Are you fed up of spending an enormous amount on flights? Well, good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting way to convert welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles that can then be used to get discounted or even cheap flights from your desired destinations. With a bit of imagination and some know-how, you’ll fly for no cost in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can later be used to purchase discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards allow you to redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or rental car deals.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for successful hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and establishing a frequent flyer mile program with a limited number of airlines. When it comes time to book a flight consider the cost. If the cost is under $300, it’s usually better to pay cash and save your miles to take a more costly flight. If the prices start to rise over $500, you’ll need to review your frequent flyer accounts to find out which airline will give you the best price. It all comes down to the number of miles or points in your travel bank for each airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets of travel hacking? First step opening a credit card with a sign-up offer. There are plenty of great credit cards that provide various advantages and features. It depends on the type of airline, your habits with spending and what features are essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards perfect to use for hacking travel:
- 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. Each card has its own guidelines, so make certain to verify this information. Then it’s all about building up miles and using them to book your dream vacation!
Ready to jet-set with your ideas?
Once you’ve accumulated your points balance, you’re ready to cash them in for some delicious travel! Different credit card companies will have different methods of redeeming your rewards, here are a few examples from some of the companies I’ve had experience with:
Getaway through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you have an Chase card, you can redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within this portal you’ll have access to nearly every airline. You can make use of a combination of points and cash to pay for your trip. You can even book entirely with points if you’ve the balance for it! Sometimes even if you do not have enough points to cover the entire price, you can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using any credit card.
Are you fed up of paying full price for flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United, you have the option to pay with dollars or points? Butbe aware that if you don’t have enough points, you cannot combine dollars and points for flights. If you’re only a couple of point short United also offers the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides an enjoyable and comfortable travel experience that includes extra space and complimentary snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to United’s, allowing you to book with either JetBlue points or dollars however, not both. However, JetBlue has a unique feature where you can pool your points together with your relatives to earn points twice as quickly. Be sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re like me and my travel companion Becca, you’re probably pretty thrifty and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to hit the required amount to qualify for the credit card bonus. But don’t fret, we’ve been through it and we’re here to share some of our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able to pay your rent with credit card, then do it! Just be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually at least 3%. It might be worth it over the long term when the bonus is large enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another great way to hit the required spending is to pay for the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills coming up Ask your relatives if you could pay their medical bills and they can repay you.
Repay the loan
If you have any loans, consider repaying them using your credit card. Just make sure you pay the credit card balance completely so that you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask family for help
Discuss your family with them and determine if they’ve got any big expenses coming up which you could help pay for. Make sure that you are able to are able to trust the person and that they are aware of the reason for taking the initiative.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season take into consideration buying all your gifts using the credit card you have. So you’ll be able to reach the minimum spending requirement and also be ready to give gifts. Just make sure you’re not paying more than you already contemplating to.
There are a lot of methods to get the most from the travel credit card. You can accrue points or miles to use towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are some additional suggestions for maximising the rewards you earn:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
When you’re planning your next vacation, make use of the travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as other travel costs. You’ll not only achieve the minimum amount of spending required to qualify for a credit card and earn points, but you’ll also be earning points or miles on these expenses.
Use your credit card to pay for your everyday expenditures
Another way to hit the minimum spend in order to accumulate points by utilising your credit cards to pay for daily costs. This could be things like food, gas and even your telephone bill. Be sure to pay off the balance each month in full so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Benefit from bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer bonus points or miles on certain kinds of purchases, including dining or travel. Check out your rewards program on your credit card and avail the bonus categories that are in line with your spending routines.
Consider a balance transfer
If you’re in the middle of a outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer that balance to the travel credit card which has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will let you pay off your debt without accruing interest. It will also aid in achieving the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus.
Utilize your miles and points prudently
If you’ve amassed a large amount of points or miles make sure you use them in a responsible manner. Check out the rewards program on your credit card, and evaluate the value of different redemption options. For example you can use your points to purchase a flight directly through the airline may give you a better return than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer your points to other loyalty programs. This allows you to enjoy a greater variety of choices and more flexibility when making use of your rewards. For example, you may be eligible to transfer your rewards to an airline’s frequent flyer program or reward program for hotels. This can give you access to a greater variety of hotels, flights and other travel benefits that may not be accessible through the rewards program of your credit card.
Also, discover if your credit card offers any perks that can reduce your travel expenses. Some cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that are invaluable when you travel.
When you travel with a friend each of you will be able to earn rewards using your own credit card. Make sure you don’t split the cost on the same card. Also, make sure you keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
Overall, the key to making the most of your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program of your credit card and to ensure you’re using your credit card in the most efficient method possible. Through all of the strategies I’ve listed in this article, you’ll be able get rewards in a short time, use them for travel experiences that are worth it and take advantage of a broad variety of travel benefits.