Are you tired of spending an enormous amount on flights? Good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting way to convert bonus and sign-up incentives into miles which can be used to obtain discounted or free flights to your ideal destinations. With a bit of imagination and a little bit of insider know-how, you’ll be jet-setting for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about swapping credit card sign-up bonus as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can later be used to pay for discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards permit you to use miles to pay for hotel stays or rental car offers.
How Does it Work?
The key to successful hacking travel is taking advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and to establish frequent flyer miles for a specific group of airlines. When it comes time to book a flight consider the cost. If the cost is under $300, it’s generally better 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 look into those frequent flyer accounts to find out which airline will give you the best deal. It all comes down to the amount of points or miles you have in your travel bank for each airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets of travel hacking? Your first task is to open a credit card with a sign-up bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that provide various features and benefits. It depends on the type of airline, your habits with spending and what features are important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards that are great for travel hacking:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
If you’ve been approved for a credit card, you’ll have to meet the limit of spending minimum in order to get the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so be certain to verify this information. From there it’s all about building up miles and then using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to set sail with your ideas?
Now that you’ve built up the points balance, it’s time to use them towards delicious travel! Different credit card providers will have different methods for redeeming your points. Here are some examples from some of the providers I’ve had experience with:
Escape by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own a Chase card, you can redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. In this portal you’ll have access to almost every airline. You can use a combination of the points as well as cash in order to book your next trip. You can book your flight entirely using points if you’ve got enough balance! Sometimes, even if you don’t possess enough points for the total price, you can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using the credit card of your choice.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United You have the option of paying using dollars or points? Butbe aware that if you don’t have enough points you can’t combine points and dollars for flights. If you’re just a few point short United provides the option of buying additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience , with more legroom and free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is like United’s which allows customers to book using either JetBlue points or dollars, however, not both. But, JetBlue offers a distinct feature that lets you pool your points together with family members to accrue points twice as fast. Make sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re like me and my travel companion Becca I’m sure you’re pretty economical and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum spend for the credit card bonus. But don’t fret as we’ve done it and are here to share our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able pay your rent using a credit card, do it! Be prepared to be charged a fee, typically about 3 percent. It could be worthwhile over the long term in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another great way to hit the spending limit is to cover the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills coming up then ask your family members to pay for theirs and they’ll pay you back.
Pay off a loan
If you have any loans take into consideration making payments on them with your credit card. Be sure to pay the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Talk to your family and look into any major expenses in the near future that you can contribute for. Make sure that you are able to are able to trust the person and that they know why you’re taking the initiative.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season take into consideration buying all your gifts using your credit card. In this way, you’ll hit that minimum spend and be ready for giving gifts. Be sure to avoid paying more than you planning to.
There are plenty of ways to make the most of your travel credit card. You can accumulate miles or points that you can be used towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few more suggestions for maximising your rewards
Make travel reservations using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, use you travel credit card to book your flight, hotel, rental car, and any other travel-related expenses. You’ll not only achieve the required amount to earn your credit card as well, but you’ll also earn points or miles to cover the expenses.
Make use of your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday expenditures
Another way to meet the minimum amount of spending to earn rewards is making use of your credit card to pay daily costs. This could be 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 accumulate interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or points in exchange for specific types of purchases, such as eating out or travelling. Be sure to review your rewards program on your credit card and make use of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending habits.
Take into consideration a balance transfer
If you have existing debt on a credit card, consider transferring that balance to a travel credit card with an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will allow you to pay off your debts without accruing interest, and also assist you in reaching the minimum spend for the credit card’s bonus.
Utilize your miles and points prudently
If you’ve amassed a large amount of points or miles Make sure to utilize the points or miles wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card, and evaluate the worth of various redemption options. For instance you can use points to purchase a flight directly with the airline could offer better value than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another tip is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer your reward points into other loyalty programmes. This allows you to get a wider selection of choices and more flexibility in making use of your rewards. For instance, you might be capable of transferring your rewards to an airline’s frequent flyer program or Hotel rewards programme. This gives the benefit of a wider variety of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks which are not available through the rewards program of your credit card.
Additionally, try to determine if your credit card offers any perks that can save you money on travel-related costs. Some cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that are extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
If you’re traveling with a friend and both of you earn rewards using your own credit card. Just remember that you can’t split the cost on the same card, and be sure to track your rewards in a separate manner.
In the end, the most important thing to do to maximizing your rewards for travel is to be aware of your credit card’s rewards program and ensure that you’re using your credit card in the most effective method. Utilizing a combination of the strategies I’ve listed, you’ll be able to get rewards in a short time, use rewards for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad range of travel perks.