Are you tired of spending an enormous amount on flights? Good news! Travel hacking is the answer to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting method to convert bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles that can then be used to get discounted or even complimentary flights for your desired destinations. With a little bit of imagination and some know-how, you’ll fly for no cost within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can later be used to purchase discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards will also allow you to redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or car rental deals.
How Does it Work?
The key to success in hacking travel is taking advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards 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 cost is less than $300, it’s usually better to pay cash and save your miles for a more expensive flight. If the prices start to rise higher than $500, it’s best 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 you have you have in your travel savings account for every airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to hacking travel? The first step is opening an account with a sign-up offer. There are many great credit cards with many benefits and features. It depends on the type of airline, spending habits and what features are important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit card options that can be 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 limit of spending minimum in order to get the bonus. Each card has its own guidelines, so make sure to look up the details. 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?
Once you’ve accumulated your points amount, it’s time to cash them in for some nice getaway! Different credit card companies have different methods for redeeming your rewards, here are some examples from a few of the providers I have experience with:
Getaway with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own an Chase card, you can redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within the portal, you’ll have access to virtually every airline. You can combine points and cash to pay for your next trip. You can book your flight entirely using points if you’ve got the balance for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t possess enough points for the full price, you can buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using every credit card.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for your flight tickets? Did you realize that when booking directly through United, you have the option of paying with dollars or points? Butbe aware, if you don’t have enough points you aren’t able to combine dollars and points on flights. No worries though, if you’re a few points away, United provides the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience with extra 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 offers a distinct feature where you can pool your points together with family members to accrue 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 buddy Becca You’re probably quite economical and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to hit the minimum spend for the credit card bonus. Don’t worry as we’ve done it and are here to share our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able to pay your rent using credit card, then do it! Just be prepared to be charged a fee, typically at least 3 percent. It could be worthwhile in the long run if the bonus is high enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another way to reach the spending limit is to cover the medical bills. If you do not have any medical expenses coming up, ask your relatives if you could pay them for theirs, and they can pay you back.
Pay off the loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan, consider making payments on them with an credit card. Just make sure you pay the credit card balance completely so that you don’t accumulate additional debt.
Ask family for help
Ask your family members to see if they have any large 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 know why you’re taking the initiative.
If it’s the holiday season you should consider purchasing all your gifts using cards from your credit account. So you’ll be able to meet the minimum spending limit and also be prepared to give gifts. Be sure to avoid spending more than you were already contemplating to.
There are plenty of ways to make the most out of using your credit or debit card for travel. You can earn miles or points to use towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are some additional suggestions for maximising your rewards:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a vacation, make use of you travel credit card to book your hotel, flight, rental car, and any other travel expenses. Not only will you be able to hit the required amount for your credit card, but you’ll also earn points or miles on those expenditures.
Use your credit card for all your daily expenditures
Another way to meet the minimum spend in order to accumulate points making use of your credit card to pay for every day expenses. 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 accrue interest charges.
Benefit from bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or bonus points for specific types of purchases, including eating out or traveling. Be sure to review the rewards program of your credit card and avail any bonus categories that align with your spending habits.
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 that balance to the travel credit card which has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfers. This will allow you to pay off your 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
If you’ve amassed a large amount of points or miles, be sure to use them wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card, and evaluate the value of different redemption options. For instance, using points to purchase a flight directly with the airline could provide you with a greater value than using them for an gift card.
Another tip is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer points to other loyalty programs. This will allow you to have a wider range of options and greater flexibility when making use of your rewards. For instance, you might be capable of transferring your rewards to the frequent flyer program of an airline or a Hotel rewards programme. This will give an access greater selection of hotels, flights, and other travel perks that aren’t available through your credit card’s rewards program.
Also, find out whether your credit card has certain benefits that will reduce your travel costs. Some cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that are invaluable when you travel.
If you’re traveling with a friend and both of you earn rewards with your credit card. Just remember that you can’t divide the cost with the same card, and be sure you keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
The key to maximizing your travel rewards is to understand your credit card’s rewards program and ensure that you’re making use of it in the most effective method. By using an array of strategies I’ve outlined that you can earn rewards quickly, redeem rewards for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad assortment of travel-related perks.