Are you fed up of spending an enormous amount on flights? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel woes. It’s a fun way to convert bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles which can be used to score discounted or complimentary flights for your ideal destinations. With a little bit of imagination and some knowledge, you can fly for no cost in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can later be used to purchase discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards will also let you redeem miles towards hotel stays or rental car deals.
How Does it Work?
The key to success in travel hacking is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and establishing a frequent flyer mile program with a limited number of airlines. When you are ready to book a flight consider the cost. If the flight is less than $300, it’s best to pay cash and use your miles to pay for a more expensive flight. When the flights start getting over $500, you’ll need to look into those frequent flyer accounts to see which airline can give you the most value. All it boils down to is the amount of miles or points you have in your travel savings account for each airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to travel hacking? Your first task is to open the credit card that comes that comes with a welcome bonus. There are many great credit cards that offer various benefits and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, spending habits and the features that are most important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit card options that can be 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 get the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so be sure to look up this information. Then, it’s all about racking up miles, and using them to plan your dream trip!
Ready to jet-set with your ideas?
Once you’ve accumulated the points balance, you’re ready to redeem them for some nice travel! Different credit card companies will offer different ways to redeem your points, but here are some examples from a few of the ones I’ve had experience with:
Getaway with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of an Chase card, you are able to use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In the portal, you’ll get access to virtually every airline and you can use a combination of the points as well as cash in order to book your trip. You can book your flight entirely on points if you have the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you don’t possess enough points for the full cost, you still can buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with the credit card of your choice.
Are you tired of paying full price for flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United You have the option to pay with dollars or points? But, be careful, if you don’t have enough points, you aren’t able to combine dollars and points on flights. If you’re a few points away, United also offers the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience , with more legroom as well as free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines that allows you to book with either JetBlue dollar or points but not both. But, JetBlue offers a distinct feature that lets you pool your points together with your family members and earn points twice as fast. Make sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack into the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel buddy Becca You’re probably quite frugal and it can be challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to hit the minimum spend for credit card bonuses. But don’t fret because we’ve been there 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 with credit card, then do it! Just be prepared to be charged a fee, typically at least 3%. It may be worth it in the end if the bonus is high enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another way to reach the spending limit is to pay for a medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills in the near future Ask your family members to pay for theirs and they’ll reimburse you.
Make a payment to pay off the 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 end up with more debt.
Ask family for help
Discuss your family with them and look into 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 doing it.
If it’s the holiday season you should consider purchasing all of your gifts with cards from your credit account. This way you can meet the minimum spending limit and be ready for gift giving. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you were planning to.
There are many ways to make the most out of the travel credit card. accumulate miles or points that you can spend on the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few more ways to maximize the rewards you earn:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
If you’re planning a vacation, make use of the travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as any other travel expenses. In addition, you’ll be able to meet the required amount to qualify for a credit card as well, but you’ll also earn points or miles for these expenses.
Utilize your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday costs
Another way to hit the minimum spend to earn rewards is utilising your credit cards for every day expenditures. This could include items like groceries, gas or even your phone bill. Be sure to pay off the balance each month in full so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Benefit from bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or points in exchange for specific types of purchases, like eating out or traveling. Check out your rewards program on your credit card and avail any bonus categories that align with your spending routines.
Consider the possibility of transferring your balance
If you are currently in debt on a credit card, think about transferring that balance to a travel credit card with the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfer. This will allow you to pay off your debts without accruing interest and simultaneously aid in achieving the minimum spend for the credit card’s bonus.
Make use of your miles or points prudently
When you’ve earned a significant amount of miles or points make sure you use them wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card, and evaluate the benefits of different redemption options. For instance you can use your points to purchase a flight directly with the airline could provide you with a greater value than using them for a gift card.
Another tip is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer rewards to different loyalty program. This will allow you to enjoy a greater variety of options and greater freedom when it comes to redeeming your rewards. For example, you may be able to transfer your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a Hotel rewards programme. This gives an access greater variety of hotels, flights, and other travel perks which are not accessible through the rewards program of your credit card.
In addition, you should discover whether your credit card has certain benefits that will save you money on travel-related costs. Many cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that can be very beneficial when traveling.
If you’re traveling with a friend and both of you earn rewards with your own credit card. Be aware that you cannot divide the cost with the same card. Also, make sure to track your rewards separately.
The key to reaping the maximum benefits from your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program on your credit card and make sure you’re making use of it in the most effective way possible. Utilizing all of the strategies I’ve outlined in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards fast, exchange them for travel experiences that are worth it and benefit from a wide variety of travel benefits.