Are you tired of spending an enormous amount on flights? Good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting way to convert welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles, which you can use to obtain discounted or cheap flights from your ideal destinations. With a little bit of creativity and some insider know-how, you’ll travel for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about swapping credit card sign-up bonus and incentives for airline miles. These miles can later be used to purchase cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards will also let you redeem miles towards hotel stays or rental car deals.
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 building out a frequent flyer mile program with a limited number of airlines. When you are ready to make a booking consider the cost. If the price is less than $300, it’s usually better to pay in cash and use your miles to pay to book a higher-priced flight. If the prices start to rise over $500, you’ll need to review the frequent flyer account and find out which airline will give you the best deal. It all comes down to the number of points or miles in your travel bank for every airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets of travel hacking? The first step is to open a credit card that comes with a welcome bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards with various benefits and features. It depends on the type of airline, spending habits and what features are crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards excellent for travel hacking:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
After you’ve been accepted for a credit or debit card, you’ll need to hit the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to qualify for the bonus. Every card has different rules, so make sure to look up this information. From there, it’s all about racking up miles, and using them to plan your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your ideas?
Now that you’ve built up your points amount, it’s time to cash them in for some sweet travel! Different credit card companies have different methods of redeeming your points. Here are some examples from a few of the ones I’ve had experience with:
Escape by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have a Chase credit card, then you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In this portal you’ll get access to almost every airline and you can use a combination of the points as well as cash in order to book your next trip. You can even book completely using points if you’ve got the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for full price, you can buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with any credit card.
Are you fed up of paying full price for your flight tickets? Did you realize that when booking directly through United, you have the option of paying using dollars or points? Butbe aware that if you don’t have enough points, you cannot combine dollars and points for one flight. No worries though, if you’re just a few point short United gives you the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue provides passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience , with more legroom as well as free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines that allows you to book with either JetBlue either dollars or points, however, not both. The difference is that JetBlue has a unique feature where you can combine your points with your family members and earn points twice as quickly. Be sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack into the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me or my travel buddy Becca, you’re probably pretty thrifty and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum spend for the credit card bonus. But don’t fret, we’ve been through it and are here to share some of our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able pay your rent with credit card, go for it! Make sure you pay a fee, usually around 3%. 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 excellent way to meet the spending limit is to cover the medical bills. If you do not have any medical expenses in the near future, ask your family members if you can pay for theirs and they’ll reimburse you.
Pay off the loan
If you have any loans you owe, think about paying them off with the credit card you have. Be sure to pay off the balance on your credit card 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 which you could help pay for. Just make sure you have confidence in the person you are talking to and they know why you’re doing it.
If you’re celebrating the holidays, consider buying all your gifts using cards from your credit account. This way you can meet the minimum spending limit and be ready for giving gifts. Make sure that you’re not paying more than you already planning to.
There are a lot of methods to get the most of the travel credit card and earn miles or points to spend on airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few more ways to maximize the rewards you earn:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
If you’re planning a vacation, make use of the travel credit card to book your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as any other travel expenses. You’ll not only be able to hit the required amount for your credit card, but you’ll also be earning points or miles to cover those costs.
Make use of your credit card to pay for all your daily costs
Another method to reach the minimum spending requirement and earn points is using your credit card for everyday expenditures. This could be things like food, gas and even your telephone bill. Make sure you pay off the balance each month in full so you don’t pay interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or points in exchange on certain kinds of purchases, such as dining or travel. Check out the rewards program of your credit card and avail any bonus categories that align with your spending habits.
Take into consideration the possibility of transferring your balance
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a credit card, think about transferring that balance onto an account with a travel credit card that has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfers. This will allow you to pay off the debt without accruing interest. It will also help you hit the minimum spending requirement for the credit card bonus.
Make use of your miles or points prudently
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize them wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card and then compare the value of different redemption options. For instance you can use your points to purchase a flight directly with the airline might provide you with a greater value than using them to purchase a gift card.
Another option is to get an rewards card that permits you to transfer your reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will let you enjoy a greater variety of options and greater 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 a Hotel rewards programme. This will give you access to a wider selection of hotels, flights and other travel benefits which are not available through the rewards program of your credit card.
In addition, you should find out the card’s benefits. some perks that could help you save money on travel costs. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that can be very beneficial when traveling.
When you travel with someone else each of you will be able to get rewards on your credit card. Just remember that you can’t share the costs on the same card and make sure you keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
Overall, the key to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to know the rewards program on your credit card and to ensure you’re making use of it in the most effective method possible. By using an array of methods I’ve described that you can earn rewards quickly, redeem rewards for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide range of travel perks.