Are you tired of paying thousands of dollars on travel? Good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting way to convert bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles, which can be used to score discounted or free flights to your ideal destinations. With a little imagination and a little bit of insider knowledge, you can travel for free 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. These miles can later be used to pay for discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards will also allow you to redeem miles for hotel stays and rental car discounts.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for success in hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and to establish a frequent flyer mile program with a limited number of airlines. When it’s time to make a booking, evaluate the cost. If the cost is under $300, it’s usually better to pay cash and use your miles to pay to book a higher-priced flight. If the prices start to rise higher than $500, it’s best to review the frequent flyer account and find out which airline will give you the best deal. It all comes down to the amount of points or miles in your travel account for every airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to hacking travel? Your first task is opening the credit card that comes that comes with a welcome bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards with various benefits and features. It is all dependent on the airline, your habits with spending and what features are important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards that are excellent 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 limit of spending minimum in order to qualify for the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so make sure to check for the details. Then it’s all about building up miles and then using them to book your dream vacation!
Ready to jet-set with your ideas?
After you’ve accrued your points amount, it’s time to redeem them for some delicious vacation! Different credit card companies will have different methods for redeeming your points, but here are some examples from some of the providers I have experience with:
Getaway by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of a Chase cards, you are able to redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. In it, you’ll get access to virtually every airline, and you can make use of a combination of money and points to pay for your next trip. You can even book completely on points if you have the balance for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t possess enough points for the entire cost, you are able to book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using the credit card of your choice.
Are you tired of paying full price for your flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option of paying with dollars or points? But, be careful in case you don’t have enough points you cannot combine dollars and points on flights. Don’t worry, though, if you’re just a few points away, United provides the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue provides an enjoyable and comfortable travel experience that includes extra legroom and free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to that of United Airlines, allowing you to book with either JetBlue points or dollars, but not both. But, JetBlue offers a distinct feature that lets you pool your points together with family members to accrue points twice as quickly. Make sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me and my travel buddy Becca, you’re probably pretty thrifty and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars in order to meet the required amount to qualify for the credit card bonus. But don’t fret, we’ve been through it and are here to share some of our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able to pay your rent using credit card, then do it! Be prepared to pay a fee, usually at least 3%. It might be worth it in the end in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another great way to hit the required spending is to pay for the medical bills. If you do not have any medical expenses due, ask your family members to pay for theirs and they’ll repay you.
Make a payment to pay off a loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan, consider making payments on them with the credit card you have. Just make sure you pay off the balance on your credit card in full , so that you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask family for help
Talk to your family and look into any big expenses coming up 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 are aware of the reason for doing it.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season, consider buying all your gifts with your credit card. So you’ll be able to reach the minimum spending requirement and also be ready for giving gifts. Be sure to avoid paying more than you already contemplating to.
There are many ways to make the most from using your credit or debit card for travel and accumulate miles or points that you can spend on the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few additional suggestions for maximising your rewards:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a vacation, make use of the travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel, rental car, and any other travel expenses. You’ll not only be able to hit the minimum spend for your credit card bonus and earn points, but you’ll also earn points or miles on those costs.
Utilize your credit card to pay for everyday costs
Another method to reach the minimum spending requirement in order to accumulate points utilising your credit cards to pay everyday expenditures. This could be things like food, gas or even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay off the balance in full each month so you don’t pay interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or bonus points for specific types of purchases, such as eating out or travelling. Be sure to review the rewards program of your credit card and make use of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending habits.
Consider a balance transfer
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a high-interest credit card, think about transferring that balance onto the travel credit card which has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will enable you to pay off your debt without accruing interest and simultaneously aid in achieving the minimum amount required to earn the credit card’s bonus.
Make use of your miles or points prudently
When you’ve earned a significant amount of points or miles Make sure to utilize the points or miles wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and then compare the benefits of different redemption options. For instance, using points to book a flight directly through the airline may provide you with a greater return than using them for an gift card.
Another option is to get rewards cards that allow you to transfer rewards to different loyalty program. This will allow you to get a wider selection of choices and more flexibility in you want to redeem your rewards. For instance, you might be able to transfer your rewards to the frequent flyer program of an airline or a Hotel rewards programme. This can give an access larger variety of hotels, flights, and other travel perks that may not be offered through your credit card’s rewards program.
Also, find out the card’s benefits. certain benefits that will help you save money on travel costs. Some cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that could be very beneficial when traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a companion each of you will be able to earn rewards with your credit card. Make sure you don’t split the cost on the same card. Also, make 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 your credit card’s rewards program and to ensure you’re making use of this program in the most efficient method. Utilizing all of the methods I’ve described in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards fast, exchange rewards for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide variety of travel benefits.