Are you tired of paying an enormous amount on flights? Good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting way to convert welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles which can be used to get discounted or even free flights to your dream destinations. With a little bit of imagination and some information, you’ll be jet-setting for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about trading credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can later be used to pay for discounted or even free flights. Some credit cards also let you redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or car rental discounts.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for success in travel hacking is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and to establish a frequent flyer mile program on a select group of airlines. When it comes time to make a booking consider the cost. If the flight is less than $300, it’s generally better to pay in cash and use your miles to pay to book a higher-priced flight. If your flights begin to climb higher than $500, it’s best to review your frequent flyer accounts to see which airline can give you the best price. All it boils down to is the amount of miles or points in your travel account for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to hacking travel? Your first task is opening a credit card with a sign-up bonus. There are many great credit cards with a variety of advantages and features. It is all dependent on the airline, your habits with spending and the features that are most essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards perfect to hack travel
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
If you’ve been approved for a credit card, you’ll need to reach the minimum spend limit in order to qualify for the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so make sure to check for the details. Then you can begin to rack up miles, and using them to plan your dream trip!
Are you ready to set sail with your points?
Now that you’ve built up your points balance, you’re ready to use them towards nice vacation! Different credit card providers will have different methods of redeeming your points. Here are some examples from a few of the providers I have experience with:
Escape through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you have a Chase card, you are able to use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In the portal, you’ll get access to nearly every airline and you can make use of a combination of money and points to book your next trip. You can book your flight entirely using points if you’ve got enough balance! Sometimes, even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for total price, you can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using the credit card of your choice.
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 with either points or dollars? But, be careful, if you do not have enough points you aren’t able to combine points and dollars on one flight. If you’re just a few point short United also offers the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides passengers a relaxing and pleasant travel experience that includes extra space and complimentary snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to United’s, allowing passengers to book flights using JetBlue either dollars or points, however, not both. However, JetBlue offers a distinct feature that allows you to join your points with your relatives to earn points twice as fast. Just make sure you can verify that you are a family member before trying to hack into the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel companion Becca, you’re probably pretty economical and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars in order to meet the required amount to qualify for a credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried, we’ve been through it and we’re here to share some of our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able to pay for your rent with a credit card, do it! Just be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually around 3%. It might be worth it in the end if the bonus is high enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another way to reach the required spending is to cover the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills in the near future Ask your family members to pay for theirs and they’ll reimburse you.
Pay off the loan
If you have any loans you owe, think about repaying them using an credit card. Be sure to pay off the balance on your credit card completely so that you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask family for help
Discuss your family with them and determine if they’ve got any big expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Make sure that you are able to have confidence in the person you are talking to and they are aware of the reason for doing it.
If you’re celebrating the holidays, consider buying all your gifts with cards from your credit account. So you’ll be able to reach the minimum spending requirement and also be ready to give gifts. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you thinking of.
There are many methods to get the most out of using your credit or debit card for travel and earn miles or points to use towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few additional ways to maximize the rewards you earn:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, use the travel credit card for booking your hotel, flight, rental car, and other travel costs. Not only will you be able to hit the minimum spend to qualify for a credit card bonus, but you’ll also be earning points or miles to cover the expenditures.
Use your credit card to pay for your everyday expenditures
Another method to reach the minimum spending requirement in order to accumulate points by utilising your credit cards for every day expenditures. This could include items like groceries, gas, and even your phone bill. Make sure you pay the balance off in full every month to ensure you don’t pay interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or points in exchange on certain kinds of purchases, such as eating out or travelling. Make sure you review your rewards program on your credit card and make use of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending habits.
Think about a balance transfer
If you are currently in debt on a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer that balance to an account with a travel credit card that has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfers. This will let you pay off your debt without accruing interest, and also aid in achieving the minimum amount required to earn the credit card’s bonus.
Use your points or miles wisely
If you’ve amassed a large amount of miles or points, be sure to use them wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card and then compare the benefits of different redemption options. For instance, using points to book a ticket directly with the airline might provide you with a greater value than using them for an gift card.
Another tip is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will let you get a wider selection of options and greater freedom when it comes to you want to redeem your rewards. For example, you may be able to transfer your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a hotel rewards program. This will give you access to a larger range of flights, hotels and other travel benefits that may not be accessible through the rewards program of your credit card.
Additionally, try to discover the card’s benefits. certain benefits that will reduce your travel expenses. Some cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that could be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
If you’re traveling with a friend, both of you can earn rewards with your own credit card. Be aware that you cannot share the costs on the same card and make sure to track the rewards you earn separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do to making the most of your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program of your credit card and ensure that you’re using it in the most efficient method. By using an array of strategies I’ve listed that you can get rewards in a short time, use them for travel experiences that are worth it, and enjoy a wide range of travel perks.