Are you tired of spending an enormous amount on flights? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking is the answer to your travel-related problems. It’s a fun way to convert credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into miles which can be used to obtain discounted or free flights to your dream destinations. With a little imagination and a little bit of insider information, 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 and rewards for airline miles. The miles can be used to purchase discounted or even free flights. Some credit cards also let you redeem miles for hotel stays and car rental deals.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for success in travel hacking is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and to establish a frequent flyer mile program on a select group of airlines. When it comes time to make a booking, evaluate the cost. If the flight is less than $300, it’s best to pay cash and save your miles for a more expensive flight. When the flights start getting over $500, you’ll need to look into the frequent flyer account to see which airline can give you the best deal. It all boils down to the number of points or miles in your travel account for each airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets of travel hacking? Your first task is opening an account with a sign-up offer. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards with a variety of benefits and features. It is all dependent on the airline, your habits with spending and what features are crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few 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 card you’ll have to meet the limit of spending minimum in order to qualify for the bonus. Each card has its own guidelines, so make sure to look up the details. Then it’s all about building up miles, and using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to set sail with your goals?
Once you’ve accumulated the points balance, you’re ready to cash them in for some delicious vacation! Different credit card providers will have different methods of redeeming your rewards, here are some examples from some of the ones I’ve had experience with:
Getaway by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of a Chase credit card, then you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In this portal you’ll get access to virtually every airline and you can combine the points as well as cash in order to book your travel. You can even book entirely on points if you have enough balance! Sometimes even if you don’t possess enough points for the total price, you can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using the credit card of your choice.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for your flight tickets? Did you know that when you book directly through United You have the option of paying with dollars or points? But, be careful, if you do not have enough points you can’t combine points and dollars on one flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re a few points short, United gives you the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience with extra legroom as well as free snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines, allowing passengers to book flights using JetBlue either dollars or points, however, not both. However, JetBlue offers a distinct feature where you can join your points with your relatives to earn points twice as fast. 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 pretty thrifty 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, 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 big one! If you’re able to pay your rent using a credit card, do it! Be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually around 3 percent. It may be worth it in the end in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another excellent way to meet the required spending is to pay for the medical bills. If you do not have any medical expenses coming up Ask your relatives if you could pay them for theirs, and they can repay you.
Repay a loan
If you have any loans you owe, think about making payments on them with your credit card. Be sure to pay the credit card balance in full so you don’t accumulate additional debt.
Ask family for help
Discuss your family with them and look into any big expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Make sure that you are able to trust the person and they understand why you’re doing this.
If you’re celebrating the holidays you should consider purchasing all your gifts using your credit card. This way you can meet the minimum spending limit and also be prepared to give gifts. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you were already contemplating to.
There are a lot of ways to get the most out of the travel credit card. You can accrue points or miles to be used towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are some additional ways to maximize the rewards you earn:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, make use of you travel credit card for booking your flight, hotel, rental car, and other travel costs. You’ll not only be able to hit the minimum amount of spending required for your credit card bonus, however, you’ll also earn points or miles to cover these costs.
Use your credit card for everyday expenditures
Another way to hit the minimum spending requirement in order to accumulate points utilising your credit cards to pay daily expenditures. This could include items like groceries, gas and even your telephone bill. Be sure to pay the balance off each month in full so you don’t accumulate interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer bonus points or miles on certain kinds of purchases, like eating out or travelling. Check out your rewards program on your credit card and make use of any bonus categories that match with your spending routines.
Take into consideration the possibility of transferring your balance
If you’re in the middle of a outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, think about transferring that balance onto a travel credit card with a 0% introductory APR for balance transfer. This will enable you to pay off the debt without accruing interest, and also assist you in reaching the minimum spending requirement for the credit card bonus.
Make use of your miles or points carefully
If you’ve amassed a large amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize them in a responsible manner. Review the rewards program for your credit card and compare the value of different redemption options. For instance you can use points to purchase a flight directly through the airline may offer better return than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another tip is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer your reward points into other loyalty programmes. This allows you to get a wider selection of choices and more flexibility in making use of your rewards. For example, you may be eligible to transfer your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or Hotel rewards programme. This gives the benefit of a larger variety of hotels, flights and other travel benefits that aren’t offered through the rewards program of your credit card.
In addition, you should find out if your credit card offers some perks that could help you save money on travel costs. Many cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that could be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
When you travel with a friend and both of you get rewards on your own credit card. Be aware that you cannot split the cost on the same card, and be sure to track the rewards you earn separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do to maximizing your travel rewards is to understand your credit card’s rewards program and ensure that you’re using this program in the most efficient method possible. By using an array of strategies I’ve listed, you’ll be able to get rewards in a short time, use them for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad range of travel perks.