Are you tired of spending an enormous amount on flights? Well, good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting method to convert credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles, that can then be used to get discounted or even complimentary flights for your ideal destinations. With a little bit of imagination and a little bit of insider know-how, you’ll travel for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of swapping credit card sign-up bonus and rewards for airline miles. These miles can then be used to buy cheap or free flight tickets. Some credit cards also allow you to redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or car rental discounts.
How Does it Work?
The key to success in travel hacking 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 comes time to book a flight take a look at the price. If the flight is under $300, it’s best to pay in cash and use your miles to pay to take a more costly flight. If your flights begin to climb above $500, you’ll want to look into your frequent flyer accounts and see which airline can give you the best price. All it boils down to is the amount of points or miles in your travel bank for each airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to travel hacking? Your first task is to open the credit card that comes with a sign-up offer. There are many great credit cards that provide a variety of features and benefits. It all depends on your preferred airline, spending habits and what features are important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit card options that can be 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 have to meet the minimum spend limit in order to qualify for the bonus. Each card has its own guidelines, so make sure to look up this information. From there it’s all about building up miles and using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to set sail with your ideas?
Now that you’ve built up your points balance, you’re ready to cash them in for some delicious getaway! Different credit card providers will have different methods of redeeming your points, but here are some examples from a few of the ones I’ve worked with:
Take a trip by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of a Chase cards, you can redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within the portal, you’ll have access to nearly every airline. You can combine the points as well as cash in order to book your next trip. You can even book completely on points if you have enough balance! Sometimes even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for entire cost, you are able to book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with every credit card.
Are you tired of paying full price for your flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United, you have the option of paying with either points or dollars? Butbe aware that if you do not have enough points you aren’t able to combine dollars and points on one flight. If you’re a few points away, United gives you the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience , with more legroom as well as free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to United’s which allows customers to book using either JetBlue points or dollars, however, not both. However, JetBlue offers a distinct feature where you can combine your points with your relatives to earn points twice as quickly. Just make sure you can establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel companion Becca You’re probably quite economical and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum amount required to earn credit card bonuses. But don’t fret because we’ve been there and are 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 credit card, go for it! Be prepared to be charged a fee, typically about 3%. It might be worth it in the end when the bonus is large enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another great way to hit the spending limit is to cover an medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses due Ask your family members if you can pay for theirs and they can reimburse you.
Make a payment to pay off a loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan you owe, think about making payments on them with your credit card. Be sure to pay off the credit card balance in full so you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Ask your family members to look into any large expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Just make sure you are able to trust the person and that they are aware of the reason for taking the initiative.
If it’s the holiday season, consider buying all of your gifts with cards from your credit account. So you’ll be able to meet the minimum spending limit and also be prepared for gift giving. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you planning to.
There are many ways to make the most from using your credit or debit card for travel. earn miles or points to be used towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are some additional ways to maximize the rewards you earn:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, use you travel credit card to book your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as any other travel-related expenses. You’ll not only be able to meet the minimum spend for your credit card bonus as well, but you’ll also earn points or miles for those costs.
Make use of your credit card to pay for everyday costs
Another way to hit the minimum spend and earn points is utilising your credit cards for everyday expenses. This can include things like gas, groceries or even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay the balance off each month in full so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer bonus points or miles on certain kinds of purchases, such as dining or travel. Make sure you review your credit card’s rewards program and make use of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending routines.
Consider the possibility of transferring your balance
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a high-interest credit card, think about transferring the balance to a travel credit card with an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfers. This will allow you to pay off the debt without accruing interest. It will also aid in achieving the minimum spend for the credit card bonus.
Make use of your miles or points prudently
When you’ve earned a significant 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 example you can use points to book a flight directly through the airline may give you a better value than using them for an gift card.
Another tip 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 options and greater flexibility when redeeming your rewards. For example, you may be able to transfer your rewards to an airline’s frequent flyer program or a Hotel rewards programme. This gives the benefit of a wider range of flights, hotels as well as other travel perks that aren’t accessible through the rewards program on your credit card.
Also, find out whether your credit card has 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 very beneficial when traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a friend each of you will be able to earn rewards using your credit card. Make sure you don’t split the cost on the same card, and be sure to keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
Overall, the key to maximizing your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program of your credit card and ensure that you’re making use of your credit card in the most efficient method possible. Through all of the strategies I’ve listed that you can get rewards in a short time, use them for travel experiences that are worth it and take advantage of a broad variety of travel benefits.