Are you tired of spending an enormous amount on flights? Good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting way to convert credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles, which can be used to get discounted or even cheap flights from your ideal destinations. With a little imagination and some know-how, you’ll be jet-setting for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. These miles can then be used to buy discount or no-cost flights. Some credit cards also permit you to use miles towards hotel stays or car rental 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 a frequent flyer mile program on a select group of airlines. When you are ready to make a booking take a look at the price. If the price is under $300, it’s generally better to pay cash and use your miles to pay to take a more costly flight. If the prices start to rise higher than $500, it’s best to check your frequent flyer accounts and determine which airline offers you the most value. It all comes down to the amount of points or miles you have you have in your travel savings account for every airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to hacking travel? Your first task is opening the credit card that comes with a sign-up bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards that offer many advantages and features. It depends on the type of airline, your habits with spending and what features are essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards that are excellent to hack travel
- 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 minimum spend limit in order to qualify for the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so make certain to verify the details. From there you can begin to rack miles and using them to book your dream vacation!
Ready to jet-set with your points?
Now that you’ve built up your points amount, it’s time to use them towards nice getaway! Different credit card companies have different methods of redeeming your points, but here are some examples from some of the ones I’ve worked with:
Escape with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own an Chase card, you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within the portal, you’ll have access to almost every airline. You can use a combination of money and points to book your travel. You can even book entirely using points if you’ve got the balance for it! Sometimes even if you do not possess enough points for the total cost, you still can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using the credit card of your choice.
Are you fed up of paying full price for flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option to pay with dollars or points? Be careful that if you do not have enough points you cannot combine points and dollars on one flight. If you’re just a few point short United also offers the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue provides an enjoyable and comfortable travel experience that includes extra legroom and free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is like United’s which allows customers to book using either JetBlue dollar or points however, not both. The difference is that JetBlue offers a distinct feature that lets you join your points with your relatives to earn points twice as quickly. Make sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack into the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel buddy Becca I’m sure you’re pretty frugal and it can be challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to hit the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus. Don’t worry, we’ve been through it and we’re here to share 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 pay a fee, usually around 3 percent. It might be worth it over the long term in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another way to reach the minimum spend is to cover the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills due, ask your family members to pay their medical bills and they can reimburse 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 credit card balance completely so that you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Ask your family members to determine if they’ve got any big expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Make sure that you are able to have confidence in the person you are talking to and they know why you’re doing this.
If it’s the holiday season, consider buying all your gifts using the credit card you have. So you’ll be able to meet the minimum spending limit and also be ready to give gifts. Make sure that you’re not paying more than you already planning to.
There are a lot of ways to make the most out of using your credit or debit card for travel. You can accrue points or miles to use towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are some additional ideas for maximizing your rewards
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, use the travel credit card for booking your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as any other travel expenses. Not only will you be able to hit the minimum spend to qualify for a credit card bonus and earn points, but you’ll also earn points or miles to cover these expenses.
Use your credit card for everyday costs
Another way to hit the minimum spending requirement in order to accumulate points by utilising your credit cards 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 each month so you don’t accumulate interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide bonus points or miles on certain kinds of purchases, including dining or travel. Make sure you review your rewards program on your credit card and avail the bonus categories that are in line with your spending routines.
Take into consideration a balance transfer
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a high-interest credit card, think about transferring that balance onto the travel credit card which has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfer. This will let you pay off your debt without accruing interest. It will also aid in achieving the minimum spending requirement for the credit card’s bonus.
Make use of your miles or points wisely
When you’ve earned a significant amount of points or miles, be sure to use them wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card, and evaluate the worth of various redemption options. For example you can use your points to book a ticket directly through the airline may give you a better value than using them for an gift card.
Another option is to get a rewards card that allows you to transfer your reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will allow you to have a wider range of choices and more freedom when it comes to you want to redeem your rewards. For instance, you might be capable of transferring your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or hotel rewards program. This gives the benefit of a wider variety of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks that may not be accessible through the rewards program of your credit card.
In addition, you should discover the card’s benefits. any perks that can help you save money on travel costs. Some cards offer 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 someone else and both of you earn rewards with your credit card. Be aware that you cannot share the costs on the same card. Also, make sure you keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
The key to reaping the maximum benefits from your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program of your credit card and ensure that you’re using it in the most effective method. Utilizing all of the strategies I’ve outlined that you can earn rewards fast, exchange rewards for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide range of travel perks.