Are you fed up of spending an enormous amount on flights? Good news! Travel hacking is the answer to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting method to turn credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into miles which can be used to obtain discounted or complimentary flights for your dream destinations. With a little bit of imagination and some information, you’ll fly for no cost within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about trading credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. The miles can be used to pay for cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards will also allow you to redeem miles towards hotel stays or rental car deals.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for successful hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and establishing frequent flyer miles with a limited number of airlines. When it comes time 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 save your miles to take a more costly flight. If the prices start to rise over $500, you’ll need to look into your frequent flyer accounts to determine which airline offers you the best deal. All it boils down to is the amount of miles or points you have in your travel savings account for every airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets of travel hacking? Your first task is to open a credit card with a sign-up bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards with a variety of features and benefits. It all depends on your preferred airline, your spending habits, and the features that are most important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards perfect for travel hacking:
- 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 spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to qualify for the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of guidelines, so make sure to look up this information. Then, it’s all about racking up miles and using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to set sail with your points?
Now that you’ve built up the points amount, it’s time to redeem them for some delicious getaway! Different credit card providers will offer different ways to redeem your points. Here are some examples from some of the providers I’ve worked with:
Take a trip by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have a Chase cards, you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through this portal you’ll have access to almost every airline. You can use a combination of the points as well as cash in order to pay for your travel. You can even book entirely with points if you’ve the funds to pay for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for total price, you can 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 can choose the option of paying with dollars or points? Be careful that if you don’t have enough points, you cannot combine points and dollars on one flight. If you’re just a few points short, United also offers the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience , with more space and complimentary snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to United’s which allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue either dollars or points, but not both. But, JetBlue offers a distinct feature that lets you join your points with your relatives to earn points twice as quickly. Just make sure you can prove you’re really family before 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 challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to reach the minimum amount required to earn a credit card bonus. Don’t worry because we’ve been there and we’re here to share our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able pay your rent with credit card, go for it! Be prepared to be charged a fee, typically around 3 percent. It may be worth it in the end if the bonus is high enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another great way to hit the spending limit is to pay for the medical bills. If you do not have any medical expenses coming up then ask your family members if you can pay for theirs and they will pay you back.
Pay off the loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan take into consideration paying them off with your credit card. Be sure to pay off the credit card balance completely so that you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Discuss your family with them and see if they have 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 you should consider purchasing all your gifts using the credit card you have. In this way, you’ll reach the minimum spending requirement and be ready for giving gifts. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you already planning to.
There are many ways to make the most out of using your credit or debit card for travel. You can earn miles or points to use towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few more ways to maximize your rewards
Book travel expenses with your credit card
If you’re planning a vacation, make use of your travel credit card for booking your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as other travel costs. Not only will you achieve the minimum amount of spending required to qualify for a credit card bonus, but you’ll also earn points or miles to cover the expenses.
Use your credit card for all your daily costs
Another method to reach the minimum amount of spending to earn rewards is by using your credit card to pay daily costs. This could be things like food, gas and even your telephone bill. Make sure you pay off the balance in full every month to ensure you don’t accrue interest charges.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer bonus points or miles for certain types of purchases, like dining or travel. Be sure to review the rewards program of your credit card and make use of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending habits.
Consider a balance transfer
If you have existing debt on a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer that balance to the travel credit card which has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfer. This will let you pay off your debt without accruing interest and simultaneously help you hit the minimum amount required to earn the credit card’s bonus.
Utilize your miles and points prudently
When you’ve earned a significant amount of points or miles make sure you use them wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and compare the benefits of different redemption options. For instance using points to book a flight directly through the airline may provide you with a greater value than using them to purchase an gift card.
Another option is to get rewards cards that allow you to transfer reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will let you have a wider range of choices and more freedom when it comes to making use of your rewards. For example, you may be eligible to transfer your reward to the frequent flyer program of an airline or Hotel rewards programme. This gives the benefit of a greater selection of hotels, flights, and other travel perks that may not be offered through the rewards program of your credit card.
In addition, you should determine if your credit card offers certain benefits that will help you save money on travel costs. Many cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection and other benefits that are invaluable when you travel.
If you’re traveling with a companion and both of you earn rewards using your own credit card. Just remember that you can’t share the costs on the same card. Also, make sure to keep track of your rewards separately.
Overall, the key to maximizing your travel rewards is to know the rewards program on your credit card and ensure that you’re making use of your credit card in the most efficient method. Through a combination of the strategies I’ve listed in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards fast, exchange rewards for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide assortment of travel-related perks.