Are you tired of spending an enormous amount on flights? Good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s a fun way to convert credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into miles which can be used to get discounted or even complimentary flights for your dream destinations. With a little bit of imagination and some knowledge, you can fly for no cost within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can then be used to buy discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards allow you to redeem miles for hotel stays and car rental offers.
How Does it Work?
The secret to success in hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and building out a frequent flyer mile program for a specific group of airlines. When it comes time to make a booking, evaluate the cost. If the price is under $300, it’s usually 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 those frequent flyer accounts 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
Are you ready to discover the secrets of travel hacking? Your first task is to open a credit card with a sign-up offer. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that offer many advantages and features. It depends on the type of airline, your habits with spending and what features are crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some 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 need to reach the minimum spend limit in order to qualify for the bonus. Every card has different rules, so be certain to verify this information. Then it’s all about building miles and then using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to set sail with your ideas?
Once you’ve accumulated the points amount, it’s time to redeem them for some delicious getaway! Different credit card providers will have different methods of redeeming your rewards, here are some examples from a few of the companies I have experience with:
Take a trip with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have a Chase card, you are able to use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In this portal you’ll have access to virtually every airline and you can use a combination of money and points to pay for your trip. You can book your flight entirely with points if you’ve enough balance! Sometimes, even if you don’t possess enough points for the entire cost, you are able to buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using the credit card of your choice.
Are you tired of paying full price for your flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United you can choose the option of paying using either points or dollars? Be careful, if you don’t have enough points you aren’t able to combine points and dollars for the same flight. If you’re only a couple of points away, United also offers the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience with extra space and complimentary snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines that allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue dollar or points, but not both. However, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that lets you pool your points together with your family members and earn points twice as fast. Just make sure you can establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack into the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me or my travel buddy Becca You’re probably quite thrifty and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum spend for the credit card bonus. But don’t fret as we’ve done it and are here to share some of our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able to pay for your rent with credit card, go for it! Just be prepared to be charged a fee, typically at least 3%. It might be worth it in the end if the bonus is high enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the minimum spend is to cover the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills due Ask your relatives if you could pay for theirs and they will pay you back.
Make a payment to pay off a loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan, consider paying them off with an credit card. Make sure to pay off the balance on your credit card completely so that you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Talk to your family and see if they have any large expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Make sure that you are able to are able to trust the person and that they are aware of the reason for doing it.
If it’s 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 for giving gifts. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you were thinking of.
There are many ways to make the most from the travel credit card and accumulate miles or points that you can use towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are some additional ideas for maximizing your rewards:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
If you’re planning a vacation, make use of the travel credit card to pay for your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as other travel costs. You’ll not only achieve the minimum spend to earn your credit card bonus and earn points, but you’ll also be earning points or miles for those costs.
Use your credit card for all your daily expenditures
Another way to meet the minimum spend and earn points is by making use of your credit card for every day expenses. This could include things like gas, groceries and even your telephone bill. Be sure to pay the balance off each month in full so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Make the most of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or bonus points on certain kinds of purchases, like eating out or travelling. Make sure you review 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’re in the middle of a debt on a high-interest credit card, consider transferring the balance to a travel credit card with an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfers. This will allow you to pay off your debt without accruing interest. It will also help you hit the minimum spend 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 the points or miles wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and then compare the worth of various 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 the purchase of a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer rewards to different loyalty program. This will allow you to have a wider range of options and greater flexibility when you want to redeem your rewards. For example, you may be able to transfer your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a hotel rewards program. This will give an access larger selection of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks that may not be offered through the rewards program of your credit card.
Also, find out whether your credit card has certain benefits that will reduce your travel expenses. Many cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that are extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
If you’re traveling with a friend each of you will be able to earn rewards using your own credit card. Just remember that you can’t divide the cost with the same card. Also, make sure to keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
Overall, the key to making the most of your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program of your credit card and to ensure you’re making use of your credit card in the most effective way possible. Utilizing an array of strategies I’ve outlined in this article, you’ll be able get rewards in a short time, use them for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide variety of travel benefits.