Are you tired of spending an enormous amount on flights? Well, good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting way to turn credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles which can be used to score discounted or cheap flights from your desired destinations. With a bit of imagination and some knowledge, you can fly for no cost in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about swapping credit card sign-up bonus and incentives for airline miles. The miles can be used to purchase cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards will also allow you to redeem miles towards hotel stays or rental car offers.
How Does it Work?
The secret to successful travel hacking is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and establishing a frequent flyer mile program for a specific group of airlines. When it comes time to book a flight take a look at the price. If the price is under $300, it’s best to pay in cash and save your miles to book a higher-priced flight. If the prices start to rise above $500, you’ll want to check the frequent flyer account and determine which airline offers you the most value. All it boils down to is the amount of points or miles in your travel account for every airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to hacking travel? Your first task is opening the credit card that comes with a sign-up bonus. There are many great credit cards with many advantages and features. It is all dependent on the airline, spending habits and the features that are most essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit card options that can be great to hack travel
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
After you’ve been accepted for a credit or debit card, you’ll need to reach the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to qualify for the bonus. Every card has different guidelines, so make sure to look up this information. From there it’s all about building miles and then using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your points?
Now that you’ve built up the points balance, it’s time to use them towards delicious travel! Different credit card providers will offer different ways to redeem your points. Here are a few examples from some of the providers I’ve worked with:
Take a trip by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of a Chase cards, you are able to redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through the portal, you’ll get access to virtually every airline. You can make use of a combination of the points as well as cash in order to book your next trip. You can book your flight entirely using points if you’ve got the balance for it! Sometimes even if you don’t have enough points to cover the total cost, you are able to buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using any credit card.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for your flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United You have the option to pay with either points or dollars? Butbe aware, if you don’t have enough points you can’t combine dollars and points on flights. No worries though, if you’re just a few points away, United provides the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience , with more space and complimentary snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to that of United Airlines, allowing passengers to book flights using JetBlue points or dollars, however, not both. However, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature where you can combine your points with your family members and earn points twice as quickly. Make sure to prove you’re really family before 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 frugal and it can be challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to hit the minimum spend for a credit card bonus. But don’t fret as we’ve done it and are here to share our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able to pay for your rent with a credit card, do it! Make sure you pay a cost, which is usually at least 3 percent. It might be worth it over the long term when the bonus is large enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another great way to hit the required spending is to pay for an medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills in the near future then ask your family members to pay their medical bills and they’ll reimburse you.
Pay off the loan
If you have any loans you owe, think about repaying them using the credit card you have. Make sure to pay off the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask family for help
Discuss your family with them and determine if they’ve got any large expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Make sure that you are able to trust the person and they understand why you’re taking the initiative.
If you’re celebrating the holidays take into consideration buying all your gifts with the credit card you have. This way you can hit that minimum spend and also be ready for gift giving. Be sure to avoid spending more than you already thinking of.
There are many ways to get the most of your travel credit card. accrue points or miles to spend on airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few additional ideas for maximizing the rewards you earn:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, use you travel credit card for booking your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as other travel costs. Not only will you be able to hit the minimum amount of spending required for your credit card reward as well, but you’ll also be earning points or miles to cover these costs.
Use your credit card for all your daily expenditures
Another way to hit the minimum spending requirement in order to accumulate points using your credit card to pay everyday expenses. This can include things like food, gas or even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay off the balance each month in full so you don’t accumulate interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer bonus points or miles for specific types of purchases, like eating out or traveling. Make sure you review the rewards program of your credit card and make use of any bonus categories that align with your spending routines.
Consider the possibility of transferring your balance
If you are currently in debt on a high-interest credit card, think about transferring that balance onto a travel credit card with the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfer. This will enable you to pay off your debts without accruing interest, and also assist you in reaching the minimum spending requirement for the credit card bonus.
Utilize your miles and points prudently
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize them wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and then compare the value of different redemption options. For instance using your points to book a ticket directly with the airline could offer better value than using them to purchase the purchase of a gift card.
Another option is to get an rewards card that permits you to transfer your points to other loyalty programs. This will allow you to have a wider range of choices and more flexibility in redeeming your rewards. For example, you may be capable of transferring your reward to an airline’s frequent flyer program or a Hotel rewards programme. This gives an access greater range of flights, hotels as well as other travel perks that may not be available through the rewards program on your credit card.
Additionally, try to determine the card’s benefits. some perks that could reduce your travel costs. Some cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that can be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with someone else and both of you earn rewards with your credit card. Make sure you don’t share the costs on the same card, and be sure to track your rewards separately.
The key to making the most of your rewards for travel is to be aware of your credit card’s rewards program and make sure you’re making use of this program in the most efficient method. Utilizing an array of strategies I’ve listed that you can get rewards in a short time, use them for travel experiences that are worth it and benefit from a wide assortment of travel-related perks.