Are you fed up of spending an enormous amount on flights? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s a fun way to turn credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles, which you can use to get discounted or even cheap flights from your dream destinations. With a little creativity and some insider knowledge, you can fly for no cost in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about trading credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. The miles can be used to pay for discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards let you redeem miles towards hotel stays or car rental 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 establishing frequent flyer miles on a select group of airlines. When you are ready to make a booking consider the cost. If the flight is under $300, it’s generally better to pay in cash and use your miles to pay for a more expensive flight. If your flights begin to climb over $500, you’ll need to check the frequent flyer account and find out which airline will give you the best deal. It all boils down to the number of miles or points you have in your travel savings account for every airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets of travel hacking? The first step is to open the credit card that comes with a sign-up bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards with many features and benefits. It all depends on your preferred airline, your spending habits, and the features that are most important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards that are great to hack travel
- 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 reach the minimum spend limit in order to qualify for the bonus. Every card has different rules, so be certain to verify the details. Then, it’s all about racking miles and then using them to book your dream vacation!
Ready to jet-set with your ideas?
Now that you’ve built up your points balance, it’s time to use them towards delicious vacation! Different credit card companies will have different methods of redeeming your points. Here are some examples from a few of the providers I have experience with:
Take a trip through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you’re a holder of an Chase credit card, then you are able to use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In this portal you’ll have access to almost every airline. You can combine points and cash to book your trip. You can even book entirely using points if you’ve got the balance for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t possess enough points for the total price, you can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with any credit card.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for your flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United, you have the option to pay with either points or dollars? Butbe aware in case you don’t have enough points you can’t combine dollars and points for flights. If you’re a few point short United gives you the option to purchase additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue provides passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience , with more legroom as well as free snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to United’s that allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue dollar or points but not both. The difference is that JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature where you can join your points with your family members and earn points twice as fast. Make sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack into the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me and my travel buddy Becca, you’re probably pretty economical and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to hit the required amount to qualify for the credit card bonus. Don’t worry as we’ve done it and we’re here to share our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able to pay for your rent using a credit card, do it! Be prepared to pay a fee, usually at least 3%. It could be worthwhile in the end when the bonus is large enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the spending limit is to pay for the medical bills. If you do not have any medical expenses due Ask your relatives if you could pay them for theirs, and they’ll repay you.
Pay off a loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan take into consideration paying them off with your credit card. Make sure to pay off the balance on your credit card in full , so that you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Talk to your family and look into any large expenses coming up which you could help pay for. Just make sure you trust the person and they know why you’re doing it.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season you should consider purchasing all of your gifts with the credit card you have. So you’ll be able to reach the minimum spending requirement and also be ready for gift giving. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you contemplating to.
There are a lot of ways to get the most out of using your credit or debit card for travel. You can earn miles or points to use towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few additional ways to maximize your rewards
Make travel reservations using your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, use your travel credit card for booking your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as any other travel-related expenses. You’ll not only be able to meet the required amount to qualify for a credit card reward and earn points, but you’ll also be earning points or miles to cover the expenses.
Use your credit card for all your daily costs
Another way to meet the minimum spend to earn rewards is utilising your credit cards to pay every day costs. This could be things like food, gas or even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay the balance off 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. Be sure to review your credit card’s rewards program and avail the bonus categories that are in line with your spending habits.
Take into consideration a balance transfer
If you are currently in debt on a credit card, think about transferring the balance to a travel credit card with an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfers. This will enable you to pay off your debts without accruing interest. It will also aid in achieving 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 Make sure to utilize the points or miles wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card, and evaluate the value of different redemption options. For example, using your points to book a flight directly with the airline might offer better return than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another option is to get an rewards card that permits you to transfer your rewards to different loyalty program. This allows you to enjoy a greater variety of options and greater flexibility in you want to redeem your rewards. For example, you may be eligible to transfer your reward to an airline’s frequent flyer program or Hotel rewards programme. This will give an access greater range of flights, hotels and other travel benefits that may not be available through the rewards program of your credit card.
In addition, you should find out the card’s benefits. any perks that can reduce your travel expenses. Some cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that could be very beneficial when traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a companion, both of you can get rewards on your own credit card. Just remember that you can’t divide the cost with the same card. Also, make sure to track the rewards you earn separately.
The key to maximizing your travel rewards is to know your credit card’s rewards program and to ensure you’re making use of your credit card in the most efficient method possible. Utilizing a combination of the strategies I’ve outlined that you can earn rewards fast, exchange them for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide assortment of travel-related perks.