Are you tired of paying an enormous amount on flights? Well, good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting method to convert sign-up bonuses and incentives into miles which can be used to get discounted or even cheap flights from your dream destinations. With a bit of imagination and some knowledge, you can fly for no cost in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about swapping credit card sign-up bonus as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can later be used to purchase cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards permit you to use miles for hotel stays and car rental deals.
How Does it Work?
The key to success in travel hacking is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and to establish frequent flyer miles for a specific group of airlines. When it’s time to book a flight consider the cost. If the flight is less than $300, it’s generally better to pay in cash and save your miles for a more expensive flight. When the flights start getting above $500, you’ll want to review those frequent flyer accounts and find out which airline will give you the most value. It all comes down to the number of miles or points in your travel bank for every airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to travel hacking? First step opening an account with a sign-up offer. There are plenty of great credit cards that offer a variety of benefits and features. It is all dependent on the airline, your spending habits, and the features that are most crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some 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 need to reach the limit of spending minimum in order to qualify for the bonus. Every card has different guidelines, so make sure to check for this information. Then you can begin to rack up miles, and 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 sweet vacation! Different credit card providers will have different methods for redeeming your points, but here are some examples from a few of the providers I have experience with:
Getaway through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you have a Chase card, you are able to redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. In the portal, you’ll have access to almost every airline, and you can use a combination of points and cash to pay for your travel. You can even book entirely using points if you’ve got enough balance! Sometimes, even if you don’t have enough points to cover the entire cost, you still can buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with any credit card.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option to pay with dollars or points? But, be careful, if you don’t have enough points you cannot combine points and dollars on the same flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re only a couple of points away, United provides the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue offers a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience with extra legroom as well as free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines that allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue dollar or points but not both. But, JetBlue has a unique feature that allows you to pool your points together with family members to accrue points twice as quickly. Be sure to establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me and my travel buddy Becca I’m sure you’re pretty frugal and it can be challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to reach the required amount to qualify for credit card bonuses. However, don’t be worried because we’ve been there 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 to pay your rent using credit card, go for it! Be prepared to be charged a fee, typically around 3%. It could be worthwhile in the end if the bonus is high enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another way to reach the spending limit is to pay for an medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills due then ask your relatives if you could pay them for theirs, and they’ll pay you back.
Repay a loan
If you have any loans take into consideration repaying them using the credit card you have. Be sure to pay off the balance on your credit card in full so you don’t accumulate additional debt.
Ask your family members for help
Discuss your family with them and look into any major expenses in the near future that you can contribute for. Just make sure you have confidence in the person you are talking to and they are aware of the reason for doing it.
If it’s the holiday season, consider buying all of your gifts with the credit card you have. This way you can hit that minimum spend and also be ready to give gifts. Be sure to avoid spending more than you were contemplating to.
There are plenty of ways to get the most of your travel credit card. accrue points or miles to use towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few additional suggestions for maximising your rewards:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, use the travel credit card for booking your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as any other travel expenses. You’ll not only be able to hit the required amount for your credit card and earn points, but you’ll also be earning points or miles to cover those costs.
Make use of your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday costs
Another way to hit the minimum spend and earn points is by utilising your credit cards to pay everyday costs. This could be items like groceries, gas and even your telephone bill. Just make sure to pay the balance off each month in full so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Benefit from bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or points in exchange for certain types of purchases, like dining or travel. Check out your credit card’s rewards program and avail the bonus categories that are in line with your spending habits.
Take into consideration the possibility of transferring your balance
If you have existing debt on a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer the balance to the travel credit card which has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfer. This will enable you to pay off the debt without accruing interest. It will also aid in achieving the minimum spend for the credit card’s bonus.
Use your points or miles prudently
When you’ve earned a significant amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize them in a responsible manner. Check out the rewards program on your credit card, and evaluate the value of different redemption options. For instance you can use your points to purchase a flight directly with the airline could offer better return than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another tip is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer your reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will let you have a wider range of choices and more flexibility when redeeming your rewards. For example, you may be able to transfer your reward to an airline’s frequent flyer program or a Hotel rewards programme. This will give you access to a greater range of flights, hotels, and other travel perks that may not be accessible through the rewards program of your credit card.
Additionally, try to find out the card’s benefits. any perks that can help you save money on travel expenses. Some cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection, and other benefits that could be invaluable when you travel.
When you travel with a friend each of you will be able to get rewards on your credit card. Just remember that you can’t divide the cost with the same card and make sure to keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
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 ensure that you’re making use of this program in the most effective way possible. Through a combination of the strategies I’ve outlined, you’ll be able to earn rewards fast, exchange rewards for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide range of travel perks.