Are you tired of spending an enormous amount on flights? Good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s a fun way to turn credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles which you can use to get discounted or even cheap flights from your ideal destinations. With a little bit of creativity and some insider knowledge, you can fly for no cost in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about trading credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can then be used to pay for discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards permit you to use miles towards hotel stays or rental car offers.
How Does it Work?
The key to success in hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and building out frequent flyer miles with a limited number of airlines. When you are ready to book a flight, evaluate the cost. If the cost is under $300, it’s usually better to pay in cash and save your miles to book a higher-priced flight. If your flights begin to climb higher than $500, it’s best to check the frequent flyer account to find out which airline will give you the best deal. All it boils down to is the amount of miles or points you have in your travel savings account for each airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to hacking travel? First step to open the credit card that comes with a sign-up offer. There are many great credit cards that provide various benefits and features. It depends on the type of airline, spending habits and the features that are most important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit card options that can be great for travel hacking:
- 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 hit the minimum spend limit in order to get the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of guidelines, so make sure to look up the details. From there you can begin to rack up miles, and using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to set sail with your ideas?
Now that you’ve built up your points balance, you’re ready to use them towards sweet travel! Different credit card companies offer different ways to redeem your points. Here are a few examples from some of the providers I have experience with:
Escape through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you have an Chase cards, you are able to use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within this portal you’ll have access to nearly every airline. You can use a combination of the points as well as cash in order to book your travel. You can even book completely using points if you’ve got enough balance! Sometimes even if you don’t have enough points to cover the total cost, you are able to book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using any credit card.
Are you fed up of paying full price for your flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option to pay with either points or dollars? Be careful in case you don’t have enough points you cannot combine dollars and points for the same flight. No worries though, if you’re just a few point short United provides the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers passengers a relaxing and pleasant travel experience that includes extra space and complimentary snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to United’s that allows you to book with either JetBlue either dollars or points, however, not both. However, JetBlue has a unique feature that allows you to 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.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel buddy Becca, you’re probably pretty thrifty and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to hit the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried as we’ve done it and are here to share our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able pay your rent using credit card, go for it! Just be prepared to pay a fee, usually around 3%. It might be worth it in the end when the bonus is large enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another way to reach the spending limit is to cover an medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills coming up then ask your relatives if you could pay for theirs and they’ll pay you back.
Make a payment to pay off a loan
If you have any loans you owe, think about paying them off with your credit card. Just make sure you pay off the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Talk to your family and determine if they’ve got any major expenses in the near future that you can help pay for. Make sure that you are able to are able to trust the person and that they know why you’re doing this.
If you’re celebrating the holidays, consider buying all your gifts using cards from your credit account. So you’ll be able to meet the minimum spending limit and also be prepared for giving gifts. Be sure to avoid paying more than you already planning to.
There are many ways to get the most from the travel credit card. accumulate miles or points that you can spend on airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are some additional ways to maximize your rewards:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
When you’re planning your next vacation, make use of your travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as any other travel expenses. Not only will you achieve the minimum amount of spending required to qualify for a credit card reward, however, you’ll also earn points or miles to cover the expenses.
Utilize your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday costs
Another method to reach the minimum spend in order to accumulate points utilising your credit cards for everyday expenditures. This could be things like gas, groceries or even your phone bill. Be sure to pay off the balance each month in full so you don’t pay interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or bonus points on certain kinds of purchases, like eating out or traveling. Be sure to review your credit card’s rewards program and make use of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending habits.
Take into consideration a balance transfer
If you have existing debt on a high-interest credit card, think about transferring that balance to an account with a travel credit card that has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfer. This will enable you to pay off your debt without accruing interest and simultaneously assist you in reaching the minimum spending requirement for the credit card’s bonus.
Utilize your miles and points carefully
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of points or miles 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 example you can use points to purchase a flight directly with the airline could offer better return than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another option is to get an rewards card that permits you to transfer points to other loyalty programs. This will allow you to get a wider selection of options and greater freedom when it comes to making use of your rewards. For example, you may be able to transfer your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a hotel rewards program. This will give the benefit of a larger range of flights, hotels, and other travel perks that aren’t accessible through your credit card’s rewards program.
Additionally, try to find out whether your credit card has some perks that could save you money on travel-related expenses. Some cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that could be very beneficial when traveling.
When you travel with someone else each of you will be able to earn rewards with your credit card. Make sure you don’t divide the cost with the same card, and be sure to track your rewards separately.
The key to maximizing your travel rewards is to know the rewards program of your credit card and make sure you’re using your credit card in the most efficient method possible. By using all of the methods I’ve described, you’ll be able to get rewards in a short time, use them for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad assortment of travel-related perks.