Are you tired of paying an enormous amount on flights? Then, there’s a 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 you can use to obtain discounted or free flights to your desired destinations. With a little imagination and some know-how, you’ll travel for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about swapping credit card sign-up bonus and rewards for airline miles. These miles can later be used to pay for cheap or free flight tickets. Some credit cards also permit you to use miles for hotel stays and car rental offers.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for successful travel hacking is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and establishing frequent flyer miles on a select group of airlines. When you are ready to make a booking consider the cost. If the price is less than $300, it’s best to pay cash and use your miles to pay to take a more costly flight. If the prices start to rise over $500, you’ll need to review those frequent flyer accounts and see which airline can give you the best deal. All it boils down to is the number of points or miles you have in your travel bank for every airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets of travel hacking? The first step is opening an account that comes with a welcome bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards with various benefits and features. It is all dependent on the airline, spending habits and the features that are most crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit card options that can be excellent to use for hacking travel:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
If you’ve been approved for a credit or debit card, you’ll need to hit the limit of spending minimum in order to get the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of guidelines, so make sure to look up the details. Then it’s all about building miles and then using them to book your dream vacation!
Ready to jet-set with your points?
After you’ve accrued your points balance, you’re ready to redeem them for some sweet getaway! Different credit card companies will have different methods of redeeming 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’re a holder of an Chase card, you are able to redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through it, you’ll get access to almost every airline and you can combine the points as well as cash in order to book your trip. You can even book entirely using points if you’ve got the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you do not possess enough points for the full cost, you are able to purchase flights through 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 flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option of paying with dollars or points? Be careful, if you don’t have enough points, you cannot combine dollars and points on the same flight. If you’re a few points away, United provides the option of buying additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience with extra legroom as well as free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to United’s that allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue dollar or points however, not both. But, JetBlue has a unique feature that allows you to combine your points with family members to accrue 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 like me or my travel buddy Becca, you’re probably pretty economical and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to reach the required amount to qualify for a credit card bonus. But don’t fret because we’ve been there and are 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 with a credit card, do it! Be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually around 3%. It could be worthwhile over the long term when the bonus is large enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another great way to hit the spending limit is to pay for a medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills in the near future Ask your relatives if you could pay for theirs and they’ll repay you.
Make a payment to pay off a loan
If you have any loans you owe, think about repaying them using an credit card. Just make sure you pay off the balance on your credit card in full , so that you don’t accumulate additional 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. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to trust the person and they know why you’re doing this.
If it’s the holiday season, consider buying all of your gifts with your credit card. In this way, you’ll hit that minimum spend and be ready for gift giving. Make sure that you’re not paying more than you already planning to.
There are plenty of methods to get the most from using your credit or debit card for travel and accumulate miles or points that you can be used towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few more ideas for maximizing your rewards
Book travel expenses with your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, make use of you travel credit card to book your flight, hotel, rental car, and any other travel-related expenses. You’ll not only achieve the minimum spend to qualify for a credit card bonus, but you’ll also earn points or miles for the costs.
Use your credit card for all your daily expenditures
Another method to reach the minimum amount of spending and earn points is making use of your credit card to pay every day expenditures. 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 accumulate interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer bonus points or miles for specific types of purchases, such as dining or travel. Check out the rewards program of your credit card and make use of any bonus categories that align with your spending routines.
Consider a balance transfer
If you’re in the middle of a outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, think about transferring that balance onto an account with a travel credit card that has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfers. This will allow you to pay off the debt without accruing interest, and also assist you in reaching the minimum spending requirement for the credit card’s bonus.
Utilize your miles and points wisely
If you’ve amassed a large amount of points or miles, be sure to use the points or miles wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card, and evaluate the benefits of different redemption options. For instance using points to book a flight directly with the airline might provide you with a greater return than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will allow you to enjoy a greater variety of choices and more flexibility in making use of your rewards. For instance, you might be eligible to transfer your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or Hotel rewards programme. This will give an access larger variety of hotels, flights, and other travel perks which are not accessible through the rewards program of your credit card.
Also, determine if your credit card offers any perks that can reduce your travel expenses. Many cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that could be invaluable when you travel.
If you’re traveling with a friend and both of you earn rewards using your own credit card. Just remember that you can’t share the costs on the same card, and be sure to keep track of your rewards separately.
Overall, the key to maximizing your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program on your credit card and make sure you’re using your credit card in the most efficient method. Utilizing an array of strategies I’ve listed in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards fast, exchange them for travel experiences that are worth it and take advantage of a broad assortment of travel-related perks.