Are you tired of paying an enormous amount on flights? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking is the answer to your travel-related problems. It’s a fun way to convert credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles which you can use to score discounted or complimentary flights for your desired destinations. With a bit of creativity and some insider information, you’ll be jet-setting for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about trading credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. The miles can be used to pay for cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards permit you to use miles for hotel stays and rental car offers.
How Does it Work?
The secret to success in hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and to establish frequent flyer miles with a limited number of airlines. When it comes time to book a flight consider the cost. If the flight is less than $300, it’s usually better to pay in cash and use your miles to pay for a more expensive flight. When the flights start getting over $500, you’ll need to check the frequent flyer account and find out which airline will give you the most value. It all boils down to the amount of miles or points in your travel account for every airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to hacking travel? First step to open an account with a sign-up bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards with various benefits and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, your habits with spending and what features are important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards that are great to hack travel
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
After you’ve been accepted for a credit or debit card, you’ll need to hit the minimum spend limit in order to qualify for the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of guidelines, so make certain to verify this information. From there it’s all about building up miles and then using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your points?
After you’ve accrued your points balance, it’s time to cash them in for some delicious getaway! Different credit card companies offer different ways to redeem your points, but here are some examples from a few of the ones I’ve worked with:
Escape through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you own an Chase cards, you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through it, you’ll get access to nearly every airline. You can make use of a combination of points and cash to book your travel. You can even book entirely with points if you’ve the balance for it! Sometimes even if you don’t have enough points to cover the full price, you can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using any credit card.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for your flight tickets? Did you not know that when you book directly through United, you have the option to pay with dollars or points? But, be careful, if you do not have enough points you aren’t able to combine points and dollars for the same flight. No worries though, if you’re just a few points away, United gives you the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience , with more space and complimentary snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines which allows customers to book using either JetBlue either dollars or points but not both. But, JetBlue has a unique feature that lets you pool your points together 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 into the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel companion Becca, you’re probably pretty frugal and it can be daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to hit the minimum spend for a credit card bonus. But don’t fret, we’ve been through it and we’re here to share our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able to pay your rent with credit card, go for it! Make sure you pay a cost, which is usually about 3%. It could be worthwhile in the long run when the bonus is large enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another way to reach the minimum spend is to pay for a medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills in the near future, ask your relatives if you could pay their medical bills and they will repay you.
Pay off the loan
If you have any loans take into consideration paying them off with your credit card. Just make sure you pay the credit card balance completely so that you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask family for help
Talk to your family and determine if they’ve got any big expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Make sure that you are able to have confidence in the person you are talking to and they understand why you’re doing this.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season, consider buying all your gifts using the credit card you have. This way you can hit that minimum spend and also be prepared for giving gifts. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you were contemplating to.
There are plenty of methods to get the most out of using your credit or debit card for travel. accrue points or miles to use towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few more suggestions for maximising your rewards:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, use you travel credit card to pay for your hotel, flight, rental car, and other travel costs. In addition, you’ll be able to hit the required amount for your credit card bonus as well, however, you’ll also earn points or miles for those expenses.
Utilize your credit card to pay for all your daily costs
Another way to meet the minimum spending requirement to earn rewards is by using your credit card to pay daily expenses. This could include things like gas, groceries or even your phone bill. Make sure you pay off the balance in full every month to ensure you don’t accrue interest charges.
Make the most of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide bonus points or miles for certain types of purchases, like eating out or travelling. Be sure to review the rewards program of your credit card and make use of any bonus categories that match with your spending routines.
Consider a balance transfer
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 and simultaneously assist you in reaching the minimum spending requirement for the credit card’s bonus.
Make use of your miles or points carefully
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of points or miles make sure you use the points or miles wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and compare the value of different redemption options. For example you can use your points to purchase a flight directly through the airline may offer better value than using them to purchase an gift card.
Another option is to get an rewards card that permits you to transfer points to other loyalty programs. This allows you to get a wider selection of options and greater flexibility when making use of your rewards. For instance, you might be capable of transferring your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or Hotel rewards programme. This gives you access to a larger selection of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks that may not be available through the rewards program on your credit card.
Additionally, try to discover if your credit card offers any perks that can reduce your travel expenses. Some cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection and other benefits that can be invaluable when you travel.
Finally, when you’re traveling with someone else, both of you can earn rewards with your own credit card. Make sure you don’t share the costs on the same card, and be sure to keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
In the end, the most important thing to do to making the most of your rewards for travel is to be aware of your credit card’s rewards program and to ensure you’re making use of your credit card in the most effective method. Through all of the strategies I’ve outlined that you can earn rewards fast, exchange them for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide variety of travel benefits.