Are you tired of spending a fortune on airfare? Well, good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting method to convert bonus and sign-up incentives into miles which can be used to obtain discounted or free flights to your dream destinations. With a little bit of imagination and some know-how, 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 incentives for airline miles. The miles can be used to buy discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards will also permit you to use miles to pay for hotel stays or rental car discounts.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for success in travel hacking is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and building out a frequent flyer mile program for a specific group of airlines. When you are ready to book a flight take a look at the price. If the price is under $300, it’s best to pay cash and use your miles to pay to book a higher-priced flight. If the prices start to rise above $500, you’ll want to look into the frequent flyer account and see which airline can give you the best deal. It all comes down to the amount of points or miles in your travel account for every airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to hacking travel? Your first task is opening the credit card that comes with a sign-up offer. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that offer a variety of advantages and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, spending habits and the features that are most essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit card options that can be excellent to hack 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 minimum spend limit in order to qualify for the bonus. Every card has different rules, so be certain to verify this information. Then, it’s all about racking up miles, and using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your ideas?
Once you’ve accumulated your points amount, it’s time to cash them in for some nice getaway! Different credit card companies will offer different ways to redeem your points, but here are some examples from some of the ones I have experience with:
Take a trip with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have an Chase credit card, then you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through it, you’ll have access to virtually every airline and you can make use of a combination of points and cash to book your next trip. You can even book entirely on points if you have the balance for it! Sometimes even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for 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 fed up of paying the full cost for flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United You have the option to pay with either points or dollars? Butbe aware that if you do not have enough points you aren’t able to combine points and dollars for the same flight. If you’re just a few points short, United also offers the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue provides a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience with extra legroom as well as free snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines that allows customers to book using either JetBlue dollar or points however, not both. But, JetBlue offers a distinct feature that lets you join your points with your family members and earn points twice as fast. Be sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel buddy Becca, you’re probably pretty thrifty and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to reach the minimum amount required to earn credit card bonuses. But don’t fret because we’ve been there and we’re here to share some of our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able pay your rent using credit card, then do it! Be prepared to pay a fee, usually around 3 percent. It might be worth it in the long run when the bonus is large enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another way to reach the required spending is to pay for a medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills coming up Ask your family members to pay them for theirs, and they will reimburse you.
Repay a loan
If you have any loans, consider repaying them using the credit card you have. Be sure to pay off the balance on your credit card in full , so that you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Discuss your family with them and determine if they’ve got any big expenses coming up which you could help pay for. Just make sure you are able to trust the person and that they understand why you’re taking the initiative.
If it’s the holiday season you should consider purchasing all your gifts with your credit card. So you’ll be able to hit that minimum spend and also be prepared for giving gifts. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you were already contemplating to.
There are a lot of ways to get the most from using your credit or debit card for travel. accumulate miles or points that you can spend on the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are some additional ideas for maximizing the rewards you earn:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
If you’re planning a vacation, make use of your travel credit card to pay for your hotel, flight, rental car, and other travel costs. In addition, you’ll be able to hit the minimum spend for your credit card reward and earn points, however, you’ll also earn points or miles for those costs.
Make use of your credit card to pay for everyday expenses
Another way to meet the minimum spend and earn points is utilising your credit cards for everyday expenditures. This can include 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 accumulate interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or bonus points on certain kinds of purchases, including dining or travel. Be sure to review the rewards program of your credit card and take advantage of any bonus categories that align with your spending habits.
Consider the possibility of transferring your balance
If you have existing outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, think about transferring that balance to an account with a travel credit card that has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfers. This will enable you to pay off your debt without accruing interest, and also assist you in reaching the minimum spending requirement for the credit card’s bonus.
Make use of your miles or points wisely
When you’ve earned a significant amount of miles or points make sure you use the points or miles wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card, and evaluate the benefits of different redemption options. For example using points to purchase a flight directly through the airline may give you a better value than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another option is to get an rewards card that permits you to transfer reward points into other loyalty programmes. This allows you to have a wider range of options and greater flexibility in you want to redeem your rewards. For instance, you might be capable of transferring your reward to an airline’s frequent flyer program or a hotel rewards program. This can give the benefit of a wider range of flights, hotels, and other travel perks that aren’t available through the rewards program on your credit card.
Also, determine whether your credit card has any perks that can help you save money on travel expenses. Some cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that can be very beneficial when traveling.
When you travel with a companion each of you will be able to get rewards on your own credit card. Be aware that you cannot share the costs on the same card. Also, make sure you keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do to maximizing your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program of your credit card and ensure that you’re making use of this program in the most effective method possible. Through a combination of the strategies I’ve listed, you’ll be able to earn rewards quickly, redeem rewards for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad variety of travel benefits.