Are you fed up of spending an enormous amount on flights? Well, good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s a fun way to turn credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles, which can be used to obtain discounted or complimentary flights for your dream destinations. With a little imagination and a little bit of insider knowledge, you can fly for no cost within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about trading credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. These miles can later be used to pay for cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards will also allow you to redeem miles towards hotel stays or rental car deals.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for success in hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and establishing frequent flyer miles with a limited number of airlines. When it’s time to book a flight consider the cost. If the flight is under $300, it’s best to pay in cash and use your miles to pay for a more expensive flight. If your flights begin to climb higher than $500, it’s best to review those frequent flyer accounts and find out which airline will give you the most value. All it boils down to is the amount of points or miles you have you have in your travel savings account for each airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to travel hacking? Your first task is to open an account with a sign-up bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards that provide various features and benefits. It is all dependent on the airline, your spending habits, and the features that are most crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards that are great 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 have to meet the minimum spend limit in order to receive the bonus. Each card has its own guidelines, so make certain to verify this information. Then you can begin to rack miles and using them to plan your dream vacation!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your goals?
After you’ve accrued the points balance, you’re ready to cash them in for some sweet getaway! Different credit card providers will have different methods of redeeming your points. Here are some examples from some of the ones I have experience with:
Take a trip through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you’re a holder of a Chase cards, you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within it, you’ll have access to almost every airline, and you can make use of a combination of points and cash to pay for your next trip. You can book your flight entirely with points if you’ve enough balance! Sometimes even if you don’t have enough points to cover the full cost, you still can buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with any credit card.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United you can choose the option of paying using dollars or points? Be careful in case you do not have enough points you can’t combine points and dollars for the same flight. No worries though, if you’re a few point short United provides the option of buying additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue offers an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience , with more space and complimentary snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to United’s, allowing you to book with either JetBlue points or dollars but not both. But, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature where you can join your points with family members to accrue points twice as fast. Make sure to establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack into the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re anything like me and my travel buddy Becca, you’re probably pretty economical and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to hit the minimum amount required to earn credit card bonuses. However, don’t be worried as we’ve done it and we’re here to share some of our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able pay your rent using credit card, then do it! Make sure you be charged a fee, typically around 3 percent. It might be worth it in the long run if the bonus is high enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another excellent way to meet the spending limit is to pay for an medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses due Ask your family members if you can pay for theirs and they can repay you.
Repay a loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan you owe, think about repaying them using an credit card. Make sure to pay the credit card balance in full so you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask family for help
Talk to your family and look into any large expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Just make sure you trust the person and they understand why you’re doing this.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season take into consideration buying all your gifts with the credit card you have. So you’ll be able to reach the minimum spending requirement and be ready for gift giving. Be sure to avoid paying more than you already contemplating to.
There are many methods to get the most out of using your credit or debit card for travel. You can earn miles or points to be used towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few additional ways to maximize the rewards you earn:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, use your travel credit card to book your flight, hotel, rental car, and any other travel expenses. Not only will you be able to meet the minimum amount of spending required for your credit card bonus as well, however, you’ll also earn points or miles to cover those costs.
Make use of your credit card to pay for all your daily expenditures
Another way to hit the minimum amount of spending and earn points is making use of your credit card for everyday expenditures. This can include things like food, gas, and even your phone bill. Make sure you pay the balance off each month in full so you don’t pay interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or bonus points for specific types of purchases, such as eating out or travelling. Make sure you review your credit card’s rewards program and take advantage of any bonus categories that match with your spending habits.
Think about a balance transfer
If you have existing debt on a credit card, consider transferring the balance to the travel credit card which has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfer. This will allow you to pay off your debt without accruing interest, and also assist you in reaching the minimum spending requirement for the credit card bonus.
Use your points or miles carefully
When you’ve earned a significant amount of miles or points make sure you use them in a responsible manner. Examine the rewards program of your credit card, and evaluate the benefits of different redemption options. For instance, using your points to purchase a flight directly through the airline may give you a better return than using them for an gift card.
Another suggestion is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer your rewards to different loyalty program. This will let you get a wider selection of choices and more flexibility in redeeming your rewards. For instance, you might be able to transfer your reward to an airline’s frequent flyer program or a hotel rewards program. This will give the benefit of a greater range of flights, hotels as well as other travel perks which are not accessible through the rewards program of your credit card.
Additionally, try to find out whether your credit card has some perks that could reduce your travel expenses. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection, and other benefits that could be very beneficial when traveling.
If you’re traveling with a companion and both of you earn rewards using your own credit card. Make sure you don’t divide the cost with the same card, and be sure to keep track of 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 making use of it in the most effective method possible. Through an array of methods I’ve described in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards quickly, redeem them for travel experiences that are worth it, and enjoy a wide variety of travel benefits.