Are you fed up of spending an enormous amount on flights? Good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting way to convert bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles, which can be used to score discounted or cheap flights from your desired destinations. With a little imagination and some information, you’ll travel for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all 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 let you redeem miles towards hotel stays or car rental discounts.
How Does it Work?
The key to success in hacking travel is taking advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and building out a frequent flyer mile program on a select group of airlines. When it’s time to make a booking take a look at the price. If the flight is less than $300, it’s usually better to pay cash and use your miles to pay for a more expensive flight. If your flights begin to climb over $500, you’ll need to review your frequent flyer accounts and see which airline can give you the best deal. It all comes down to the amount of points or miles you have in your travel account for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to travel hacking? Your first task is to open the credit card that comes with a sign-up offer. There are plenty of great credit cards that offer various benefits and features. It is all dependent on the airline, your habits with spending and the features that are most crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards great to use for hacking travel:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
Once you’ve been approved for a credit card, you’ll have to meet the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to qualify for the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so be certain to verify this information. Then, it’s all about racking miles and then using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your goals?
After you’ve accrued your points balance, you’re ready to cash them in for some nice getaway! Different credit card companies will have different methods for redeeming your rewards, here are some examples from a few of the companies I’ve had experience with:
Take a trip through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you’re a holder of a Chase credit card, then you are able to redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within it, you’ll have access to almost every airline, and you can use a combination of money and points to book your trip. You can even book completely on points if you have enough balance! Sometimes, even if you don’t have enough points to cover the full cost, you are able to book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using any credit card.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for your flight tickets? Did you not know that when you book directly through United You have the option to pay with either points or dollars? Be careful, if you don’t have enough points, you aren’t able to combine points and dollars for the same flight. No worries though, if you’re just a few points away, United gives you the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue provides an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience with extra legroom and free snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to United’s, allowing you to book with either JetBlue points or dollars but not both. However, JetBlue offers a distinct feature where you can join your points with family members to accrue points twice as quickly. Be 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 anything like me and my travel buddy Becca You’re probably quite frugal and it can be difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to reach the minimum spend for the credit card bonus. Don’t worry because we’ve been there and we’re here to share some of our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able to pay for your rent using credit card, then do it! Just be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually around 3 percent. It could be worthwhile in the end if the bonus is high enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the spending limit is to cover the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills in the near future Ask your family members if you can pay their medical bills and they can repay you.
Repay a loan
If you’re a borrower you owe, think about paying them off with the credit card you have. Just make sure you pay off the balance on your credit card in full so you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask family for help
Talk to your family and look into any large expenses coming up that you can 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 doing this.
If you’re celebrating the holidays take into consideration buying all of your gifts with cards from your credit account. In this way, you’ll hit that minimum spend and also be ready for giving gifts. Be sure to avoid spending more than you were already contemplating to.
There are a lot of ways to make the most from using your credit or debit card for travel. earn miles or points to use towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few additional ways to maximize your rewards
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, use the 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 spend for your credit card bonus as well, however, you’ll also earn points or miles for those costs.
Utilize your credit card to pay for all your daily expenses
Another method to reach the minimum amount of spending to earn rewards is by making use of your credit card to pay for everyday expenditures. This can include items like groceries, gas or even your phone bill. Make sure you pay off the balance each month in full so you don’t accumulate interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer bonus points or miles for specific types of purchases, like eating out or traveling. Check out your rewards program on your credit card and avail any bonus categories that align with your spending routines.
Think about the possibility of transferring your balance
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer that balance onto an account with a travel credit card that has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfers. This will allow you to pay off your debts without accruing interest. It will also assist you in reaching the minimum spending requirement for the credit card’s bonus.
Utilize your miles and points prudently
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize them wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and then compare the value of different redemption options. For example, using your points to book a flight directly with the airline could give you a better value than using them for a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer rewards to different loyalty program. This will let you get a wider selection of choices and more flexibility when redeeming your rewards. For example, you may be eligible to transfer your rewards to an airline’s frequent flyer program or a hotel rewards program. This gives you access to a greater range of flights, hotels, and other travel perks that may not be offered through your credit card’s rewards program.
Additionally, try to determine whether your credit card has some perks that could reduce your travel costs. Many cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection, and other benefits that are invaluable when you travel.
When you travel with someone else and both of you get rewards on your own credit card. Just remember that you can’t share the costs on the same card and make sure to track your rewards in a separate manner.
The key to maximizing your travel rewards is to know your credit card’s rewards program and ensure that you’re making use of this program in the most efficient method possible. Utilizing a combination of the strategies I’ve outlined, you’ll be able to get rewards in a short time, use rewards for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide assortment of travel-related perks.