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 a fun way to convert welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles which you can use to get discounted or even free flights to your dream destinations. With a little imagination and some know-how, you’ll fly for no cost in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about trading credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. The miles can be used to purchase discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards allow you to redeem miles for hotel stays and rental car discounts.
How Does it Work?
The secret to success in hacking travel is taking advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and establishing frequent flyer miles for a specific group of airlines. When it comes time to make a booking consider the cost. If the cost is less than $300, it’s usually better to pay in cash and save your miles to take a more costly flight. If the prices start to rise above $500, you’ll want to look into those frequent flyer accounts to see which airline can give you the best deal. It all boils down to the amount of miles or points in your travel bank for each airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to hacking travel? The first step is to open the credit card that comes that comes with a welcome bonus. There are many great credit cards that offer many advantages and features. It is all dependent on the airline, spending habits and what features are essential 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
After you’ve been accepted for a credit or debit 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 look up this information. Then you can begin to rack up miles, and using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your goals?
Now that you’ve built up your points amount, it’s time to cash them in for some nice vacation! Different credit card providers will offer different ways to redeem your points. Here are some examples from a few of the ones I have experience with:
Getaway through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you own an Chase cards, you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through this portal you’ll have access to virtually every airline and you can use a combination of money and points to book your next trip. You can book your flight entirely with points if you’ve the balance for it! Sometimes even if you do not have enough points to cover the total cost, you are able to book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using every credit card.
Are you tired of paying full price for your flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United You have the option of paying using dollars or points? Be careful in case you do not have enough points you cannot combine dollars and points for the same flight. If you’re a few points short, United provides the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? You should 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 similar to United’s, allowing you to book with either JetBlue either dollars or points but not both. The difference is that JetBlue has a unique feature that lets you pool your points together with your family members and earn points twice as quickly. Make sure to establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re like me and my travel companion Becca, you’re probably pretty frugal and it can be challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to hit the required amount to qualify for the credit card bonus. Don’t worry as we’ve done it and we’re 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 for your rent with a credit card, do it! Make sure you pay a cost, which is usually around 3%. It may be worth it over the long term if the bonus is high enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another way to reach the spending limit is to pay for the medical bills. If you do not have any medical expenses coming up then ask your family members if you can pay their medical bills and they can repay you.
Pay off the loan
If you’re a borrower you owe, think about making payments on them with the credit card you have. Just make sure you pay off the balance on your credit card in full , so that you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask family for help
Talk to your family and determine if they’ve got any major expenses in the near future that you can contribute for. Just make sure you have confidence in the person you are talking to and they understand why you’re taking the initiative.
If it’s the holiday season, consider buying all your gifts with your credit card. In this way, you’ll hit that minimum spend and also be ready for gift giving. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you were already planning to.
There are many ways to make the most out of using your credit or debit card for travel. earn miles or points to spend on flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few additional ideas for maximizing your rewards
Book travel expenses with your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, use the travel credit card for booking your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as other travel costs. Not only will you achieve the required amount to earn your credit card as well, but you’ll also be earning points or miles for those expenses.
Make use of your credit card to pay for all your daily expenditures
Another way to meet the minimum spending requirement and earn points is making use of your credit card to pay everyday expenses. 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 pay interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or bonus points on certain kinds of purchases, like 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 routines.
Think about a balance transfer
If you are currently in outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, consider transferring the balance to a travel credit card with the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfers. This will enable you to pay off the debt without accruing interest and simultaneously assist you in reaching the minimum amount required to earn the credit card’s bonus.
Use your points or miles wisely
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points make sure you use the points or miles wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and then compare the value of different redemption options. For example you can use your points to purchase a flight directly through the airline may offer better return than using them for a gift card.
Another option is to get rewards cards that allow you to transfer your points to other loyalty programs. This allows you to get a wider selection of choices and more flexibility when making use of your rewards. For instance, you might be eligible to transfer your reward to an airline’s frequent flyer program or hotel rewards program. This will give the benefit of a larger selection of hotels, flights, and other travel perks that may not be available through your credit card’s rewards program.
In addition, you should find out if your credit card offers any perks that can reduce your travel costs. Many cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that are invaluable when you travel.
If you’re traveling with someone else, both of you can earn rewards using your own credit card. Be aware that you cannot share the costs on the same card. Also, make sure to track your rewards separately.
Overall, the key to maximizing your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program of your credit card and make sure you’re making use of your credit card in the most effective method possible. By using all of the methods I’ve described that you can earn rewards fast, exchange them for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad assortment of travel-related perks.