Are you fed up of spending an enormous amount on flights? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking is the answer to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting way to convert bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles which can be used to obtain discounted or free flights to your dream destinations. With a little imagination and some information, you’ll travel for free 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 then be used to purchase discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards will also let you redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or car rental offers.
How Does it Work?
The key to success in hacking travel is taking advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and to establish frequent flyer miles on a select group of airlines. When you are ready to make a booking, evaluate the cost. If the cost is under $300, it’s generally better to pay in cash and save your miles for a more expensive flight. When the flights start getting over $500, you’ll need 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 miles or points you have in your travel savings account for every airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to hacking travel? Your first task is opening a credit card with a sign-up offer. There are many great credit cards that provide a variety of benefits and features. It is all dependent on the airline, spending habits and what features are important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards that are perfect 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 card you’ll need to hit the minimum spend limit in order to qualify for the bonus. Every card has different rules, so be sure to look up this information. From there it’s all about building up miles and using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to set sail with your ideas?
After you’ve accrued the points amount, it’s time to cash them in for some sweet vacation! Different credit card companies will have different methods of redeeming your points. Here are a few examples from some of the ones I’ve had experience with:
Escape by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of a Chase credit card, then you are able to redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within the portal, you’ll have access to virtually every airline. You can use a combination of points and cash to pay for your travel. You can even book completely on points if you have enough balance! Sometimes, even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for full price, you can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using the credit card of your choice.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United You have the option to pay with dollars or points? Be careful that if you don’t have enough points, you cannot combine dollars and points on one 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 provides a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience , with more legroom as well as free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is like United’s, allowing you to book with either JetBlue either dollars or points, but not both. But, 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 establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack into the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel companion Becca You’re probably quite thrifty and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to hit 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 tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able to pay for your rent with credit card, go for it! Be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually around 3 percent. It may be worth it in the end if the bonus is high enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another great way to hit the spending limit is to cover an medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses in the near future, ask your relatives if you could pay their medical bills and they will pay you back.
Pay off the loan
If you have any loans take into consideration repaying them using an credit card. Be sure to pay off the balance on your credit card in full , so that you don’t accrue 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 help pay for. Make sure that you are able to are able to trust the person and that they understand why you’re taking the initiative.
If it’s the holiday season take into consideration buying all of your gifts with the credit card you have. So you’ll be able to reach the minimum spending requirement and be ready for gift giving. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you were already planning to.
There are a lot of ways to make the most of using your credit or debit card for travel. accrue points or miles to be used towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few additional ways to maximize your rewards
Book travel expenses with your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, use your travel credit card to pay for your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as other travel costs. You’ll not only achieve the minimum amount of spending required to qualify for a credit card reward, however, you’ll also earn points or miles for those expenditures.
Make use of your credit card to pay for all your daily expenditures
Another way to hit the minimum spending requirement in order to accumulate points making use of your credit card to pay daily expenditures. This could be things like gas, groceries, and even your phone bill. Make sure you pay the balance off in full each month so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or points in exchange for certain types of purchases, including eating out or travelling. Check out your rewards program on your credit card and make use of any bonus categories that align with your spending habits.
Think about the possibility of transferring your balance
If you are currently in debt on a credit card, consider transferring that balance onto an account with a travel credit card that has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfer. This will let you pay off the debt without accruing interest, and also assist you in reaching the minimum amount required to earn the credit card’s bonus.
Use your points or miles prudently
If you’ve amassed a large amount of points or miles make sure you use them wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card and compare the benefits of different redemption options. For instance, using points to book a flight directly with the airline might offer better return than using them for an gift card.
Another suggestion is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer your reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will allow you to enjoy a greater variety of choices and more flexibility when redeeming your rewards. For instance, you might be eligible to transfer your rewards to the frequent flyer program of an airline or reward program for hotels. This will give an access greater selection of hotels, flights, and other travel perks that may not be available through your credit card’s rewards program.
Additionally, try to discover the card’s benefits. any perks that can help you save money on travel expenses. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection, and other benefits that could be very beneficial when traveling.
If you’re traveling with someone else each of you will be able to earn rewards using your own credit card. Be aware that you cannot divide the cost with the same card. Also, make sure you keep track of your rewards separately.
The key to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to know the rewards program of your credit card and make sure you’re making use of this program in the most effective method possible. Utilizing an array of strategies I’ve listed in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards fast, exchange them for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad variety of travel benefits.