Are you tired of paying an enormous amount on flights? Good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting way to turn credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles, which you can use to get discounted or even cheap flights from your dream destinations. With a little imagination and a little bit of insider information, you’ll travel for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of swapping credit card sign-up bonus and rewards for airline miles. These miles can then be used to purchase cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards will also permit you to use miles towards hotel stays or car rental deals.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for successful 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 consider the cost. If the flight is under $300, it’s usually better to pay in cash and save your miles to book a higher-priced flight. When the flights start getting over $500, you’ll need to look into those frequent flyer accounts to see which airline can give you the best deal. All it boils down to is the amount of points or miles you have in your travel bank for every airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to hacking travel? Your first task is to open a credit card that comes with a welcome bonus. There are many great credit cards that provide a variety of features and benefits. It all depends on your preferred airline, your spending habits, and what features are important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards excellent to hack travel
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
If you’ve been approved for a credit card you’ll have to meet the minimum spend limit in order to qualify for the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so be sure to look up the details. From there it’s all about building up miles, and using them to plan your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your points?
Now that you’ve built up your points balance, you’re ready to use them towards sweet vacation! Different credit card companies have different methods for redeeming your points, but here are a few examples from some of the ones I have experience with:
Getaway with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own a Chase credit card, then you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In the portal, you’ll have access to nearly every airline and you can combine money and points to book your next trip. You can even book entirely with points if you’ve the balance for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t possess enough points for the entire price, you can buy flights with 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 not know that when you book directly through United, you have the option to pay with either points or dollars? But, be careful, if you don’t have enough points you can’t combine dollars and points for the same flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re a few point short United provides the option of buying additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides an enjoyable and comfortable travel experience that includes extra space and complimentary snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to United’s, allowing you to book with either JetBlue either dollars or points, but not both. However, JetBlue has a unique feature where you can combine your points with your relatives to earn points twice as fast. Be sure to establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me or my travel companion Becca I’m sure you’re pretty frugal and it can be daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to reach the minimum amount required to earn 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 an important one! If you’re able to pay your rent with credit card, go for it! Just be prepared to pay a fee, usually about 3%. It may be worth it over the long term when the bonus is large enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the minimum spend is to cover an medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses in the near future, ask your relatives if you could pay their medical bills and they can repay you.
Repay the loan
If you have any loans, consider repaying them using an credit card. Be sure to pay off the balance on your credit card in full so you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Talk to your family and see if they have any major expenses in the near future which you could help pay for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to trust the person and they understand why you’re doing it.
If you’re celebrating the holidays take into consideration buying all your gifts with your credit card. This way you can reach the minimum spending requirement and also be ready to give gifts. Make sure that you’re not paying more than you already thinking of.
There are a lot of ways to make the most from the travel credit card. You can accrue points or miles to spend on the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are some additional ways to maximize your rewards
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, use the travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel, rental car, and any other travel-related expenses. Not only will you achieve the required amount to earn your credit card reward, but you’ll also earn points or miles on these costs.
Use your credit card to pay for your everyday expenses
Another way to hit the minimum spending requirement in order to accumulate points by using your credit card for every day expenditures. This could include items like groceries, gas and even your telephone bill. Be sure to pay off the balance each month in full so you don’t pay interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or points in exchange on certain kinds of purchases, like dining or travel. Check out your credit card’s rewards program and make use of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending routines.
Consider the possibility of transferring your balance
If you are currently in debt on a high-interest credit card, consider transferring that balance to a travel credit card with the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfers. This will enable you to pay off your debt without accruing interest, and also aid in achieving the minimum spending requirement for the credit card bonus.
Use your points or miles prudently
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points, be sure to use the points or miles wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and then compare the value of different redemption options. For instance using points to purchase a flight directly with the airline might give you a better return than using them for a gift card.
Another tip is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will allow you to get a wider selection of options and greater flexibility when making use of your rewards. For instance, you might be capable of transferring your reward to an airline’s frequent flyer program or reward program for hotels. This will give an access larger selection of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks that may not be available through the rewards program of your credit card.
In addition, you should find out the card’s benefits. any perks that can help you save money on travel costs. Some cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection and other benefits that can be invaluable when you travel.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a friend, both of you can earn rewards with your credit card. Just remember that you can’t share the costs on the same card. Also, make sure to keep track of your rewards separately.
Overall, the key to maximizing your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program of your credit card and make sure you’re making use of your credit card in the most effective way possible. Through an array of strategies I’ve listed, you’ll be able to earn rewards fast, exchange rewards for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide variety of travel benefits.