Are you tired of spending an enormous amount on flights? Then, there’s a 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, that can then be used to obtain discounted or complimentary flights for your ideal destinations. With a little bit of creativity and some insider knowledge, you can be jet-setting for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can later be used to purchase cheap or free flight tickets. Some credit cards also permit you to use miles for hotel stays and rental car deals.
How Does it Work?
The key to successful hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and building out frequent flyer miles for a specific group of airlines. When it’s time to book a flight take a look at the price. If the price is under $300, it’s generally better to pay cash and save your miles for a more expensive flight. If your flights begin to climb above $500, you’ll want to check the frequent flyer account and find out which airline will give you the best deal. All it boils down to is the number of points or miles in your travel account for each airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets of travel hacking? First step opening the credit card that comes with a sign-up bonus. There are many great credit cards that provide various features and benefits. It depends on the type of airline, your spending habits, and what features are essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit card options that can be perfect to use for hacking travel:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
After you’ve been accepted for a credit card you’ll have to meet the minimum spend limit in order to qualify for the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so be sure to look up the details. Then you can begin to rack up miles, and then using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to set sail with your points?
After you’ve accrued your points balance, it’s time to use them towards nice travel! Different credit card companies will have different methods for redeeming your points, but here are some examples from some of the companies I’ve worked with:
Getaway by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have an Chase cards, you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within it, you’ll get access to nearly every airline and you can make use of a combination of points and cash to pay for your travel. You can even book completely with points if you’ve the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you don’t have enough points to cover the total price, you can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with the credit card of your choice.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United you can choose the option to pay with dollars or points? Butbe aware, if you don’t have enough points, you cannot combine dollars and points on one flight. If you’re a few points away, United also offers the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers an enjoyable and comfortable travel experience that includes extra legroom and free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to United’s, allowing customers to book using either JetBlue points or dollars but not both. But, JetBlue has a unique feature that allows you to pool your points together with your relatives to earn points twice as quickly. Be sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me and my travel buddy Becca I’m sure you’re pretty thrifty and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to reach the minimum spend for credit card bonuses. But don’t fret because we’ve been there and we’re here to share our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able pay your rent with credit card, then do it! Make sure you pay a cost, which is usually about 3%. It could be worthwhile in the end when the bonus is large enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another way to reach the required spending is to pay for an medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses in the near future Ask your family members to pay them for theirs, and they can pay you back.
Pay off a loan
If you’re a borrower, consider paying them off with an credit card. Just make sure you pay off the balance on your credit card in full so you don’t end up with additional debt.
Ask family for help
Discuss your family with them and see if they have any large expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Make sure that you are able to trust the person and they know why you’re doing this.
If it’s the holiday season, consider buying all your gifts with the credit card you have. This way you can meet the minimum spending limit and also be prepared for giving gifts. Be sure to avoid spending more than you were already thinking of.
There are many ways to get the most from the travel credit card. earn miles or points to spend on airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are some additional ideas for maximizing your rewards:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
If you’re planning a vacation, make use of you travel credit card to book your hotel, flight, rental car, and other travel costs. In addition, you’ll achieve the minimum amount of spending required for your credit card reward, however, you’ll also earn points or miles to cover those expenses.
Use your credit card to pay for your everyday expenses
Another way to hit the minimum spend to earn rewards is by using your credit card for daily costs. This could include items like groceries, gas and even your telephone bill. Make sure you pay off the balance each month in full so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Make the most of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer bonus points or miles for specific types of purchases, like dining or travel. Make sure you review the rewards program of your credit card and make use of any bonus categories that match with your spending habits.
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 to a travel credit card with a 0% introductory APR for balance transfers. This will let you pay off the debt without accruing interest and simultaneously aid in achieving the minimum amount required to earn the credit card’s bonus.
Make use of your miles or points wisely
If you’ve amassed a large amount of points or miles, be sure to use them in a responsible manner. Review the rewards program for your credit card, and evaluate the worth of various redemption options. For instance, using your points to book a ticket directly through the airline may give you a better value than using them to purchase an gift card.
Another tip is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer your reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will let you get a wider selection of options and greater flexibility in redeeming your rewards. For example, you may be able to transfer your rewards to an airline’s frequent flyer program or a hotel rewards program. This will give the benefit of a wider selection of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks that may not be offered through your credit card’s rewards program.
In addition, you should find out if your credit card offers some perks that could reduce your travel expenses. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that could be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a friend and both of you earn rewards using your own credit card. Just remember that you can’t divide the cost with the same card and make sure to track your rewards separately.
The key to maximizing your travel rewards is to know the rewards program on your credit card and ensure that you’re using your credit card in the most effective way possible. Through a combination of the methods I’ve described, you’ll be able to earn rewards fast, exchange them for travel experiences that are worth it and benefit from a wide variety of travel benefits.