Are you tired of spending an enormous amount on flights? Well, good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting way to convert credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles, that can then be used to score discounted or cheap flights from your ideal destinations. With a bit of imagination and some know-how, you’ll be jet-setting for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about trading credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can then be used to buy cheap or free flight tickets. Some credit cards also let you redeem miles for hotel stays and car rental deals.
How Does it Work?
The secret to successful hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and establishing a frequent flyer mile program for a specific group of airlines. When it comes time to make a booking take a look at the price. If the price is less than $300, it’s generally better to pay in cash and save your miles to take a more costly flight. If the prices start to rise higher than $500, it’s best to review the frequent flyer account to determine which airline offers you the best deal. It all boils down to the amount of points or miles you have in your travel savings account for each airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets of travel hacking? Your first task is opening the credit card that comes with a sign-up bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards with various features and benefits. It depends on the type of airline, your spending habits, and what features are crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards that are perfect to hack travel
- 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 reach the limit of spending minimum in order to qualify for the bonus. Each card has its own guidelines, so make sure to look up the details. From there, it’s all about racking miles and using them to plan your dream trip!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your goals?
After you’ve accrued the points balance, you’re ready to cash them in for some sweet getaway! Different credit card providers will offer different ways to redeem your points, but here are some examples from a few of the providers I’ve worked with:
Getaway with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of an Chase cards, you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In this portal you’ll get access to virtually every airline, and you can use a combination of money and points to pay for your next trip. You can book your flight entirely using points if you’ve got the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you don’t have enough points to cover the entire cost, you still can buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using every credit card.
Are you fed up of paying full price for your flight tickets? Did you not know that when you book directly through United, you have the option of paying with dollars or points? Butbe aware that if you don’t have enough points, you can’t combine dollars and points for the same flight. No worries though, if you’re only a couple of points short, United also offers the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue offers a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience with extra space and complimentary snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to United’s which allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue dollar or points however, not both. However, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that lets you pool your points together with family members to accrue points twice as fast. Be sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack into the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel buddy Becca You’re probably quite economical and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to hit the minimum spend for a credit card bonus. Don’t worry as we’ve done it and are here to share our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able to pay your rent with a credit card, do it! Be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually around 3 percent. It might be worth it over the long term in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another great way to hit the spending limit is to cover an medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills in the near future, ask your family members if you can pay them for theirs, and they will reimburse you.
Repay the loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan take into consideration paying them off with the credit card you have. Just make sure you pay off the credit card balance in full so you don’t accrue additional debt.
Ask family for help
Ask your family members to 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 are aware of the reason for doing it.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season you should consider purchasing all of your gifts with cards from your credit account. In this way, you’ll reach the minimum spending requirement and also be ready to give gifts. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you were contemplating to.
There are a lot of methods to get the most out of using your credit or debit card for travel. earn miles or points to spend on the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few additional ways to maximize your rewards:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, make use of you travel credit card for booking your hotel, flight, rental car, and any other travel expenses. In addition, you’ll be able to meet the minimum amount of spending required to earn your credit card, however, you’ll also earn points or miles to cover those expenses.
Make use of your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday costs
Another way to meet the minimum spending requirement in order to accumulate points utilising your credit cards for everyday costs. This could include items like groceries, gas and even your telephone bill. Be sure to pay off the balance each month in full so you don’t accumulate interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer bonus points or miles for specific types of purchases, such as dining or travel. Check out your credit card’s rewards program and avail any bonus categories that match with your spending habits.
Think about a balance transfer
If you have existing debt on a credit card, you might want to transfer that balance to a travel credit card with an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will allow you to pay off your debt without accruing interest and simultaneously help you hit the minimum spending requirement for the credit card’s bonus.
Use your points or miles prudently
If you’ve amassed a large amount of points or miles Make sure to utilize them wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card, and evaluate the benefits of different redemption options. For example using points to book a flight directly through the airline may give you a better value than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another tip is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer your rewards to different loyalty program. This will allow you to get a wider selection of choices and more flexibility in you want to redeem your rewards. For instance, you might be eligible to transfer your rewards to the frequent flyer program of an airline or hotel rewards program. This gives you access to a wider selection of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks which are not available through the rewards program of your credit card.
In addition, you should determine the card’s benefits. any perks that can help you save money on travel expenses. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that can be very beneficial when traveling.
When you travel with a companion, both of you can get rewards on your own credit card. Be aware that you cannot split the cost on the same card, and be sure you keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
The key to making the most of your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program of your credit card and ensure that you’re making use of this program in the most efficient method possible. Through all of the strategies I’ve outlined, you’ll be able to earn rewards fast, exchange them for travel experiences that are worth it, and enjoy a wide assortment of travel-related perks.