Are you fed up of spending an enormous amount on flights? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting way to convert credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into miles which you can use to score discounted or free flights to your desired destinations. With a little bit of imagination and some information, you’ll fly for no cost in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about swapping credit card sign-up bonus as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can later be used to buy discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards allow you to redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or rental car offers.
How Does it Work?
The secret to successful hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and to establish a frequent flyer mile program with a limited number of airlines. When it comes time to make a booking take a look at the price. If the flight is under $300, it’s generally better to pay 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 your frequent flyer accounts and find out which airline will give you the best deal. It all boils down to the amount of points or miles you have in your travel account for every airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to hacking travel? First step to open an account with a sign-up offer. There are plenty of great credit cards that provide many features and benefits. It depends on the type of airline, spending habits and the features that are most important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards that are excellent for travel hacking:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
If you’ve been approved for a credit or debit card, you’ll need to hit the limit of spending minimum in order to receive the bonus. Every card has different guidelines, so make sure to look up this information. 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?
Now that you’ve built up the points amount, it’s time to cash them in for some delicious getaway! Different credit card companies will have different methods of redeeming your rewards, here are some examples from a few of the companies I’ve had experience with:
Take a trip with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have a Chase credit card, then you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through this portal you’ll have access to virtually every airline, and you can make use of a combination of points and cash to book your trip. You can even book entirely with points if you’ve enough balance! Sometimes even if you don’t have enough points to cover the full cost, you are able to book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with every credit card.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United You have the option to pay with dollars or points? Be careful that if you do not have enough points you can’t combine points and dollars on one flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re only a couple of points short, United provides the option to purchase additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers passengers a relaxing and pleasant travel experience that includes extra legroom and free 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. However, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature where you can pool your points together with family members to accrue points twice as quickly. Just make sure you can prove you’re really family before trying to hack into the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me or my travel companion Becca, you’re probably pretty economical and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to hit the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus. Don’t worry because we’ve been there and we’re here to share some of our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able to pay for your rent using credit card, then do it! Just be prepared to be charged a fee, typically around 3 percent. It may be worth it in the long run 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 an medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses coming up then ask your family members if you can pay for theirs and they will reimburse you.
Pay off the loan
If you’re a borrower you owe, think about paying them off with your credit card. Make sure to pay off the balance on your credit card in full so you don’t accrue additional debt.
Ask your family members for help
Talk to your family and look into any large expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to have confidence in the person you are talking to and they know why you’re doing this.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season take into consideration buying all your gifts with cards from your credit account. So you’ll be able to meet the minimum spending limit and also be ready for giving gifts. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you planning to.
There are many ways to make the most of your travel credit card. earn miles or points to spend on the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few more suggestions for maximising the rewards you earn:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, use you travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as other travel costs. In addition, you’ll be able to hit the required amount to qualify for a credit card and earn points, however, you’ll also earn points or miles for those expenses.
Utilize your credit card to pay for all your daily costs
Another way to meet the minimum spending requirement in order to accumulate points by making use of your credit card for daily costs. This can include things like gas, groceries or even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay the balance off in full every month to ensure you don’t accrue interest charges.
Take advantage of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide bonus points or miles for specific types of purchases, including dining or travel. Check out your credit card’s rewards program and make use of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending habits.
Consider the possibility of transferring your balance
If you have existing debt on a high-interest credit card, consider transferring the balance to an account with a travel credit card that has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfers. This will let you pay off your debts without accruing interest and simultaneously assist you in reaching the minimum spending requirement for the credit card bonus.
Utilize your miles and points carefully
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of points or miles, be sure to use the points or miles wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card and then compare the worth of various redemption options. For example using your points to book a ticket directly with the airline might give you a better value than using them for an gift card.
Another option is to get a rewards card that allows you to transfer points to other loyalty programs. This will let you have a wider range of choices and more flexibility when you want to redeem your rewards. For instance, you might be able to transfer your reward to the frequent flyer program of an airline or a hotel rewards program. This can give the benefit of a larger range of flights, hotels and other travel benefits which are not offered through the rewards program on your credit card.
Also, find out the card’s benefits. certain benefits that will save you money on travel-related costs. Some cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that could be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with someone else and both of you earn rewards using your own credit card. Just remember that you can’t divide the cost with the same card and make sure to track your rewards in a separate manner.
In the end, the most important thing to do to reaping the maximum benefits from your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program on your credit card and ensure that you’re using this program in the most efficient method possible. Utilizing a combination of the methods I’ve described, you’ll be able to earn rewards fast, exchange rewards for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide assortment of travel-related perks.