Are you tired of spending an enormous amount on flights? Well, good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s a fun way to convert credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles which you can use to obtain discounted or complimentary flights for your ideal destinations. With a little bit of creativity and some insider information, you’ll fly for no cost within a matter of minutes.
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. The miles can be used to purchase discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards let you redeem miles for hotel stays and rental car deals.
How Does it Work?
The secret to successful hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and to establish frequent flyer miles on a select group of airlines. When you are ready to book a flight, evaluate the cost. If the flight is less than $300, it’s generally better to pay in cash and use your miles to pay to take a more costly flight. If your flights begin to climb over $500, you’ll need to look into those frequent flyer accounts to see which airline can give you the best price. All it boils down to is the amount of points or miles in your travel account for every airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to hacking travel? Your first task is opening an account with a sign-up offer. There are many great credit cards with various benefits 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 great for travel hacking:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
Once you’ve been approved for a credit card, you’ll need to hit the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to qualify for the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so make certain to verify this information. Then, it’s all about racking miles and using them to plan your dream trip!
Ready to jet-set with your ideas?
Now that you’ve built up your points amount, it’s time to cash them in for some delicious travel! Different credit card companies have different methods of redeeming your points, but here are a few examples from some of the companies I’ve had experience with:
Escape with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of an Chase credit card, then you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within this portal you’ll get access to nearly every airline, and you can use a combination of money and points to book your travel. You can even book completely using points if you’ve got enough balance! Sometimes, even if you don’t possess enough points for the entire cost, you are able to purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using every credit card.
Are you tired of paying full price for your flight tickets? Did you know that when you book directly through United You have the option of paying using either points or dollars? Butbe aware in case you don’t have enough points you can’t combine points and dollars for flights. Don’t worry, though, if you’re a few points away, United also offers the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience , with more space and complimentary snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to United’s that allows customers to book using either JetBlue either dollars or points, but not both. However, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that allows you to pool your points together with your family members and earn points twice as fast. Be sure to establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re anything like me and my travel companion Becca I’m sure you’re pretty frugal and it can be difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to reach the minimum amount required to earn credit card bonuses. 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 big one! If you’re able pay your rent using a credit card, do it! Just be prepared to be charged a fee, typically at least 3 percent. It might be worth it in the end in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another great way to hit the required spending is to pay for the medical bills. If you do not have any medical expenses coming up Ask your family members if you can pay their medical bills and they’ll repay you.
Repay the loan
If you have any loans take into consideration repaying them using the credit card you have. Make sure to pay off the balance on your credit card in full , so that you don’t accrue additional debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Discuss your family with them and look into any large expenses coming up which you could help pay for. Make sure that you are able to trust the person and they know why you’re taking the initiative.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season, consider buying all of your gifts with cards from your credit account. This way you can meet the minimum spending limit and also be ready for giving gifts. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you thinking of.
There are many methods to get the most of using your credit or debit card for travel. accrue points or miles to be used towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few additional ways to maximize your rewards
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, make use of your travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as any other travel-related expenses. You’ll not only be able to hit the minimum spend for your credit card reward, but you’ll also earn points or miles for these expenditures.
Make use of your credit card to pay for everyday costs
Another method to reach the minimum amount of spending in order to accumulate points by making use of your credit card to pay for daily costs. This could include things like gas, groceries or even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay the balance off in full each month so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Benefit from bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer bonus points or miles for specific types of purchases, such as dining or travel. Make sure you review the rewards program of your credit card and make use of any bonus categories that align with your spending habits.
Think about the possibility of transferring your balance
If you have existing debt on a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer that balance to an account with a travel credit card that has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will allow you to pay off your debts without accruing interest and simultaneously help you hit the minimum spend 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 worth of various redemption options. For instance you can use points to purchase a flight directly through the airline may provide you with a greater return than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another option is to get a rewards card that allows you to transfer your points to other loyalty programs. This allows you to have a wider range of choices and more flexibility in redeeming your rewards. For example, you may be eligible to transfer your rewards to the frequent flyer program of an airline or a reward program for hotels. This gives the benefit of a greater variety of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks that aren’t accessible through the rewards program on your credit card.
Additionally, try to determine the card’s benefits. some perks that could help you save money on travel expenses. Many cards offer travel insurance as well as 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 earn rewards with your credit card. Just remember that you can’t split the cost on the same card and make sure you keep track of your rewards separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do to making the most of your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program on your credit card and make sure you’re using it in the most effective method. By using all of the strategies I’ve listed that you can get rewards in a short time, use them for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide variety of travel benefits.