Are you tired of spending an enormous amount on flights? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting method to convert credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into miles which can be used to obtain discounted or complimentary flights for your desired destinations. With a little creativity and some insider information, you’ll travel for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about swapping credit card sign-up bonus and rewards for airline miles. The miles can be used to purchase discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards will also permit you to use miles to pay for hotel stays or car rental deals.
How Does it Work?
The key to success in hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and building out a frequent flyer mile program with a limited number of airlines. When it’s time to book a flight, evaluate the cost. If the price is less than $300, it’s generally better to pay cash and save your miles for a more expensive flight. If your flights begin to climb higher than $500, it’s best to review the frequent flyer account to determine which airline offers you the best deal. It all boils down to the number of points or miles you have in your travel savings account for every airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to travel hacking? The first step is to open an account with a sign-up bonus. There are many great credit cards with various benefits and features. It is all dependent on the airline, your spending habits, and the features that are most essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit card options that can be excellent for travel hacking:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
Once 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 be sure to check for this information. Then you can begin to rack miles and using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your goals?
Once you’ve accumulated the points amount, it’s time to use them towards nice getaway! Different credit card companies have different methods for redeeming your rewards, here are some examples from a few of the ones I’ve worked with:
Escape by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own an Chase cards, you are able to redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within it, you’ll get access to virtually every airline. You can use a combination of the points as well as cash in order to book your trip. You can even book entirely on points if you have the balance for it! Sometimes even if you do not possess enough points for the entire cost, you are able to buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using any credit card.
Are you tired of paying full price for flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United, you have the option of paying using dollars or points? Be careful in case you don’t have enough points you aren’t able to combine dollars and points for one flight. No worries though, if you’re only a couple of points away, United provides the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue provides an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience with extra space and complimentary snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to United’s, allowing customers to book using either JetBlue either dollars or points, however, not both. But, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that allows you to join your points with your family members and earn points twice as quickly. Just make sure you can prove you’re really family before trying to hack into the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re anything like me and my travel companion Becca I’m sure you’re pretty thrifty and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to hit the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus. But don’t fret, we’ve been through it and are here to share some of our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able to pay for your rent using credit card, go for it! Be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually around 3%. It may be worth it over the long term when the bonus is large enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another excellent way to meet the required spending is to pay for a medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses due then ask your relatives if you could pay for theirs and they’ll reimburse you.
Repay the loan
If you’re a borrower take into consideration making payments on them with the credit card you have. Just make sure you pay off the credit card balance in full so you don’t end up with additional debt.
Ask your family members for help
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 this.
If it’s the holiday season take into consideration buying all your gifts using your credit card. In this way, you’ll meet the minimum spending limit and also be prepared for gift giving. Be sure to avoid paying more than you already planning to.
There are a lot of ways to make the most from your travel credit card. accrue points or miles to use towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few more ideas for maximizing your rewards
Make travel reservations using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a vacation, make use of you travel credit card for booking your flight, hotel, rental car, and any other travel expenses. Not only will you be able to hit the minimum amount of spending required for your credit card reward, however, you’ll also earn points or miles on the expenditures.
Make use of your credit card to pay for all your daily expenses
Another method to reach the minimum spending requirement in order to accumulate points making use of your credit card to pay for every day expenses. This can include items like groceries, gas and even your telephone bill. Make sure you pay off the balance in full every month to ensure you don’t accumulate interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or points in exchange 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 the bonus categories that are in line with your spending habits.
Take into consideration a balance transfer
If you are currently in outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer that balance to the travel credit card which has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfers. This will enable you to pay off your debts without accruing interest. It will also aid in achieving the minimum spending requirement for the credit card bonus.
Make use of your miles or points carefully
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points, be sure to use them in a responsible manner. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and compare the benefits of different redemption options. For instance, using your points to book a ticket directly with the airline might provide you with a greater value than using them for a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer your points to other loyalty programs. This will allow you to have a wider range of options and greater freedom when it comes to redeeming your rewards. For instance, you might be eligible to transfer your rewards to the frequent flyer program of an airline or Hotel rewards programme. This gives the benefit of a greater 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 certain benefits that will help you save money on travel costs. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that can be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
If you’re traveling with a friend each of you will be able to earn rewards using your credit card. Be aware that you cannot split the cost on the same card and make sure you keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
Overall, the key to making the most of your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program on your credit card and make sure you’re using this program in the most effective method possible. Through an array of strategies I’ve listed that you can earn rewards quickly, redeem rewards for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide variety of travel benefits.