Are you fed up of spending a fortune on airfare? Good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel problems. It’s a fun way to convert welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles, which can be used to get discounted or even free flights to your dream destinations. With a little imagination and some knowledge, you can fly for no cost in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of trading credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. These miles can then be used to buy cheap or free flight tickets. Some credit cards also let you redeem miles towards hotel stays or car rental offers.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for success in hacking travel is taking advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and establishing frequent flyer miles on a select group of airlines. When you are ready to book a flight take a look at the price. If the cost is less than $300, it’s best to pay in cash and use your miles to pay to take a more costly flight. If your flights begin to climb higher than $500, it’s best to check those frequent flyer accounts to see which airline can give you the best deal. It all comes down to the amount of points or miles in your travel bank for each airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets of travel hacking? First step to open an account that comes with a welcome bonus. There are many great credit cards that offer various advantages and features. It depends on the type of airline, your spending habits, and what features are essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards that are excellent to hack 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 hit the limit of spending minimum 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 vacation!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your goals?
Once you’ve accumulated your points amount, it’s time to cash them in for some sweet travel! Different credit card providers will have different methods of redeeming your points. Here are a few examples from some of the ones I’ve worked with:
Escape through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you have an Chase cards, you are able to redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. In this portal you’ll have access to nearly every airline, and you can use a combination of points and cash to book your trip. You can even book completely with points if you’ve the balance for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t possess enough points for the full cost, you still can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in 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 to pay with dollars or points? Be careful in case you don’t have enough points you aren’t able to combine dollars and points for the same flight. No worries though, if you’re just a few points away, United also offers the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue offers a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience with extra legroom as well as free snacks. Plus, their booking process is like United’s which allows you to book with either JetBlue points or dollars, but not both. The difference is that JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that allows you to combine your points with your relatives to earn points twice as fast. Just make sure you can prove you’re really family before trying to hack the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel buddy Becca I’m sure you’re pretty thrifty and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to hit the minimum spend for a credit card bonus. Don’t worry, we’ve been through it and are here to share our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able to pay for your rent using a credit card, do it! Make sure you pay a fee, usually at least 3%. It might be worth it in the long run in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another great way to hit the minimum spend is to pay for a medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills coming up Ask your family members to pay them for theirs, and they’ll pay you back.
Make a payment to pay off the loan
If you have any loans take into consideration paying them off with your credit card. Make sure to pay off the balance on your credit card in full , so that you don’t accrue additional debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Discuss your family with them and determine if they’ve got any major expenses in the near future which you could help pay for. Make sure that you are able to have confidence in the person you are talking to and they know why you’re taking the initiative.
If it’s the holiday season you should consider purchasing all your gifts with your credit card. So you’ll be able to hit that minimum spend and be ready for gift giving. Be sure to avoid paying more than you already contemplating to.
There are many methods to get the most of using your credit or debit card for travel. accrue points or miles to use towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few additional suggestions for maximising the rewards you earn:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, make use of your travel credit card for booking your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as any other travel-related expenses. 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 expenses.
Make use of your credit card to pay for all your daily costs
Another way to meet the minimum amount of spending in order to accumulate points by utilising your credit cards to pay every day expenditures. This could include things like gas, groceries, and even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay the balance off in full every month to ensure you don’t accrue interest charges.
Benefit from bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide bonus points or miles on certain kinds of purchases, like eating out or travelling. Be sure to review the rewards program of your credit card and avail the bonus categories that are in line with your spending habits.
Take into consideration the possibility of transferring your balance
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a credit card, consider transferring that balance onto an account with a travel credit card that has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfer. This will allow you to pay off your debt without accruing interest, and also help you hit the minimum spending requirement for the credit card bonus.
Utilize your miles and points prudently
When you’ve earned a significant amount of points or miles Make sure to utilize them wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and then compare the value of different redemption options. For example you can use points to purchase a flight directly with the airline could offer better value than using them for an gift card.
Another tip is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer your reward points into other loyalty programmes. This allows you to enjoy a greater variety of options and greater flexibility in redeeming your rewards. For instance, you might be able to transfer your reward to the frequent flyer program of an airline or a reward program for hotels. This gives you access to a greater selection of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks which are not offered through the rewards program on your credit card.
Additionally, try to discover whether your credit card has some perks that could save you money on travel-related costs. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance as well as 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, both of you can earn rewards using your own credit card. Be aware that you cannot split the cost on the same card. Also, make sure you keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
The key to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program on your credit card and to ensure you’re making use of this program in the most efficient method. Through a combination of the methods I’ve described, you’ll be able to earn rewards quickly, redeem them for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide variety of travel benefits.