Are you fed up of spending an enormous amount on flights? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting way to convert credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into miles which can be used to score discounted or cheap flights from your desired destinations. With a bit of imagination and a little bit of insider information, you’ll fly for no cost within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. These miles can later be used to pay for discounted or even free flights. Some credit cards also permit you to use miles to pay for hotel stays or car rental deals.
How Does it Work?
The key to successful hacking travel is taking advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards 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 price is less than $300, it’s generally better to pay cash and save your miles for a more expensive flight. When the flights start getting higher than $500, it’s best to look into those frequent flyer accounts to determine which airline offers you the best deal. All it boils down to is the amount of points or miles you have in your travel savings account for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to travel hacking? The first step is to open an account with a sign-up offer. There are plenty of great credit cards with a variety of features and benefits. It is all dependent on the airline, your spending habits, and what features are essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit card options that can be perfect for travel hacking:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
If you’ve been approved for a credit card you’ll have to meet the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to receive the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of guidelines, so make sure to look up the details. From there you can begin to rack up miles, and using them to plan your dream trip!
Are you ready to set sail with your points?
After you’ve accrued the points balance, it’s time to use them towards nice vacation! Different credit card companies have different methods for redeeming your rewards, here are a few examples from some of the companies I have experience with:
Getaway through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you have a Chase cards, you can redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through this portal you’ll get access to almost every airline. You can combine money and points to pay for your travel. You can even book completely on points if you have the funds to pay for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t possess enough points for the total 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 tired of paying the full cost for your flight tickets? Did you know that when you book directly through United, you have the option to pay with either points or dollars? Butbe aware, if you don’t have enough points, you can’t combine dollars and points on the same flight. If you’re only a couple of point short United provides the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue offers a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience with extra legroom as well as free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is like United’s that allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue points or dollars, however, not both. The difference is that JetBlue offers a distinct feature where you can combine your points with your family members and earn points twice as quickly. Be sure to establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me or my travel companion 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 credit card bonuses. However, don’t be worried because we’ve been there 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 to pay for your rent with credit card, then do it! Be prepared to be charged a fee, typically around 3%. It might be worth it in the long run when the bonus is large enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another way to reach the required spending is to pay for an medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses coming up, ask your relatives if you could pay their medical bills and they will pay you back.
Make a payment to pay off a loan
If you have any loans you owe, think about repaying them using your credit card. Just make sure you pay the credit card balance completely so that you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Ask your family members to look into any major expenses in the near future which you could help pay for. Just make sure you trust the person and they understand why you’re doing this.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season you should consider purchasing all your gifts using your credit card. In this way, you’ll meet the minimum spending limit and be ready for gift giving. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you were thinking of.
There are many ways to get the most from using your credit or debit card for travel. accumulate miles or points that you can be used towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few more ways to maximize the rewards you earn:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, use the travel credit card for booking your hotel, flight, rental car, and other travel costs. In addition, you’ll achieve the required amount to qualify for a credit card bonus as well, however, you’ll also earn points or miles on these costs.
Make use of your credit card to pay for everyday expenditures
Another way to meet the minimum spending requirement and earn points is by making use of your credit card to pay daily expenses. This can include items like groceries, gas or even your phone bill. Make sure you pay the balance off in full each month so you don’t pay interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer bonus points or miles for specific types of purchases, such as dining or travel. Check out your rewards program on your credit card and make use of any bonus categories that match with your spending routines.
Think about the possibility of transferring your balance
If you are currently in debt on a credit card, you might want to transfer that balance to an account with a travel credit card that has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfers. This will allow you to pay off your debt without accruing interest and simultaneously aid in achieving the minimum spending requirement for the credit card bonus.
Utilize your miles and points wisely
When you’ve earned a significant amount of points or miles, be sure to use them in a responsible manner. Review the rewards program for your credit card, and evaluate the value of different redemption options. For example you can use your points to purchase a flight directly with the airline might provide you with a greater value than using them for a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer your rewards to different loyalty program. This will let you get a wider selection of choices and more flexibility when redeeming your rewards. For example, you may be able to transfer your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a Hotel rewards programme. This can give you access to a greater range of flights, hotels, and other travel perks that may not be accessible through the rewards program of your credit card.
Also, find out the card’s benefits. any perks that can help you save money on travel costs. Many cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that could be very beneficial when traveling.
When you travel with someone else, both of you can earn rewards using your own credit card. Just remember that you can’t share the costs on the same card. Also, make sure you keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
Overall, the key to maximizing your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program on your credit card and ensure that you’re using it in the most efficient method. Utilizing all of the methods I’ve described that you can get rewards in a short time, use them for travel experiences that are worth it and take advantage of a broad assortment of travel-related perks.