Are you tired of paying an enormous amount on flights? Good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting way to convert bonus and sign-up incentives into miles that can then be used to obtain discounted or complimentary flights for your dream destinations. With a little creativity and some insider information, you’ll travel for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about trading credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can later be used to pay for cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards allow you to redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or car rental deals.
How Does it Work?
The key to success in hacking travel is taking advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and to establish a frequent flyer mile program on a select group of airlines. When it’s time to book a flight, evaluate the cost. If the cost is less than $300, it’s generally better to pay cash and save your miles for a more expensive flight. When the flights start getting higher than $500, it’s best to check the frequent flyer account to determine which airline offers you the best price. All it boils down to is the number of points or miles you have you have in your travel savings account for every airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to hacking travel? First step opening the credit card that comes with a sign-up offer. There are plenty of great credit cards that provide many advantages and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, spending habits and what features are essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit card options that can be great for travel hacking:
- 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 limit of spending minimum in order to qualify for the bonus. Each card has its own guidelines, so make certain to verify this information. From there you can begin to rack up miles, and using them to plan your dream trip!
Ready to jet-set with your ideas?
Once you’ve accumulated the points balance, it’s time to cash them in for some nice getaway! Different credit card companies will have different methods for redeeming your rewards, here are a few examples from some of the companies I’ve worked with:
Take a trip through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you’re a holder of an Chase cards, you are able to redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within it, you’ll have access to virtually every airline, and you can use a combination of money and points to pay for your trip. You can book your flight entirely on points if you have enough balance! Sometimes, even if you don’t possess enough points for the total price, you can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using every credit card.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for your flight tickets? Did you not know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option of paying with either points or dollars? But, be careful that if you don’t have enough points you aren’t able to combine points and dollars on one flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re only a couple of point short United also offers the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience with extra legroom as well as free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to United’s which allows you to book with either JetBlue points or dollars, however, not both. But, JetBlue offers a distinct feature where you can combine your points with your family members and earn points twice as fast. Be sure to verify that you are a family member 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 thrifty and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried 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 to pay your rent with a credit card, do it! Make sure you pay a fee, usually around 3%. It could be worthwhile in the end in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another way to reach the spending limit is to cover an medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses coming up Ask your family members if you can pay them for theirs, and they’ll reimburse you.
Make a payment to pay off the loan
If you have any loans take into consideration making payments on them with your credit card. Make sure to pay the credit card balance completely so that you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask family for help
Talk to your family and see if they have any large expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Just make sure you 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 you should consider purchasing all of your gifts with your credit card. This way you can meet the minimum spending limit and also be prepared to give gifts. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you contemplating to.
There are a lot of methods to get the most out of the travel credit card. accrue points or miles to use towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are some additional ideas for maximizing your rewards
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, make use of the 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 amount of spending required for your credit card bonus and earn points, however, you’ll also earn points or miles for the expenditures.
Make use of your credit card to pay for all your daily costs
Another way to hit the minimum amount of spending and earn points is by utilising your credit cards for every day expenses. This can include items like groceries, gas, and even your phone bill. Make sure you pay the balance off each month in full so you don’t pay interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or bonus points on certain kinds of purchases, like eating out or travelling. Be sure to review your rewards program on your credit card and avail the bonus categories that are in line with your spending habits.
Take into consideration the possibility of transferring your balance
If you have existing debt on a high-interest credit card, think about transferring that balance onto a travel credit card with an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will enable you to pay off your debts without accruing interest. It will also help you hit the minimum spend for the credit card’s bonus.
Utilize your miles and points prudently
If you’ve amassed a large amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize them wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card, and evaluate the benefits of different redemption options. For example you can use points to book a ticket directly with the airline could offer better return than using them for a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer your points to other loyalty programs. This allows you to have a wider range of choices and more flexibility when redeeming your rewards. For instance, you might be eligible to transfer your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or Hotel rewards programme. This will give the benefit of a wider selection of hotels, flights, and other travel perks that may not be available through your credit card’s rewards program.
Additionally, try to discover whether your credit card has some perks that could save you money on travel-related costs. Some cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that could be invaluable when you travel.
If you’re traveling with a companion, both of you can earn rewards with your own credit card. Just remember that you can’t divide the cost with the same card, and be sure you keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do to making the most of your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program of your credit card and make sure you’re making use of it in the most effective method. By using all of the strategies I’ve outlined that you can get rewards in a short time, use rewards for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide range of travel perks.