Are you fed up of spending an enormous amount on flights? Well, 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 obtain discounted or cheap flights from your dream destinations. With a little imagination and some knowledge, you can fly for no cost in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of trading credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can then be used to pay for cheap or free flight tickets. Some credit cards also let you redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or rental car deals.
How Does it Work?
The key to successful travel hacking is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and building out a frequent flyer mile program with a limited number of airlines. When it comes time to book a flight consider the cost. If the flight is less than $300, it’s usually better to pay in cash and save your miles for a more expensive flight. If your flights begin to climb above $500, you’ll want to review the frequent flyer account to determine which airline offers you the best deal. All it boils down to is the number of points or miles you have in your travel savings account for every airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets of travel hacking? Your first task is to open an account with a sign-up bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that provide a variety of advantages and features. It is all dependent on the airline, your spending habits, and what features are important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards that are perfect to use for hacking travel:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
Once you’ve been approved for a credit or debit card, you’ll need to reach the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to receive the bonus. Every card has different guidelines, so make sure to check for the details. Then, it’s all about racking miles and using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your points?
Once you’ve accumulated your points balance, it’s time to redeem them for some delicious travel! Different credit card companies have different methods of redeeming your points. Here are a few examples from some of the companies I’ve had experience with:
Take a trip through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you own an Chase cards, you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In the portal, you’ll have access to virtually every airline and you can use a combination of points and cash to pay for your trip. You can even book completely with points if you’ve enough balance! Sometimes even if you don’t possess enough points for the full cost, you still can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using any credit card.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for your flight tickets? Did you realize that when booking directly through United You have the option to pay with either points or dollars? But, be careful in case you don’t have enough points, you cannot combine points and dollars on the same flight. If you’re just a few points away, United also offers the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience , with more space and complimentary snacks. Additionally, their booking process is like United’s which allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue points or dollars however, not both. But, JetBlue offers a distinct feature that allows you to join your points with family members to accrue points twice as fast. Just make sure you can verify that you are a family member before trying to hack the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me or my travel buddy Becca You’re probably quite economical and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum spend for the credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried as we’ve done it and we’re here to share our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important 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 about 3 percent. It might be worth it in the long run in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another way to reach the required spending is to pay for the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills in the near future then ask your family members if you can pay them for theirs, and they will repay you.
Repay a loan
If you have any loans, consider paying them off with your credit card. Just make sure you pay off the balance on your credit card in full , so that you don’t accrue additional debt.
Ask family for help
Ask your family members to look into any big expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to trust the person and they understand why you’re taking the initiative.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season take into consideration buying all of your gifts with your credit card. This way you can hit that minimum spend and also be prepared to give gifts. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you were planning to.
There are many methods to get the most of the travel credit card and accumulate miles or points that you can be used towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few more suggestions for maximising the rewards you earn:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, use the travel credit card for booking your hotel, flight, rental car, and any other travel-related expenses. Not only will you be able to hit the minimum amount of spending required to earn your credit card reward and earn points, but you’ll also be earning points or miles on those expenses.
Utilize your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday costs
Another way to meet the minimum amount of spending to earn rewards is making use of your credit card for every day costs. This could include things like food, gas and even your telephone bill. Be sure to pay off the balance in full every month to ensure you don’t accrue interest charges.
Benefit from bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or bonus points on certain kinds of purchases, such as eating out or traveling. Be sure to review your credit card’s rewards program and make use of any bonus categories that match with your spending routines.
Consider a balance transfer
If you have existing debt on a high-interest credit card, think about transferring the balance to a travel credit card with an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will let you pay off the debt without accruing interest. It will also aid in achieving the minimum spend for the credit card’s bonus.
Utilize your miles and points wisely
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of points or miles Make sure to utilize them in a responsible manner. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and then compare the value of different redemption options. For example you can use your points to book a ticket directly with the airline could offer better return than using them for an gift card.
Another tip is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer your points to other loyalty programs. This will allow you to get a wider selection of options and greater flexibility in redeeming your rewards. For example, you may be capable of transferring your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a Hotel rewards programme. This can give an access wider range of flights, hotels and other travel benefits that aren’t offered through your credit card’s rewards program.
Additionally, try to discover if your credit card offers certain benefits that will reduce your travel expenses. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that could be invaluable when you travel.
When you travel with a companion, both of you can earn rewards using your own credit card. Just remember that you can’t split the cost on the same card and make sure you keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
The key to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to understand your credit card’s rewards program and make sure you’re using your credit card in the most effective method. Utilizing all of the methods I’ve described that you can earn rewards fast, exchange them for travel experiences that are worth it and benefit from a wide range of travel perks.