Are you tired 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 turn credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into miles which you can use to get discounted or even complimentary flights for your dream destinations. With a little bit of creativity and some insider knowledge, you can fly for no cost in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about swapping credit card sign-up bonus and rewards for airline miles. These miles can then be used to purchase discounted or even free flights. Some credit cards also permit you to use miles towards hotel stays or rental car offers.
How Does it Work?
The secret to success in hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and to establish frequent flyer miles with a limited number of airlines. When you are ready to book a flight, evaluate the cost. If the flight is under $300, it’s usually better to pay cash and save your miles to book a higher-priced flight. If your flights begin to climb over $500, you’ll need to check those frequent flyer accounts and determine which airline offers you the most value. All it boils down to is the amount of points or miles you have in your travel account for every airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets of travel hacking? The first step is opening an account that comes with a welcome bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that provide many features and benefits. It depends on the type of airline, your habits with spending and the features that are most crucial 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
After you’ve been accepted for a credit card, you’ll need to hit the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to get the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so be sure to check for this information. From there, it’s all about racking miles and using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to set sail with your points?
Once you’ve accumulated your points amount, it’s time to cash them in for some delicious vacation! Different credit card companies offer different ways to redeem your points, but here are some examples from some of the ones I’ve had experience with:
Getaway with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of a Chase credit card, then you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through the portal, you’ll have access to almost every airline. You can make use of a combination of points and cash to pay for your trip. You can book your flight entirely on points if you have enough balance! Sometimes, even if you don’t possess enough points for the full cost, you are able to book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with the credit card of your choice.
Are you tired of paying full price for your flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United You have the option of paying with either points or dollars? Butbe aware that if you don’t have enough points you cannot combine dollars and points for the same flight. If you’re a few points short, United also offers the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue provides passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience with extra space and complimentary snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines, allowing you to book with either JetBlue points or dollars but not both. The difference is that JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that lets you join your points with your relatives to earn points twice as fast. Just make sure you can prove you’re really family before trying to hack into the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me or my travel buddy Becca, you’re probably pretty economical and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to reach 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 our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able to pay for your rent with a credit card, do it! Just be prepared to pay a fee, usually around 3%. It could be worthwhile over the long term when the bonus is large enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the required spending is to pay for a medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills due then ask your relatives if you could pay for theirs and they’ll reimburse you.
Make a payment to pay off the loan
If you’re a borrower, consider repaying them using an credit card. Make sure to pay off the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask family for help
Ask your family members to look into any large expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Make sure that you are able to trust the person and they understand why you’re doing it.
If it’s the holiday season take into consideration buying all of your gifts with the credit card you have. In this way, you’ll meet the minimum spending limit and also be ready for gift giving. Be sure to avoid spending more than you thinking of.
There are many ways to get the most of using your credit or debit card for travel. earn miles or points to use towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few additional suggestions for maximising your rewards:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a vacation, make use of you travel credit card to book your flight, hotel, rental car, and other travel costs. You’ll not only be able to meet the minimum spend to earn your credit card reward, but you’ll also earn points or miles to cover the expenses.
Utilize your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday expenses
Another way to hit the minimum spend and earn points is by making use of your credit card to pay daily expenditures. This could include items like groceries, gas, and even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay off the balance in full every month to ensure you don’t pay interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or points in exchange for specific types of purchases, such as dining or travel. Check out your rewards program on your credit card and take advantage of any bonus categories that match with your spending habits.
Consider the possibility of transferring your balance
If you are currently in debt on a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer that balance to a travel credit card with the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfers. This will allow you to pay off your debts without accruing interest. It will also aid in achieving the minimum spending requirement for the credit card bonus.
Use your points or miles carefully
When you’ve earned a significant amount of points or miles make sure you use the points or miles wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card, and evaluate the value of different redemption options. For example you can use points to purchase a flight directly through the airline may give you a better return than using them for an gift card.
Another option is to get rewards cards that allow you to transfer rewards to different loyalty program. This allows you to get a wider selection of choices and more freedom when it comes to you want to redeem your rewards. For example, you may be capable of transferring your reward to an airline’s frequent flyer program or hotel rewards program. This gives you access to a wider variety of hotels, flights, and other travel perks which are not offered through the rewards program on your credit card.
In addition, you should find out the card’s benefits. some perks that could help you save money on travel costs. Many cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection and other benefits that can be invaluable when you travel.
When you travel with someone else and both of you get rewards on your own credit card. Make sure you don’t share the costs on the same card and make sure to track your rewards separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do to maximizing your travel rewards is to understand your credit card’s rewards program and ensure that you’re using it in the most effective way possible. By using all of the methods I’ve described that you can earn rewards quickly, redeem rewards for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide range of travel perks.