Are you tired of paying a fortune on airfare? Well, good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting way to convert sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles which you can use to score discounted or cheap flights from your desired destinations. With a little imagination and some information, you’ll travel for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. These miles can later be used to purchase cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards permit you to use miles for hotel stays and rental car offers.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for success in hacking travel is taking advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and establishing frequent flyer miles with a limited number of airlines. When it’s time to make a booking take a look at the price. If the flight is under $300, it’s best to pay cash and use your miles to pay for a more expensive flight. If your flights begin to climb above $500, you’ll want to check your frequent flyer accounts and determine which airline offers you the best deal. It all comes down to the number of points or miles in your travel bank for every airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to hacking travel? First step opening an account with a sign-up bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards that offer a variety of advantages and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, your habits with spending and the features that are most essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit card options that can be 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 limit of spending minimum in order to get the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so be sure to check for this information. From there, it’s all about racking miles and then using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your points?
Now that you’ve built up the points balance, it’s time to use them towards nice vacation! Different credit card providers will offer different ways to redeem your points. Here are a few examples from some of the companies I have experience with:
Escape through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you’re a holder of an Chase credit card, then you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within the portal, you’ll get access to almost every airline. You can use a combination of money and points to book your next trip. You can even book completely with points if you’ve the balance for it! Sometimes even if you do not possess enough points for the total cost, you are able to buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using any credit card.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for your flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United You have the option of paying using either points or dollars? Be careful that if you don’t have enough points, you aren’t able to combine dollars and points on flights. No worries though, 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 offers a comfortable and enjoyable travel experience that includes extra legroom as well as free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is like United’s that allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue dollar or points, however, not both. However, JetBlue offers a distinct feature where you can combine your points with family members to accrue points twice as quickly. Be sure to establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack into the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re like me or my travel buddy Becca, you’re probably pretty frugal and it can be difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to reach the required amount to qualify for the credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried, we’ve been through it 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 pay your rent with a credit card, do it! Just be prepared to be charged a fee, typically about 3 percent. It could be worthwhile in the end when the bonus is large enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another great way to hit the required spending is to pay for the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills coming up, ask your relatives if you could pay their medical bills and they can reimburse you.
Repay the loan
If you have any loans take into consideration repaying them using an credit card. Make sure to pay off the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t accumulate additional debt.
Ask your family members for help
Talk to your family and see if they have any big expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Just make sure you are able to trust the person and that they understand why you’re taking the initiative.
If you’re celebrating the holidays take into consideration buying all your gifts using the credit card you have. In this way, you’ll meet the minimum spending limit and be ready for giving gifts. Be sure to avoid spending more than you already thinking of.
There are many ways to make the most from using your credit or debit card for travel. You can accrue points or miles to use towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are some additional ideas for maximizing your rewards
Book travel expenses with your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, use you travel credit card for booking your hotel, flight, rental car, and any other travel-related expenses. You’ll not only be able to meet the minimum amount of spending required to earn your credit card reward and earn points, but you’ll also be earning points or miles for those expenses.
Make use of your credit card to pay for everyday expenditures
Another method to reach the minimum amount of spending in order to accumulate points using your credit card to pay everyday costs. This could include items like groceries, gas and even your telephone bill. Just make sure to pay off the balance in full every month to ensure you don’t pay interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or bonus points on certain kinds of purchases, such as dining or travel. Be sure to review the rewards program of your credit card and take advantage of any bonus categories that match with your spending habits.
Take into consideration a balance transfer
If you are currently in debt on a credit card, think about transferring the balance to the travel credit card which has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfers. This will allow you to pay off the debt without accruing interest, and also aid in achieving the minimum spending requirement for the credit card’s bonus.
Use your points or miles prudently
If you’ve amassed a large amount of miles or points, be sure to use the points or miles wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card, and evaluate the value of different redemption options. For example you can use points to purchase a flight directly through the airline may give you a better return than using them for an gift card.
Another suggestion is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer your rewards to different loyalty program. This will allow you to have a wider range of choices and more flexibility in you want to redeem your rewards. For instance, you might be able to transfer your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a Hotel rewards programme. This can give the benefit of a larger selection of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks that may not be available through the rewards program on your credit card.
In addition, you should determine whether your credit card has some perks that could help you save money on travel costs. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that can be invaluable when you travel.
When you travel with a companion, both of you can get rewards on your own credit card. Make sure you don’t share the costs on the same card. Also, make sure to keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
Overall, the key to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to understand your credit card’s rewards program and ensure that you’re making use of this program in the most effective method. Utilizing an array of strategies I’ve outlined, you’ll be able to earn rewards fast, exchange them for travel experiences that are worth it, and enjoy a wide range of travel perks.