Are you tired of paying an enormous amount on flights? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting way to convert credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into miles which you can use to obtain discounted or cheap flights from your desired destinations. With a little imagination and a little bit of insider knowledge, you can travel for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about trading credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. The miles can be used to buy cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards will also allow you to redeem miles for hotel stays and car rental offers.
How Does it Work?
The key to success in hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and building out frequent flyer miles on a select group of airlines. When you are ready to make a booking take a look at the price. If the cost is under $300, it’s usually better to pay in cash and save your miles for a more expensive flight. If your flights begin to climb above $500, you’ll want to look into your frequent flyer accounts to determine which airline offers you the most value. It all comes down to the number of points or miles in your travel bank for each airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to travel hacking? The first step is to open an account with a sign-up bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards with many benefits and features. It depends on the type of airline, your habits with spending and what features are crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit card options that can be excellent for travel hacking:
- 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 have to meet the limit of spending minimum in order to qualify for the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so be sure to look up this information. From there you can begin to rack miles and then using them to book your dream trip!
Ready to jet-set with your goals?
Once you’ve accumulated the points balance, you’re ready to cash them in for some sweet travel! Different credit card companies have different methods for redeeming your points. Here are a few examples from some of the providers I’ve worked with:
Take a trip by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own an Chase credit card, then you are able to use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In this portal you’ll get access to almost every airline. You can combine the points as well as cash in order to book your travel. You can even book completely using points if you’ve got the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for entire price, you can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using any credit card.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for your flight tickets? Did you not know that when you book directly through United You have the option of paying using dollars or points? Butbe aware that if you don’t have enough points you cannot combine points and dollars for one flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re only a couple of points short, United also offers the option to purchase additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience with extra legroom as well as free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is like United’s that allows you to book with either JetBlue either dollars or points but not both. But, JetBlue has a unique feature where you can join your points with your relatives to earn points twice as quickly. Be sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack into the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re anything like me and my travel companion Becca, you’re probably pretty economical and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to hit the minimum amount required to earn credit card bonuses. However, don’t be worried because we’ve been there and we’re here to share some of our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able to pay your rent using credit card, go for it! Make sure you pay a cost, which is usually at least 3 percent. It might be worth it in the end in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another great way to hit the required spending is to pay for the medical bills. If you do not have any medical expenses due, ask your family members to pay them for theirs, and they can repay you.
Pay off a loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan take into consideration repaying them using an credit card. Be sure to pay off the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask family for help
Discuss your family with them and look into any large expenses coming up which you could 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 you’re celebrating the holidays take into consideration buying all your gifts using cards from your credit account. In this way, you’ll reach the minimum spending requirement and also be ready to give gifts. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you were contemplating to.
There are plenty of ways to make the most of using your credit or debit card for travel and accrue points or miles to spend on the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are some additional ideas for maximizing the rewards you earn:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, use the travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as any other travel-related expenses. In addition, you’ll be able to meet the required amount to earn your credit card as well, but you’ll also earn points or miles for those expenditures.
Use your credit card for all your daily expenditures
Another method to reach the minimum spend in order to accumulate points utilising your credit cards to pay for every day expenses. This can include things like food, gas and even your telephone bill. Just make sure to pay the balance off each month in full so you don’t pay interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or bonus points on certain kinds of purchases, including eating out or traveling. Check out your rewards program on your credit card and take advantage of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending routines.
Think about the possibility of transferring your balance
If you have existing debt on a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer that balance onto a travel credit card with a 0% introductory APR for balance transfers. This will allow you to pay off your debts without accruing interest. It will also aid in achieving the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus.
Utilize your miles and points prudently
If you’ve amassed a large amount of miles or points make sure you use them wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and then compare the value of different redemption options. For instance, using your points to purchase a flight directly with the airline could offer better value than using them to purchase the purchase of a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will allow you to have a wider range of choices and more flexibility in you want to redeem your rewards. For example, you may be able to transfer your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or hotel rewards program. This gives the benefit of a wider selection of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks that may not be accessible through the rewards program of your credit card.
In addition, you should determine the card’s benefits. certain benefits that will 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 extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
If you’re traveling with someone else each of you will be able to get rewards on your credit card. Make sure you don’t divide the cost with the same card, and be sure you keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
Overall, the key to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to know your credit card’s rewards program and make sure you’re using this program in the most efficient method possible. Through all of the strategies I’ve listed 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.