Are you tired of paying an enormous amount on flights? Well, good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s a fun way to convert welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles, which can be used to get discounted or even cheap flights from your dream destinations. With a little bit of imagination and some know-how, 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 as well as incentives to earn airline miles. The miles can be used to purchase discount or no-cost flights. Some credit cards also allow you to redeem miles towards hotel stays or rental car deals.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for successful travel hacking is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and to establish frequent flyer miles on a select group of airlines. When it comes time to make a booking consider the cost. If the cost is less than $300, it’s best to pay cash and use your miles to pay for a more expensive flight. When the flights start getting above $500, you’ll want to look into the frequent flyer account to determine which airline offers you the most value. It all comes down to the number of miles or points you have in your travel savings account for each airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to travel hacking? Your first task is opening an account with a sign-up bonus. There are many great credit cards that provide various features and benefits. It all depends on your preferred airline, your habits with spending and the features that are most essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit card options that can be great 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 hit the minimum spend limit in order to get the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so be sure to check for the details. Then you can begin to rack miles and using them to plan your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your goals?
Now that you’ve built up the points amount, it’s time to cash them in for some sweet travel! Different credit card companies offer different ways to redeem your rewards, here are some examples from a few of the companies I have experience with:
Escape through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you own a Chase cards, you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through the portal, you’ll have access to virtually every airline, and you can combine the points as well as cash in order to book your next trip. You can book your flight entirely on points if you have the balance for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t possess enough points for the entire cost, you still can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using every credit card.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United you can choose the option to pay with either points or dollars? Butbe aware in case you don’t have enough points you cannot combine dollars and points on one flight. If you’re a few points short, United also offers the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue provides passengers a relaxing and pleasant travel experience that includes extra legroom and free snacks. Plus, their booking process is like United’s that allows you to book with either JetBlue either dollars or points, but not both. However, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature where you can join your points with family members to accrue points twice as quickly. Just make sure you can verify that you are a family member before trying to hack into the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me and my travel companion Becca You’re probably quite thrifty and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to hit the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried because we’ve been there and we’re 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 your rent with credit card, go for it! Just be prepared to pay a fee, usually at least 3 percent. It may be worth it in the long run in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the required spending is to cover an medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills coming up Ask your family members to pay their medical bills and they will pay you back.
Make a payment to pay off a loan
If you have any loans take into consideration making payments on them with the credit card you have. Make sure to pay off the balance on your credit card completely so that you don’t accumulate additional debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Discuss your family with them and see if they have any big expenses coming up which you could help pay 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 it.
If you’re celebrating the holidays you should consider purchasing all your gifts with cards from your credit account. This way you can reach the minimum spending requirement and also be ready for giving gifts. Just make sure you’re not paying more than you thinking of.
There are many methods to get the most from your travel credit card. accrue points or miles to spend on airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are some additional ways to maximize the rewards you earn:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, make use of the travel credit card for booking your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as any other travel-related expenses. Not only will you be able to meet the minimum amount of spending required to qualify for a credit card bonus as well, however, you’ll also earn points or miles to cover these costs.
Make use of your credit card to pay for all your daily costs
Another way to meet the minimum spending requirement to earn rewards is making use of your credit card to pay every day expenses. This could be things like food, gas or even your phone bill. Be sure to pay off the balance in full each month so you don’t accumulate interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or bonus points for certain types of purchases, such as dining or travel. Check out the rewards program of your credit card and avail any bonus categories that match with your spending habits.
Take into consideration a balance transfer
If you are currently in debt on a high-interest credit card, consider transferring that balance to a travel credit card with the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfers. This will allow you to pay off the debt without accruing interest and simultaneously help you hit the minimum spend for the credit card bonus.
Use your points or miles prudently
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize the points or miles wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and then compare the value of different redemption options. For example using your points to purchase a flight directly with the airline could provide you with a greater return than using them for an gift card.
Another tip is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer rewards to different loyalty program. This will let you get a wider selection of options and greater flexibility in you want to redeem your rewards. For instance, you might be eligible to transfer your reward to an airline’s frequent flyer program or reward program for hotels. This can give you access to a wider range of flights, hotels, and other travel perks that may not be accessible through your credit card’s rewards program.
Additionally, try to discover if your credit card offers some perks that could save you money on travel-related expenses. 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 and both of you earn rewards using your 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.
Overall, the key to reaping the maximum benefits from your rewards for travel is to be aware of your credit card’s rewards program and ensure that you’re using it in the most effective way possible. By using an array of methods I’ve described in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards fast, exchange them for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide assortment of travel-related perks.