Use your points or miles wisely
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of points or miles Make sure to utilize them wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card and compare the worth of various redemption options. For instance, using your points to book a flight directly with the airline might offer better return than using them for a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer points to other loyalty programs. This allows you to enjoy a greater variety of options and greater freedom when it comes to you want to redeem your rewards. For example, you may be eligible to transfer your rewards to an airline’s frequent flyer program or Hotel rewards programme. This gives an access larger variety of hotels, flights, and other travel perks that aren’t available through your credit card’s rewards program.
Additionally, try to find out the card’s benefits. some perks that could reduce your travel expenses. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that can be very beneficial when traveling.
If you’re traveling with a friend, both of you can get rewards on your own credit card. Make sure you don’t divide the cost with the same card and make sure to keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
Overall, the key to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to know your credit card’s rewards program and to ensure you’re using your credit card in the most effective method. Through an array of methods I’ve described, you’ll be able to get rewards in a short time, use them for travel experiences that are worth it and take advantage of a broad variety of travel benefits.