Are you tired of spending a fortune on airfare? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking is the answer to your travel-related problems. It’s a fun way to convert bonus and sign-up 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 know-how, you’ll be jet-setting for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of swapping credit card sign-up bonus and incentives for airline miles. These miles can then be used to buy discount or no-cost flights. Some credit cards also allow you to redeem miles for hotel stays and rental car deals.
How Does it Work?
The secret to successful hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and establishing frequent flyer miles on a select group of airlines. When you are ready to make a booking take a look at the price. If the cost is under $300, it’s best to pay in cash and use your miles to pay to book a higher-priced flight. When the flights start getting above $500, you’ll want to review those frequent flyer accounts to find out which airline will give you the best deal. All it boils down to is the amount of miles or points you have in your travel savings account for each airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to travel hacking? Your first task is opening a credit card with a sign-up bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that offer various features and benefits. It all depends on your preferred airline, spending habits and what features are essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards that are perfect 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 reach the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to get the bonus. Every card has different rules, so be sure to look up this information. Then, it’s all about racking up miles and then using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to set sail with your points?
After you’ve accrued your points amount, it’s time to use them towards sweet getaway! Different credit card companies have different methods of redeeming your points. Here are a few examples from some of the providers I’ve had experience with:
Escape by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of an Chase cards, you can redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within this portal you’ll have access to virtually every airline and you can combine the points as well as cash in order to pay for your travel. You can book your flight entirely on points if you have the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you do not possess enough points for the entire cost, you still can buy flights with 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 realize that when booking directly through United You have the option to pay with either points or dollars? Be careful that if you don’t have enough points, you cannot combine points and dollars on one flight. If you’re a few point short United provides the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides a comfortable and enjoyable travel experience that includes extra legroom as well as free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is like United’s that allows you to book with either JetBlue dollar or points however, not both. However, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that lets you pool your points together with your relatives to earn points twice as fast. Just make sure you can prove you’re really family before trying to hack into the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel companion Becca I’m sure you’re pretty thrifty and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to hit the minimum spend for the credit card bonus. But don’t fret, we’ve been through it and we’re here to share our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able to pay your rent with a credit card, do it! Just be prepared to be charged a fee, typically at least 3 percent. It could be worthwhile in the long run when the bonus is large enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another way to reach the required spending is to pay for the medical bills. If you do not have any medical expenses due, ask your relatives if you could pay their medical bills and they’ll reimburse you.
Repay the loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan take into consideration making payments on them with an credit card. Be sure to pay off the credit card balance completely so that you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask family for help
Talk to your family and determine if they’ve got any large expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Make sure that you are able to have confidence in the person you are talking to and they know why you’re doing it.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season, consider buying all of your gifts with cards from your credit account. This way you can reach the minimum spending requirement and be ready to give gifts. Make sure that you’re not paying more than you already planning to.
There are a lot of ways to make the most from your travel credit card. You can accrue points or miles to be used towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few more ideas for maximizing your rewards
Make travel reservations using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a vacation, make use of your travel credit card to book your hotel, flight, rental car, and any other travel-related expenses. You’ll not only achieve the minimum amount of spending required to qualify for a credit card and earn points, but you’ll also earn points or miles to cover the expenses.
Make use of your credit card to pay for all your daily costs
Another method to reach the minimum spending requirement and earn points is by using your credit card to pay daily costs. This can include things like gas, groceries and even your telephone bill. Make sure you pay off the balance in full each month so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Benefit from bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or bonus points on certain kinds of purchases, including eating out or travelling. Make sure you review your rewards program on your credit card and take advantage of any bonus categories that align with your spending habits.
Take into consideration the possibility of transferring your balance
If you are currently in debt on a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer that balance to an account with a travel credit card that has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfers. This will enable you to pay off the debt without accruing interest. It will also aid in achieving the minimum spending requirement for the credit card bonus.
Make use of your miles or points wisely
When you’ve earned a significant amount of miles or points make sure you use the points or miles wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and then compare the worth of various redemption options. For instance you can use your points to book a flight directly with the airline might give you a better return than using them for an gift card.
Another suggestion is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer your reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will let you get a wider selection of choices and more freedom when it comes to redeeming your rewards. For example, you may be capable of transferring your reward to an airline’s frequent flyer program or a Hotel rewards programme. This will give the benefit of a wider selection of hotels, flights and other travel benefits which are not accessible through the rewards program of your credit card.
Additionally, try to discover the card’s benefits. certain benefits that will save you money on travel-related costs. Many cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection and other benefits that are very beneficial when traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a friend each of you will be able to earn rewards with your credit card. Make sure you don’t divide the cost with the same card and make 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 on your credit card and ensure that you’re using it in the most efficient method. By using a combination of the strategies I’ve outlined, you’ll be able to earn rewards fast, exchange them for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide range of travel perks.