Are you tired of paying an enormous amount on flights? Good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting way to turn credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into miles which can be used to score discounted or cheap flights from your dream destinations. With a little bit of imagination and some knowledge, you can travel for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about trading credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can then be used to pay for cheap or free flight tickets. Some credit cards also permit you to use miles to pay for hotel stays or 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 to establish frequent flyer miles for a specific group of airlines. When it’s time to make a booking take a look at the price. If the cost is less than $300, it’s generally better to pay cash and use your miles to pay to book a higher-priced flight. If your flights begin to climb higher than $500, it’s best to review the frequent flyer account to see which airline can give you the most value. All it boils down to is the amount of points or miles in your travel account for every airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets of travel hacking? Your first task is to open an account with a sign-up offer. There are plenty of great credit cards that provide a variety of advantages and features. It is all dependent on the 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 great 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 have to meet the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to receive the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so be sure to look up the details. Then it’s all about building up miles, and using them to book your dream vacation!
Ready to jet-set with your points?
Now that you’ve built up your points balance, it’s time to use them towards nice vacation! Different credit card companies will offer different ways to redeem your points, but here are some examples from some of the companies I have experience with:
Getaway with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of a Chase card, you can redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within the portal, you’ll get access to nearly every airline, and you can make use of a combination of points and cash to book your trip. You can even book entirely on points if you have the balance for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t possess enough points for the entire cost, you still can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using any credit card.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for your flight tickets? Did you realize that when booking directly through United You have the option to pay with either points or dollars? But, be careful in case you do not have enough points you cannot combine points and dollars for one flight. If you’re just a few points short, United provides the option to purchase additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience , with more space and complimentary snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is like United’s which allows customers to book using either JetBlue dollar or points, but not both. But, JetBlue offers a distinct feature that lets you pool your points together with your relatives to earn points twice as fast. Make sure to 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 buddy Becca, you’re probably pretty 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 we’re here to share some of our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important 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 might be worth it in the end in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another excellent way to meet the minimum spend is to pay for the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills in the near future, ask your family members to pay for theirs and they’ll reimburse you.
Repay a loan
If you have any loans, consider paying them off with your credit card. 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 members for assistance
Ask your family members to look into any big expenses coming up which you could help pay for. Make sure that you are able to have confidence in the person you are talking to and they are aware of the reason for doing it.
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 also be ready for gift giving. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you were already thinking of.
There are a lot of methods to get the most from using your credit or debit card for travel. You can accrue points or miles to be used towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few additional ideas for maximizing your rewards
Book travel expenses with your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a vacation, make use of you travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as other travel costs. Not only will you be able to hit the minimum amount of spending required to earn your credit card bonus, however, you’ll also earn points or miles to cover these expenses.
Make use of your credit card to pay for all your daily expenses
Another way to hit the minimum amount of spending in order to accumulate points using your credit card for everyday expenditures. This can include items like groceries, gas and even your telephone bill. Be sure to pay off the balance in full every month to ensure you don’t accrue interest charges.
Make the most of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide 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 take advantage of any bonus categories that align with your spending routines.
Take into consideration a balance transfer
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a high-interest credit card, consider transferring the balance to an account with a travel credit card that has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfer. This will let you pay off your debts without accruing interest. It will also help you hit the minimum spending requirement for the credit card bonus.
Make use of your miles or points prudently
If you’ve amassed a large amount of points or miles Make sure to utilize the points or miles wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card, and evaluate the worth of various redemption options. For example, using your points to book a ticket directly through the airline may offer better return than using them for an gift card.
Another tip is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer points to other loyalty programs. This allows you to have a wider range of options and greater freedom when it comes to redeeming your rewards. For example, you may be able to transfer your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a Hotel rewards programme. This gives the benefit of a wider range of flights, hotels and other travel benefits which are not available through the rewards program of your credit card.
Additionally, try to find out if your credit card offers some perks that could reduce your travel costs. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that can be very beneficial when traveling.
When you travel with someone else, both of you can earn rewards with your own credit card. Make sure you don’t divide the cost with the same card and make sure you keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
Overall, the key to maximizing your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program on your credit card and make sure you’re using this program in the most effective method. By using a combination of the strategies I’ve outlined, you’ll be able to earn rewards fast, exchange rewards for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide assortment of travel-related perks.