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 method to turn credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles that can then be used to obtain discounted or free flights to your ideal destinations. With a bit of creativity and some insider know-how, you’ll fly for no cost in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about swapping credit card sign-up bonus and rewards for airline miles. The miles can be used to buy cheap or free flight tickets. Some credit cards also permit you to use miles to pay for hotel stays or rental car discounts.
How Does it Work?
The secret to success in travel hacking is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and to establish a frequent flyer mile program on a select group of airlines. When you are ready to make a booking, evaluate the cost. If the flight is less than $300, it’s best to pay in cash and save your miles to take a more costly flight. When the flights start getting higher than $500, it’s best to check your frequent flyer accounts to see which airline can give you the best price. All it boils down to is the amount of points or miles you have in your travel bank for every airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to travel hacking? First step to open a credit card with a sign-up offer. There are plenty of great credit cards that provide many advantages and features. It depends on the type of airline, your spending habits, and the features that are most important 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 card you’ll need to reach the minimum spend limit in order to receive the bonus. Every card has different rules, so be certain to verify the details. From there it’s all about building up miles, and then using them to book your dream trip!
Ready to jet-set with your ideas?
After you’ve accrued your points balance, it’s time to cash them in for some delicious vacation! Different credit card companies have different methods of redeeming your points. Here are some examples from a few of the providers I’ve worked with:
Take a trip by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of a Chase credit card, then you are able to redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within the portal, you’ll get access to almost every airline. You can make use of a combination of points and cash to pay for your trip. You can even book entirely with points if you’ve enough balance! Sometimes, even if you don’t possess enough points for the total cost, you are able to purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using any credit card.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for your flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United You have the option of paying using either points or dollars? But, be careful that if you do not have enough points you aren’t able to combine points and dollars for the same flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re just a few points short, United also offers the option to purchase additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers an enjoyable and comfortable travel experience that includes extra legroom and free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is like United’s, allowing passengers to book flights using JetBlue either dollars or points but not both. The difference is that JetBlue offers a distinct feature that allows you to pool your points together with your family members and earn points twice as fast. Be sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack into the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re anything like me and my travel companion Becca, you’re probably pretty thrifty and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to hit the required amount to qualify 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 a big one! If you’re able pay your rent using credit card, then do it! Make sure you pay a cost, which is usually about 3 percent. It might be worth it over the long term if the bonus is high enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another way to reach the spending limit is to pay for a medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills coming up Ask your relatives if you could pay them for theirs, and they will repay you.
Repay a loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan take into consideration making payments on them with the credit card you have. Make sure to pay the credit card balance completely so that you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Ask your family members to determine if they’ve got any large expenses coming up which you could help pay for. Just make sure you have confidence in the person you are talking to and they are aware of the reason for doing it.
If it’s the holiday season, consider buying all your gifts using your credit card. This way you can reach the minimum spending requirement and be ready for giving gifts. Just make sure you’re not paying more than you planning to.
There are many ways to get the most out of the travel credit card and accrue points or miles to be used towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are some additional suggestions for maximising your rewards
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, use you travel credit card for booking your hotel, flight, rental car, and other travel costs. Not only will you be able to meet the minimum amount of spending required to qualify for a credit card bonus as well, but you’ll also earn points or miles to cover these costs.
Utilize your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday expenses
Another method to reach the minimum spend and earn points is utilising your credit cards for daily expenses. This could include items like groceries, gas, and even your phone bill. Make sure you pay the balance off in full each month so you don’t accumulate interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or points in exchange on certain kinds of purchases, like eating out or traveling. Check out the rewards program of your credit card and take advantage of any bonus categories that match with your spending routines.
Consider the possibility of transferring your balance
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer the balance to a travel credit card with the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfers. This will enable you to pay off the debt without accruing interest and simultaneously assist you in reaching the minimum spend for the credit card bonus.
Make use of your miles or points prudently
If you’ve amassed a large amount of points or miles, be sure to use the points or miles wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card, and evaluate the value of different redemption options. For instance, using points to purchase a flight directly with the airline could give you a better return than using them for an gift card.
Another tip is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer your rewards to different loyalty program. This allows you to have a wider range of choices and more flexibility in making use of your rewards. For example, you may be eligible to transfer your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or reward program for hotels. This gives you access to a greater variety of hotels, flights and other travel benefits that may not be accessible through the rewards program of your credit card.
In addition, you should determine the card’s benefits. certain benefits that will reduce your travel costs. Many cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection and other benefits that could be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a companion each of you will be able to earn rewards using your credit card. Just remember that you can’t split the cost on the same card and make sure you keep track of your rewards separately.
Overall, the key to making the most of your travel rewards is to understand your credit card’s rewards program and to ensure you’re making use of it in the most effective method. Through an array of methods I’ve described, you’ll be able to earn rewards fast, exchange them for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide assortment of travel-related perks.