Are you tired of paying an enormous amount on flights? Well, good news! Travel hacking is the answer to your travel-related problems. It’s a fun way to convert credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles that can then be used to obtain discounted or cheap flights from your ideal destinations. With a little imagination and some know-how, you’ll fly for no cost in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. The miles can be used to purchase cheap or free flight tickets. Some credit cards also let you redeem miles for hotel stays and car rental deals.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for successful hacking travel is taking advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and to establish frequent flyer miles with a limited number of airlines. When it comes time to book a flight consider the cost. If the price is under $300, it’s usually better to pay cash and use your miles to pay to take a more costly flight. If your flights begin to climb above $500, you’ll want to review those frequent flyer accounts and find out which airline will give you the best deal. All it boils down to is the number of miles or points in your travel account for each airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to travel hacking? First step opening an account that comes with a welcome bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that provide a variety of advantages and features. It is all dependent on the airline, your habits with spending and the features that are most essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards that are perfect for travel hacking:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
Once you’ve been approved for a credit or debit card, you’ll need to hit the minimum spend limit in order to get the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so be certain to verify this information. Then it’s all about building up miles and then using them to book your dream vacation!
Ready to jet-set with your ideas?
After you’ve accrued the points balance, it’s time to use them towards delicious travel! Different credit card companies will have different methods of redeeming your points, but here are some examples from some of the providers I’ve worked with:
Escape through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you have an Chase credit card, then you can redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through the portal, you’ll have access to virtually every airline. You can use a combination of money and points to pay for your trip. You can book your flight entirely using points if you’ve got the funds to pay for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t have enough points to cover the total cost, you are able to buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using the credit card of your choice.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for your flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United, you have the option of paying using either points or dollars? But, be careful that if you don’t have enough points you aren’t able to combine points and dollars for the same flight. No worries though, if you’re a few points away, United also offers the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers a comfortable and enjoyable travel experience that includes extra space and complimentary snacks. Additionally, their booking process is like United’s, allowing you to book with either JetBlue either dollars or points, however, not both. But, JetBlue offers a distinct feature that allows you to pool your points together with your relatives to earn points twice as quickly. Make sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack into the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel companion Becca I’m sure you’re pretty frugal and it can be difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to hit the required amount to qualify for a credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried because we’ve been there and we’re here to share some of our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able to pay for your rent with credit card, go for it! Make sure you be charged a fee, typically around 3 percent. It may be worth it over the long term in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another way to reach the required spending is to cover a medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills due then ask your relatives if you could pay them for theirs, and they’ll repay you.
Pay off the loan
If you have any loans take into consideration making payments on them with the credit card you have. Make sure to pay off the balance on your credit card in full , so that you don’t accumulate additional debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Discuss your family with them and see if they have any large expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to trust the person and they know why you’re taking the initiative.
If you’re celebrating the holidays take into consideration buying all your gifts using the credit card you have. So you’ll be able to meet the minimum spending limit and be ready for giving gifts. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you were contemplating to.
There are a lot of ways to get the most of the travel credit card and earn miles or points to spend on the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are some additional ways to maximize your rewards:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
When you’re planning your next vacation, make use of you travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as any other travel expenses. Not only will you be able to meet the required amount to earn your credit card reward as well, but you’ll also be earning points or miles on those costs.
Make use of your credit card to pay for all your daily expenses
Another way to meet the minimum spend in order to accumulate points by using your credit card for daily expenditures. This can include things like gas, groceries, and even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay off the balance in full each month so you don’t pay interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer bonus points or miles on certain kinds of purchases, such as eating out or traveling. Check out your credit card’s rewards program and avail the bonus categories that are in line with your spending habits.
Take into consideration a balance transfer
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a credit card, think about transferring that balance to a travel credit card with an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will enable you to pay off your debts without accruing interest and simultaneously help you hit the minimum spending requirement for the credit card bonus.
Make use of your miles or points wisely
If you’ve amassed a large amount of miles or points make sure you use them wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card, and evaluate the benefits of different redemption options. For example using your points to purchase a flight directly with the airline might give you a better return than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another tip is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer your rewards to different loyalty program. This will allow you to get a wider selection of choices and more flexibility when making use of your rewards. For instance, you might be eligible to transfer your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or hotel rewards program. This gives an access wider variety of hotels, flights, and other travel perks that may not be accessible through your credit card’s rewards program.
In addition, you should find out the card’s benefits. some perks that could save you money on travel-related expenses. Many cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that can be very beneficial when traveling.
If you’re traveling with a companion, both of you can get rewards on your credit card. Be aware that you cannot share the costs on the same card. Also, make sure to keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
In the end, the most important thing to do 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 efficient method possible. Utilizing an array of strategies I’ve listed in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards fast, exchange rewards for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide range of travel perks.