Are you fed up of spending an enormous amount on flights? Well, good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting method to turn credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles, that can then be used to get discounted or even complimentary flights for your desired destinations. With a little bit of creativity and some insider know-how, you’ll fly for no cost within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of trading credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can later be used to buy cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards will also allow you to redeem miles for hotel stays and car rental offers.
How Does it Work?
The secret to successful hacking travel is taking advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and building out 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 cost is less than $300, it’s best to pay in cash and use your miles to pay to take a more costly flight. If your flights begin to climb higher than $500, it’s best to look into those frequent flyer accounts to determine which airline offers you the best price. It all comes down to the number of points or miles you have you have in your travel savings account for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to travel hacking? Your first task is to open the credit card that comes that comes with a welcome bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards with many benefits and features. It depends on the type of airline, your habits with spending and the features that are most essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards perfect to use for hacking travel:
- 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 limit of spending minimum in order to get the bonus. Every card has different rules, so be certain to verify the details. From there it’s all about building miles and using them to plan your dream trip!
Are you ready to set sail with your ideas?
Once you’ve accumulated the points balance, you’re ready to redeem them for some nice vacation! Different credit card companies have different methods of redeeming your points. Here are some examples from some of the providers I’ve had experience with:
Escape by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own an Chase credit card, then you are able to redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within it, you’ll get access to nearly every airline. You can combine points and cash to book your travel. You can even book completely on points if you have the balance for it! Sometimes even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for full cost, you are able to buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with the credit card of your choice.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United you can choose the option of paying using either points or dollars? Be careful in case you don’t have enough points you cannot combine points and dollars on one flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re a few point short United gives you the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience , with more space and complimentary snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is like United’s that allows you to book with either JetBlue dollar or points, but not both. However, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that lets you combine your points with your relatives to earn points twice as fast. Just make sure you can establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re like me or my travel buddy Becca I’m sure you’re pretty economical and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to hit the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus. But don’t fret because we’ve been there 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 to pay for your rent with credit card, then do it! Be prepared to pay a fee, usually around 3 percent. It could be worthwhile in the end when the bonus is large enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another great way to hit the minimum spend is to cover the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills coming up then ask your family members if you can pay their medical bills and they can repay you.
Make a payment to pay off the loan
If you’re a borrower you owe, think about repaying them using your credit card. Be sure to pay off the balance on your credit card in full so you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Discuss your family with them and determine if they’ve got any big expenses coming up which you could help pay for. Just make sure you 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 your credit card. In this way, you’ll meet the minimum spending limit and also be ready for gift giving. Just make sure you’re not paying more than you planning to.
There are many methods to get the most from your 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
Whenever you’re planning a vacation, make use of you travel credit card to book your flight, hotel, rental car, and any other travel expenses. In addition, you’ll be able to meet the minimum amount of spending required for your credit card bonus and earn points, however, you’ll also earn points or miles for these expenditures.
Use your credit card for all your daily expenditures
Another way to meet the minimum amount of spending to earn rewards is utilising your credit cards to pay daily expenses. This could include items like groceries, gas, and even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay the balance off in full each month so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Benefit from bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or bonus points for specific types of purchases, like eating out or travelling. Be sure to review your rewards program on your credit card and take advantage of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending routines.
Consider the possibility of transferring your balance
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a credit card, think about transferring that balance to an account with a travel credit card that has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will enable you to pay off your debts without accruing interest, and also aid in achieving the minimum amount required to earn the credit card’s bonus.
Utilize your miles and points carefully
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points, be sure to use the points or miles wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card and then compare the value of different redemption options. For example using your points to book a flight directly with the airline might offer better return than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another tip is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer your rewards to different loyalty program. This allows you to have a wider range of choices and more flexibility when redeeming your rewards. For instance, you might be capable of transferring your reward to the frequent flyer program of an airline or hotel rewards program. This will give an access wider variety of hotels, flights, and other travel perks that may not be accessible through the rewards program of your credit card.
In addition, you should determine if your credit card offers any perks that can reduce your travel expenses. Many cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection, and other benefits that are extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
When you travel with a companion each of you will be able to earn rewards with your own credit card. Just remember that you can’t split the cost on the same card, and be sure to keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
The key to maximizing your travel rewards is to know your credit card’s rewards program and make sure you’re using your credit card in the most efficient method possible. By using an array of methods I’ve described in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards fast, exchange them for travel experiences that are worth it and take advantage of a broad range of travel perks.