Are you tired of paying a fortune on airfare? Well, good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting way to convert sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles that can then be used to get discounted or even cheap flights from your dream destinations. With a little bit of imagination and some information, you’ll fly for no cost within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about swapping credit card sign-up bonus and rewards for airline miles. These miles can then be used to purchase discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards allow you to redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or rental car discounts.
How Does it Work?
The key to successful hacking travel is taking advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and establishing frequent flyer miles with a limited number of airlines. When it comes time to make a booking take a look at the price. If the flight is less than $300, it’s best to pay in cash and use your miles to pay to take a more costly flight. When the flights start getting above $500, you’ll want to look into the frequent flyer account and see which airline can give you the best price. It all comes down to the amount of points or miles you have in your travel bank for each airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to hacking travel? The first step is opening a credit card with a sign-up offer. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that offer many advantages and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, your habits with spending and the features that are most essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some 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 card you’ll have to meet the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to receive the bonus. Every card has different guidelines, so make sure to check for this information. Then, it’s all about racking up miles and then using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your points?
Now that you’ve built up the points amount, it’s time to cash them in for some nice travel! Different credit card companies will have different methods of redeeming your points, but here are some examples from a few of the providers I’ve worked with:
Escape through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you own an Chase cards, you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In it, you’ll get access to virtually every airline, and you can make use of a combination of points and cash to pay for your trip. You can even book entirely with points if you’ve the balance for it! Sometimes even if you do not possess enough points for the entire 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 flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United You have the option of paying with dollars or points? But, be careful in case you do not have enough points you cannot combine dollars and points for the same flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re a few point short United also offers the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue offers an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience with extra space and complimentary snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is like United’s which allows customers to book using either JetBlue dollar or points however, not both. But, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that allows you to join your points with your relatives to earn points twice as quickly. Make sure to establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel companion Becca I’m sure you’re pretty economical and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to reach the minimum amount required to earn a credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried as we’ve done it and we’re here to share our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able pay your rent with a credit card, do it! Just be prepared to pay a fee, usually about 3 percent. It could be worthwhile in the end when the bonus is large enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another great way to hit the spending limit is to pay for a medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses due Ask your relatives if you could pay them for theirs, and they can pay you back.
Repay the loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan, consider paying them off with the credit card you have. Just make sure you pay off the credit card balance in full so you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Talk to your family and determine if they’ve got any large expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Just make sure you are able to trust the person and that they understand why you’re doing this.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season you should consider purchasing all of your gifts with the credit card you have. In this way, you’ll reach the minimum spending requirement and also be ready for gift giving. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you were thinking of.
There are plenty of methods to get the most of using your credit or debit card for travel and accrue points or miles to use towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are some additional ideas for maximizing your rewards:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
If you’re planning a vacation, make use of the travel credit card to pay for your hotel, flight, rental car, and any other travel expenses. Not only will you be able to meet the minimum spend to earn your credit card as well, however, you’ll also earn points or miles for the expenditures.
Utilize your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday costs
Another way to meet the minimum amount of spending to earn rewards is making use of your credit card to pay for daily expenditures. This could include items like groceries, gas and even your telephone bill. Make sure you pay off the balance in full every month to ensure you don’t accumulate interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or points in exchange for specific types of purchases, such as eating out or travelling. Be sure to review your credit card’s rewards program and avail any bonus categories that align with your spending routines.
Take into consideration a balance transfer
If you have existing outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer that balance onto an account with a travel credit card that has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfers. This will enable you to pay off your debts without accruing interest. It will also aid in achieving the minimum amount required to earn the credit card’s bonus.
Use your points or miles prudently
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of points or miles, be sure to use the points or miles wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card, and evaluate the benefits of different redemption options. For instance, using points to book a flight directly through the airline may provide you with a greater value than using them for a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will allow you to get a wider selection of choices and more freedom when it comes to redeeming your rewards. For example, you may be able to transfer your reward to an airline’s frequent flyer program or reward program for hotels. This can give you access to a greater variety of hotels, flights, and other travel perks that aren’t offered through the rewards program of your credit card.
Also, determine if your credit card offers any perks that can reduce your travel expenses. Many cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that can be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
When you travel with a friend and both of you get rewards on your own credit card. Make sure you don’t share the costs on the same card, and be sure you keep track of your rewards separately.
Overall, the key to making the most of your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program on your credit card and to ensure you’re using it in the most efficient way possible. Through a combination of the strategies I’ve outlined, you’ll be able to earn rewards fast, exchange them for travel experiences that are worth it, and enjoy a wide assortment of travel-related perks.