Are you tired of spending an enormous amount on flights? Well, good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s a fun way to convert credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline 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 knowledge, you can fly for no cost within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about swapping credit card sign-up bonus as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can then be used to pay for discounted or even free flights. Some credit cards also let you redeem miles for hotel stays and rental car offers.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for success in travel hacking is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and to establish a frequent flyer mile program for a specific group of airlines. When it’s time to book a flight consider the cost. If the flight is under $300, it’s generally better to pay cash and save your miles for a more expensive flight. If your flights begin to climb over $500, you’ll need to check your frequent flyer accounts to determine which airline offers you the most value. All it boils down to is the amount of points or miles in your travel account for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to travel hacking? First step to open the credit card that comes that comes with a welcome bonus. There are many great credit cards that provide many advantages and features. It depends on the type of airline, your spending habits, and the features that are most crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit card options that can be perfect to use for hacking travel:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
If you’ve been approved for a credit card, you’ll need to hit the limit of spending minimum in order to receive the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so make sure to look up the details. From there you can begin to rack up miles, and using them to book your dream trip!
Ready to jet-set with your goals?
After you’ve accrued the points amount, it’s time to redeem them for some delicious getaway! Different credit card companies offer different ways to redeem your points, but here are a few examples from some of the ones I’ve worked with:
Take a trip with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of an Chase card, you are able to redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In this portal you’ll get access to almost every airline and you can combine money and points to pay for your trip. You can even book completely on points if you have the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for entire price, you can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with the credit card of your choice.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for your flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United you can choose the option to pay with either points or dollars? Butbe aware in case you don’t have enough points, you can’t combine points and dollars on flights. If you’re only a couple of point short United provides the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue provides a comfortable and enjoyable travel experience that includes extra space and complimentary snacks. Plus, their booking process is like United’s which allows customers to book using either JetBlue dollar or points, but not both. The difference is that JetBlue offers a distinct feature that allows you to combine your points with your family members and earn points twice as fast. Be sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re like me and my travel buddy Becca You’re probably quite economical and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to reach the minimum amount required to earn credit card bonuses. But don’t fret 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 an important one! If you’re able pay your rent using a credit card, do it! Make sure you be charged a fee, typically about 3 percent. It may be worth it in the end in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay 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 due Ask your relatives if you could pay for theirs and they can repay you.
Make a payment to pay off a loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan take into consideration paying them off with an credit card. Make sure to pay off the balance on your credit card in full so you don’t accrue additional debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Discuss your family with them and look into any major expenses in the near future that you can contribute for. Make sure that you are able to have confidence in the person you are talking to and they are aware of the reason for doing it.
If you’re celebrating the holidays, consider buying all of your gifts with your credit card. This way you can hit that minimum spend and also be prepared to give gifts. Be sure to avoid paying more than you already planning to.
There are plenty of ways to make the most from the travel credit card and accumulate miles or points that you can be used towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few additional ideas for maximizing the rewards you earn:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, use your travel credit card for booking your flight, hotel, rental car, and any other travel-related expenses. In addition, you’ll be able to hit the required amount for your credit card bonus and earn points, but you’ll also be earning points or miles for those expenditures.
Utilize your credit card to pay for everyday expenditures
Another method to reach the minimum spend and earn points is using your credit card to pay for everyday expenditures. This could include items like groceries, gas, and even your phone bill. Make sure you pay the balance off in full each month so you don’t accumulate interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or points in exchange for specific types of purchases, like eating out or traveling. Check out the rewards program of your credit card and avail the bonus categories that are in line with your spending habits.
Think about the possibility of transferring your balance
If you are currently in debt on a high-interest credit card, think about transferring that balance to the travel credit card which has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfer. This will enable you to pay off your debt without accruing interest and simultaneously help you hit the minimum spend for the credit card’s bonus.
Use your points or miles wisely
When you’ve earned a significant amount of points or miles make sure you use them in a responsible manner. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and then compare the value of different redemption options. For instance using points to book a flight directly with the airline could provide you with a greater return than using them for a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer points to other loyalty programs. This will allow you to enjoy a greater variety of options and greater flexibility in making use of your rewards. For instance, you might be capable of transferring your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a reward program for hotels. This gives the benefit of a larger range of flights, hotels, and other travel perks that may not be accessible through your credit card’s rewards program.
Also, determine whether your credit card has some perks that could reduce your travel costs. Some cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that are invaluable when you travel.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a companion each of you will be able to earn rewards with your credit card. Make sure you don’t split the cost on the same card, and be sure you keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
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 make sure you’re making use of this program in the most effective method. By using an array of strategies I’ve listed, you’ll be able to earn rewards fast, exchange them for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide variety of travel benefits.