Are you tired of spending a fortune on airfare? Well, good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting method to convert sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles, which you can use to get discounted or even cheap flights from your desired destinations. With a bit of imagination and some knowledge, you can be jet-setting for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of trading credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. The miles can be used to pay for discount or no-cost flights. Some credit cards also let you redeem miles for hotel stays and car rental discounts.
How Does it Work?
The secret to success in travel hacking is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and to establish a frequent flyer mile program for a specific group of airlines. When it comes time to make a booking take a look at the price. If the price is less than $300, it’s usually better to pay in cash and save your miles to take a more costly flight. If your flights begin to climb over $500, you’ll need to look into those frequent flyer accounts to see which airline can give you the best deal. It all comes down to the number of points or miles in your travel bank for each airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to hacking travel? Your first task is opening the credit card that comes with a sign-up offer. There are plenty of great credit cards that offer many features and benefits. It all depends on your preferred airline, your spending habits, and the features that are most important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards 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 card you’ll need to reach the minimum spend limit in order to get 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 miles and then using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your ideas?
After you’ve accrued the points amount, it’s time to redeem them for some sweet travel! Different credit card providers will have different methods for redeeming your points. Here are a few examples from some of the companies I’ve worked with:
Getaway through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you have an Chase cards, you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through it, you’ll get access to virtually every airline and you can make use of a combination of the points as well as cash in order to book your travel. You can even book entirely using points if you’ve got the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you do not be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for full price, you can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using any credit card.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United, you have the option of paying with either points or dollars? But, be careful, if you don’t have enough points, you can’t combine dollars and points on one flight. If you’re a few point short United gives you the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience with extra legroom as well as free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is like United’s that allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue points or dollars, but not both. However, JetBlue offers a distinct feature where you can join your points with your family members and earn points twice as fast. Make sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me or my travel buddy Becca I’m sure you’re pretty thrifty and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to hit the minimum spend for a credit card bonus. Don’t worry as we’ve done it and we’re 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 with a credit card, do it! Just be prepared to be charged a fee, typically at least 3 percent. It might be worth it over the long term if the bonus is high enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another great way to hit the spending limit is to pay for a medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses in the near future, ask your family members if you can pay their medical bills and they’ll repay you.
Repay the loan
If you have any loans take into consideration repaying them using an credit card. Be sure to pay off the balance on your credit card in full so you don’t accumulate additional debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Talk to your family and determine if they’ve got any major expenses in the near future that you can contribute for. Make sure that you are able to trust the person and they know why you’re taking the initiative.
If it’s the holiday season take into consideration buying all your gifts with the credit card you have. This way you can reach the minimum spending requirement and also be ready for gift giving. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you contemplating to.
There are many ways to get the most from your travel credit card and earn miles or points to be used towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few more suggestions for maximising your rewards
Book travel expenses with your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, make use of the travel credit card for booking your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as any other travel expenses. In addition, you’ll achieve the required amount for your credit card, however, you’ll also earn points or miles to cover these expenditures.
Use your credit card for everyday expenditures
Another way to meet the minimum amount of spending in order to accumulate points by using your credit card for daily costs. This could be items like groceries, gas, 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
Many travel credit cards offer miles or points in exchange on certain kinds of purchases, like eating out or traveling. Make sure you review the rewards program of your credit card and avail any bonus categories that match with your spending routines.
Take into consideration the possibility of transferring your balance
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a high-interest credit card, think about transferring that balance to a travel credit card with an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfers. This will let you pay off your debts without accruing interest and simultaneously aid in achieving the minimum spending requirement for the credit card bonus.
Utilize your miles and points prudently
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of points or miles make sure you use them wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card and compare the benefits of different redemption options. For example using points to purchase a flight directly through the airline may give you a better value than using them to purchase an gift card.
Another option is to get rewards cards that allow you to transfer points to other loyalty programs. This will allow you to enjoy a greater variety of choices and more freedom when it comes to making use of 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 you access to a greater range of flights, hotels, and other travel perks that may not be offered through the rewards program on your credit card.
In addition, you should determine the card’s benefits. any perks that can help you save money on travel costs. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that are invaluable when you travel.
If you’re traveling with someone else and both of you earn rewards using your credit card. Be aware that you cannot divide the cost with the same card. Also, make sure you keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
Overall, the key to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to know your credit card’s rewards program and to ensure you’re making use of your credit card in the most effective method. Through an array of strategies I’ve outlined that you can earn rewards quickly, redeem rewards for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad assortment of travel-related perks.