Are you fed up 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 sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles, which can be used to obtain discounted or complimentary flights for your dream destinations. With a bit of imagination and some information, you’ll fly for no cost in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about trading credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. The miles can be used to pay for discounted or even free flights. Some credit cards also let you redeem miles towards hotel stays or rental car discounts.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for success in hacking travel is taking advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and establishing frequent flyer miles for a specific group of airlines. When you are ready to make a booking 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. When the flights start getting above $500, you’ll want to review your frequent flyer accounts to find out which airline will give you the best price. All it boils down to is the number of points or miles in your travel bank for each 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 offer. There are many great credit cards that provide many benefits and features. It is all dependent on the airline, your habits with spending and what features are important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards great 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 reach the limit of spending minimum in order to qualify for the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so be sure to look up the details. From there, it’s all about racking up miles and using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your points?
Once you’ve accumulated your points amount, it’s time to redeem them for some delicious getaway! Different credit card companies will have different methods for redeeming your points. Here are some examples from a few of the providers I’ve had experience with:
Take a trip by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of a Chase cards, you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within it, you’ll have access to nearly every airline. You can combine money and points to book your travel. You can even book entirely on points if you have the balance for it! Sometimes even if you do not have enough points to cover the total price, you can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using every credit card.
Are you fed up of paying full price for your flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United, you have the option of paying using either points or dollars? Be careful that if you don’t have enough points, you aren’t able to combine points and dollars on flights. If you’re a few point short United provides the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue offers an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience with extra space and complimentary snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to United’s which allows you to book with either JetBlue dollar or points but not both. But, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that lets you pool your points together with family members to accrue points twice as quickly. Make sure to establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack into the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel companion Becca You’re probably quite economical and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to reach the minimum spend for credit card bonuses. But don’t fret as we’ve done it and are here to share some of our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able pay your rent using credit card, go for it! Make sure you pay a cost, which is usually at least 3%. It might be worth it in the long run when the bonus is large enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another excellent way to meet the spending limit is to cover the medical bills. If you do not have any medical expenses coming up then ask your family members if you can pay their medical bills and they’ll pay you back.
Make a payment to pay off the loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan you owe, think about paying them off with your credit card. Be sure to pay off the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask family for help
Talk to your family and see if they have any big expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Make sure that you are able to are able to trust the person and that they are aware of the reason for doing it.
If it’s the holiday season you should consider purchasing all your gifts using the credit card you have. This way you can hit that minimum spend and also be prepared to give gifts. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you thinking of.
There are many methods to get the most from your travel credit card. You can earn miles or points to use towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few more suggestions for maximising your rewards
Book travel expenses with your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, make use of your travel credit card for booking your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as any other travel-related expenses. You’ll not only be able to meet the minimum spend for your credit card and earn points, however, you’ll also earn points or miles for these expenditures.
Make use of your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday expenses
Another way to meet the minimum amount of spending and earn points is by making use of your credit card to pay for every day expenditures. This can include items like groceries, gas or even your phone bill. Make sure you pay the balance off each month in full so you don’t pay interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or bonus points for certain types of purchases, including eating out or travelling. Make sure you review your rewards program on your credit card and avail any bonus categories that align with your spending habits.
Think about the possibility of transferring your balance
If you have existing debt on a credit card, you might want to transfer the balance to the travel credit card which has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfer. This will let you pay off the debt without accruing interest, and also aid in achieving the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus.
Make use of your miles or points prudently
If you’ve amassed a large amount of points or miles make sure you use them in a responsible manner. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and then compare the value of different redemption options. For instance, using points to book a flight directly with the airline might offer better value than using them for a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer your rewards to different loyalty program. This will let you get a wider selection of choices and more freedom when it comes to redeeming your rewards. For example, you may be eligible to transfer your rewards to the frequent flyer program of an airline or a hotel rewards program. This will give an access greater variety of hotels, flights and other travel benefits which are not offered through the rewards program on your credit card.
Additionally, try to determine the card’s benefits. certain benefits that will help you save money on travel costs. Some cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that are very beneficial when traveling.
If you’re traveling with a companion, both of you can earn rewards with your own credit card. Be aware that you cannot divide the cost with the same card, and be sure to track your rewards in a separate manner.
In the end, the most important thing to do to maximizing your travel rewards is to know the rewards program of your credit card and ensure that you’re using your credit card in the most effective method. By using an array of methods I’ve described, you’ll be able to get rewards in a short time, use rewards for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide variety of travel benefits.