Are you tired of paying a fortune on airfare? Well, good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s a fun way to convert bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles that can then be used to score discounted or cheap flights from your dream destinations. With a little bit of creativity and some insider information, you’ll travel for free within a matter of minutes.
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 pay for discounted or even free flights. Some credit cards also let you redeem miles for hotel stays and rental car offers.
How Does it Work?
The key to successful hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and establishing a frequent flyer mile program on a select group of airlines. When you are ready to make a booking take a look at the price. If the flight is less than $300, it’s generally better to pay in cash and save your miles to book a higher-priced flight. If the prices start to rise higher than $500, it’s best to review your frequent flyer accounts to find out which airline will give you the most value. All it boils down to is the number of points or miles you have in your travel account for each airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to hacking travel? The first step is opening the credit card that comes that comes with a welcome bonus. There are many great credit cards that offer a variety of benefits and features. It depends on the type of airline, your spending habits, and the features that are most crucial 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
After you’ve been accepted for a credit or debit card, you’ll need to reach the minimum spend limit in order to receive the bonus. Every card has different rules, so be certain to verify the details. From there you can begin to rack miles and using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your goals?
Once you’ve accumulated your points balance, you’re ready to use them towards nice vacation! Different credit card providers will offer different ways to redeem your rewards, here are a few examples from some of the companies I have experience with:
Getaway by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have a Chase credit card, then you are able to redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In the portal, you’ll get access to almost every airline, and you can make use of a combination of the points as well as cash in order to pay for your trip. You can book your flight entirely using points if you’ve got enough balance! Sometimes even if you do not have enough points to cover the full cost, you are able to book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with any credit card.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for your flight tickets? Did you know that when you book directly through United You have the option to pay with dollars or points? But, be careful that if you don’t have enough points you aren’t able to combine dollars and points for flights. No worries though, if you’re only a couple of points short, United also offers the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue provides passengers a relaxing and pleasant travel experience that includes extra legroom and free snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to United’s, allowing passengers to book flights using JetBlue dollar or points however, not both. However, JetBlue offers a distinct feature that allows you to pool your points together with your family members and earn points twice as quickly. Make sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack into the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me or my travel companion Becca, you’re probably pretty economical and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum amount required to earn the 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 a big one! If you’re able to pay your rent using credit card, then do it! Be prepared to pay a fee, usually at least 3 percent. It may be worth it in the long run in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the minimum spend is to cover a medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills coming up Ask your relatives if you could pay for theirs and they can reimburse you.
Pay off a loan
If you have any loans take into consideration repaying them using the credit card you have. Just make sure you pay off the balance on your credit card 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 help pay for. Make sure that you are able to trust the person and they are aware of the reason for doing it.
If you’re celebrating the holidays you should consider purchasing all your gifts using cards from your credit account. So you’ll be able to hit that minimum spend and be ready for gift giving. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you were already planning to.
There are a lot of ways to get the most out of using your credit or debit card for travel. You can accrue points or miles to spend on the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are some additional suggestions for maximising your rewards
Make travel reservations using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, use you travel credit card for booking your hotel, flight, rental car, and any other travel expenses. Not only will you be able to meet the minimum spend to qualify for a credit card bonus, but you’ll also earn points or miles on the expenditures.
Use your credit card for all your daily expenditures
Another way to hit the minimum spending requirement and earn points is utilising your credit cards to pay for daily costs. This could be things like food, gas, and even your phone bill. Be sure to pay the balance off each month in full so you don’t pay 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 traveling. Be sure to review your rewards program on your credit card and avail the bonus categories that are in line with your spending habits.
Take into consideration a balance transfer
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a credit card, you might want to transfer the balance to an account with a travel credit card that has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfer. This will allow you to pay off your debt without accruing interest. It will also aid in achieving the minimum spend for the credit card’s bonus.
Use your points or miles carefully
When you’ve earned a significant amount of miles or points, be sure to use the points or miles wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and compare the value of different redemption options. For instance using your points to book a ticket directly with the airline might provide you with a greater value than using them to purchase the purchase of a gift card.
Another tip is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer rewards to different loyalty program. This allows you to enjoy a greater variety of choices and more flexibility when you want to redeem your rewards. For instance, you might be able to transfer your rewards to the frequent flyer program of an airline or Hotel rewards programme. This gives you access to a wider selection of hotels, flights and other travel benefits that aren’t offered through the rewards program on your credit card.
Additionally, try to discover if your credit card offers certain benefits that will save you money on travel-related costs. A lot of credit cards provide 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 a companion, both of you can get rewards on your own credit card. Just remember that you can’t split the cost on the same card. Also, make sure to track the rewards you earn separately.
The key to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to know the rewards program on your credit card and to ensure you’re using this program in the most efficient way possible. Through all of the strategies I’ve listed that you can earn rewards quickly, redeem rewards for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide assortment of travel-related perks.