Are you fed up of spending an enormous amount on flights? Well, good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting method to convert sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles, which can be used to score discounted or cheap flights from your desired destinations. With a little bit of creativity and some insider knowledge, you can travel for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. The miles can be used to buy discounted or even free flights. Some credit cards also allow you to redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or rental car deals.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for successful hacking travel is taking advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and building out frequent flyer miles on a select group of airlines. When you are ready to book a flight, evaluate the cost. If the cost is under $300, it’s best 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 review the frequent flyer account to determine which airline offers you the most value. All it boils down to is the number 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? First step to open a credit card with a sign-up offer. There are many great credit cards that offer many 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 card options that can be great to hack travel
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
After you’ve been accepted for a credit card, you’ll have to meet the minimum spend limit in order to qualify for the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so make certain to verify the details. Then you can begin to rack miles and using them to plan your dream trip!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your ideas?
After you’ve accrued your points amount, it’s time to cash them in for some sweet vacation! Different credit card companies have different methods of redeeming your rewards, here are some examples from a few of the companies I have experience with:
Getaway through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you have an Chase cards, you are able to redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In this portal you’ll get access to virtually every airline and you can combine the points as well as cash in order to pay for your trip. You can even book entirely on points if you have enough balance! Sometimes even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for entire price, you can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using every credit card.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for your flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United, you have the option to pay with dollars or points? But, be careful in case you do not have enough points you aren’t able to combine dollars and points for flights. Don’t worry, though, if you’re just a few points away, United also offers the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue offers an enjoyable and comfortable travel experience that includes extra space and complimentary snacks. Plus, their booking process is like United’s, allowing you to book with either JetBlue dollar or points but not both. However, JetBlue offers a distinct feature that lets you combine your points with your family members and earn points twice as fast. Be 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 anything like me and my travel buddy Becca You’re probably quite economical and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried as we’ve done it 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 pay your rent with credit card, then do it! Just be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually about 3%. It may be worth it in the end when the bonus is large enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the spending limit is to pay for the medical bills. If you do not have any medical expenses in the near future then ask your family members if you can pay them for theirs, and they’ll reimburse you.
Pay off the loan
If you’re a borrower, consider repaying them using the credit card you have. Be sure to pay off the balance on your credit card in full , so that you don’t end up with additional debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Discuss your family with them and see if they have any large expenses coming up which you could help pay for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to trust the person and they know why you’re doing it.
If you’re celebrating the holidays you should consider purchasing all of your gifts with the credit card you have. In this way, you’ll reach the minimum spending requirement and also be ready for giving gifts. Be sure to avoid spending more than you were already planning to.
There are a lot of ways to make the most out of using your credit or debit card for travel. accrue points or miles to be used towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are some additional ways to maximize the rewards you earn:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
When you’re planning your next vacation, make use of you travel credit card for booking your flight, hotel, rental car, and other travel costs. You’ll not only be able to hit the minimum spend to qualify for a credit card reward as well, however, you’ll also earn points or miles for those expenses.
Make use of your credit card to pay for everyday expenditures
Another method to reach the minimum amount of spending and earn points is by utilising your credit cards to pay for everyday expenditures. This can include things like food, gas or even your phone bill. Be sure to pay the balance off each month in full so you don’t pay interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or bonus points for specific types of purchases, such as eating out or travelling. Be sure to review the rewards program of your credit card and make use of any bonus categories that match with your spending routines.
Consider a balance transfer
If you have existing outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer that balance onto an account with a travel credit card that has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfers. This will let you pay off your debt without accruing interest. It will also assist you in reaching the minimum spending requirement for the credit card’s bonus.
Use your points or miles carefully
When you’ve earned a significant amount of points or miles, be sure to use them wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and then compare the benefits of different redemption options. For example, using your points to purchase a flight directly with the airline might provide you with a greater value than using them for a gift card.
Another option is to get rewards cards that allow you to transfer your 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 reward to an airline’s frequent flyer program or Hotel rewards programme. This gives the benefit of a greater selection of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks that aren’t available through the rewards program on your credit card.
Additionally, try to determine whether your credit card has some perks that could reduce your travel expenses. Some cards offer travel insurance and 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 own credit card. Be aware that you cannot divide the cost with the same card. Also, make sure you keep track of your rewards separately.
The key to making the most of your travel rewards is to know the rewards program of your credit card and to ensure you’re using your credit card in the most efficient way possible. Utilizing an array of strategies I’ve listed that you can get rewards in a short time, use them for travel experiences that are worth it and benefit from a wide variety of travel benefits.