Are you tired of paying a fortune on airfare? Good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting method to convert welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles, which you can use to obtain discounted or complimentary flights for your ideal destinations. With a little bit of imagination and some information, you’ll be jet-setting for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about swapping credit card sign-up bonus and incentives for airline miles. These miles can then be used to pay for cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards let you redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or car rental deals.
How Does it Work?
The key to successful hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and to establish a frequent flyer mile program with a limited number of airlines. When you are ready to book a flight, evaluate the cost. If the cost is less than $300, it’s best to pay in cash and use your miles to pay for a more expensive flight. When the flights start getting above $500, you’ll want to look into your frequent flyer accounts to 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 each airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to hacking travel? Your first task is opening a credit card with a sign-up bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards with a variety of benefits and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, your habits with spending and what features are crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards excellent to hack travel
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
After you’ve been accepted for a credit card, you’ll need to reach the minimum spend limit in order to qualify for the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so make sure to check for the details. From there, it’s all about racking up miles, and then using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your ideas?
Now that you’ve built up the points amount, it’s time to use them towards sweet vacation! Different credit card companies offer different ways to redeem your points, but here are some examples from some of the providers I have experience with:
Escape through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you own an Chase card, you are able to use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through the portal, you’ll get access to almost every airline and you can use a combination of points and cash to book your trip. You can even book entirely using points if you’ve got the balance for it! Sometimes even if you do not be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for total cost, you are able to book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using every credit card.
Are you tired of paying full price for your flight tickets? Did you not know that when you book directly through United, you have the option of paying using dollars or points? Be careful, if you don’t have enough points, you can’t combine dollars and points on one flight. If you’re a few points short, United provides the option to purchase additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience , with more legroom and free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines which allows you to book with either JetBlue either dollars or points but not both. The difference is that JetBlue has a unique feature that allows you to combine your points with family members to accrue points twice as quickly. Make sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel buddy Becca I’m sure you’re pretty economical and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to reach the minimum spend for a credit card bonus. But don’t fret as we’ve done it 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 pay your rent with credit card, then do it! Make sure you pay a fee, usually at least 3 percent. It may be worth it over the long term if the bonus is high enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another great way to hit the spending limit is to cover an medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills in the near future Ask your family members if you can pay for theirs and they’ll pay you back.
Make a payment to pay off a loan
If you’re a borrower you owe, think about paying them off with the credit card you have. Just make sure you pay off the balance on your credit card in full so you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Talk to your family and look into any big expenses coming up which you could help pay for. Make sure that you are able to trust the person and they know why you’re doing it.
If it’s the holiday season, consider buying all your gifts with your credit card. In this way, you’ll meet the minimum spending limit and be ready for gift giving. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you already contemplating to.
There are a lot of ways to get the most of using your credit or debit card for travel and accumulate miles or points that you can be used towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few additional suggestions for maximising the rewards you earn:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, make use of the travel credit card to pay for your hotel, flight, rental car, and other travel costs. In addition, you’ll achieve the required amount to qualify for a credit card bonus as well, but you’ll also earn points or miles on these expenses.
Use your credit card for all your daily expenditures
Another method to reach the minimum spending requirement in order to accumulate points using your credit card to pay for every day expenditures. This could be things like gas, groceries, and even your phone bill. Make sure you pay the balance off in full each month so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Benefit from bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer bonus points or miles for certain types of purchases, like eating out or travelling. Make sure you review your credit card’s rewards program and avail any bonus categories that align with your spending routines.
Take into consideration the possibility of transferring your balance
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer the balance to a travel credit card with the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfers. This will enable you to pay off your debts without accruing interest and simultaneously help you hit the minimum spend for the credit card bonus.
Utilize your miles and points prudently
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of points or miles Make sure to utilize them in a responsible manner. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and compare the worth of various redemption options. For example, using points to purchase a flight directly with the airline might provide you with a greater value than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer reward points into other loyalty programmes. This allows you to get a wider selection of choices and more flexibility in redeeming your rewards. For instance, you might be eligible to transfer your rewards to the frequent flyer program of an airline or reward program for hotels. This will give you access to a wider variety of hotels, flights, and other travel perks that may not be available through the rewards program of your credit card.
Additionally, try to discover if your credit card offers certain benefits that will reduce your travel costs. Some cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection, and other benefits that could be very beneficial when traveling.
If you’re traveling with a friend each of you will be able to get rewards on your own credit card. Be aware that you cannot split the cost on the same card, and be sure to track the rewards you earn separately.
Overall, the key to making the most of your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program of your credit card and make sure you’re using your credit card in the most effective way possible. Through all of the methods I’ve described in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards fast, exchange them for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad assortment of travel-related perks.