Are you tired of paying thousands of dollars on travel? Well, good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting method to convert sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles, which can be used to obtain discounted or cheap flights from your desired destinations. With a little bit of imagination and a little bit of insider knowledge, you can travel for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about swapping credit card sign-up bonus and incentives for airline miles. These miles can then be used to buy discounted or even free flights. Some credit cards also let you redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or car rental deals.
How Does it Work?
The secret to success in hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and establishing frequent flyer miles with a limited number of airlines. When you are ready to make a booking take a look at the price. If the price is less than $300, it’s usually better to pay in cash and save your miles for a more expensive flight. If your flights begin to climb higher than $500, it’s best to check those frequent flyer accounts and see which airline can give you the best deal. It all boils down to the number of points or miles in your travel account for each airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to hacking travel? First step opening a credit card with a sign-up bonus. There are many great credit cards that offer many features and benefits. It depends on the type of airline, spending habits and the features that are most essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards perfect to hack travel
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
After you’ve been accepted for a credit card you’ll need to hit the limit of spending minimum in order to qualify for the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so make sure to check for the details. 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 goals?
Once you’ve accumulated the points amount, it’s time to use them towards nice getaway! Different credit card companies offer different ways to redeem your rewards, here are some examples from a few of the companies I’ve had experience with:
Getaway through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you own an Chase cards, you are able to redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through this portal you’ll have access to almost every airline, and you can combine money and points to book your trip. You can book your flight entirely on points if you have the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you don’t possess enough points for the total price, you can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using every credit card.
Are you fed up of paying full price for flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United you can choose the option of paying using dollars or points? But, be careful, if you don’t have enough points, you can’t combine points and dollars on the same flight. If you’re only a couple of points away, United provides the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience , with more legroom as well as free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to that of United Airlines which allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue points or dollars but not both. The difference is that JetBlue offers a distinct feature that lets you join your points with your relatives to earn points twice as fast. Make sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me or my travel buddy Becca You’re probably quite frugal and it can be daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to hit the required amount to qualify for a credit card bonus. But don’t fret as we’ve done it and are here to share some of our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able pay your rent with credit card, then do it! Make sure you be charged a fee, typically at least 3 percent. It might be worth it in the long run in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another great way to hit the spending limit is to pay for an medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills due then ask your family members to pay their medical bills and they can repay you.
Repay a loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan, consider repaying them using your credit card. Make sure to pay the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t end up with additional debt.
Ask family for help
Talk to your family and see if they have any major expenses in the near future which you could help pay for. Make sure that you are able to trust the person and they are aware of the reason for taking the initiative.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season you should consider purchasing all of your gifts with the credit card you have. So you’ll be able to hit that minimum spend and also be ready to give gifts. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you were contemplating to.
There are a lot of ways to get the most of your travel credit card and accumulate miles or points that you can use towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few more suggestions for maximising your rewards:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a vacation, make use of your travel credit card to pay for your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as other travel costs. You’ll not only achieve the required amount to earn your credit card as well, but you’ll also earn points or miles for these costs.
Use your credit card for everyday costs
Another way to hit the minimum amount of spending in order to accumulate points by utilising your credit cards to pay daily expenses. This can include things like food, gas and even your telephone bill. Just make sure to pay the balance off in full each month so you don’t accumulate interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or bonus points for certain types of purchases, like eating out or traveling. Check out your credit card’s rewards program and avail any bonus categories that match with your spending routines.
Think about a balance transfer
If you have existing debt on a high-interest credit card, consider transferring that balance onto the travel credit card which has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfer. This will let you pay off your debts without accruing interest, and also aid in achieving the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus.
Make use of your miles or points prudently
When you’ve earned a significant amount of points or miles make sure you use them wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card, and evaluate the benefits of different redemption options. For instance you can use points to book a ticket directly through the airline may provide you with a greater value than using them for a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer your reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will let you enjoy a greater variety of choices and more freedom when it comes to you want to redeem your rewards. For instance, you might be eligible to transfer your rewards to an airline’s frequent flyer program or Hotel rewards programme. This gives you access to a larger range of flights, hotels and other travel benefits which are not available through your credit card’s rewards program.
Also, discover whether your credit card has any perks that can help you save money on 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 companion each of you will be able to get rewards on your credit card. Be aware that you cannot share the costs on the same card, and be sure you keep track of your rewards separately.
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 using it in the most effective way possible. Through a combination of the strategies I’ve outlined in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards quickly, redeem them for travel experiences that are worth it, and enjoy a wide assortment of travel-related perks.