Are you fed up of spending an enormous amount on flights? Good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting method to convert sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles, which you can use to score discounted or cheap flights from your dream 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. The miles can be used to buy cheap or free flight tickets. Some credit cards also allow you to redeem miles towards hotel stays or car rental offers.
How Does it Work?
The secret to successful travel hacking is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and building out a frequent flyer mile program for a specific group of airlines. When it’s time to make a booking consider the cost. If the price is under $300, it’s generally better to pay cash and use your miles to pay to take a more costly flight. When the flights start getting higher than $500, it’s best to check your frequent flyer accounts to determine which airline offers you the most value. All it boils down to is the amount of points or miles you have in your travel savings account for every airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets of travel hacking? First step to open a credit card with a sign-up offer. There are many great credit cards with a variety of benefits and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, spending habits and what features are important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards that are perfect to use for hacking travel:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
If you’ve been approved for a credit or debit card, you’ll need to reach the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to get the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so be sure to look up the details. From there you can begin to rack miles and using them to book 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 companies have different methods for redeeming your points, but here are some examples from a few of the ones I have experience with:
Getaway by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have a Chase credit card, then you are able to redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within it, you’ll have access to nearly every airline, and you can combine money and points to book your next trip. You can even book entirely with points if you’ve enough balance! Sometimes even if you do not have enough points to cover the entire price, you can buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with any credit card.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for your flight tickets? Did you not know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option to pay with either points or dollars? Butbe aware that if you do not have enough points you cannot combine points and dollars for flights. If you’re a few point short United also offers the option to purchase 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 and free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is like United’s, allowing customers to book using either JetBlue either dollars or points, but not both. The difference is that JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature where you can pool your points together with your relatives to earn points twice as quickly. Just make sure you can 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 like me and my travel companion Becca, you’re probably pretty thrifty and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to reach the required amount to qualify for the credit card bonus. But don’t fret as we’ve done it and are here to share our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able pay your rent with credit card, go for it! Make sure you pay a cost, which is usually around 3 percent. It might be worth it in the end in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another excellent way to meet the required spending is to pay for an medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses due, ask your family members to pay their medical bills and they will repay you.
Repay a loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan, consider making payments on them with the credit card you have. Be 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
Ask your family members to determine if they’ve got any large expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Make sure that you are able to trust the person and they are aware of the reason for taking the initiative.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season take into consideration buying all of your gifts with cards from your credit account. In this way, you’ll reach the minimum spending requirement and also be ready to give gifts. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you were already planning to.
There are plenty of methods to get the most from the travel credit card and earn miles or points to spend on airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few more ways to maximize your rewards:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, use your travel credit card to book your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as other travel costs. Not only will you be able to meet the minimum amount of spending required to earn your credit card, however, you’ll also earn points or miles for those expenses.
Utilize your credit card to pay for everyday costs
Another way to meet the minimum amount of spending and earn points is by making use of your credit card to pay daily expenses. This could be things like food, gas, and even your phone bill. Make sure you pay the balance off in full every month to ensure you don’t accrue interest charges.
Benefit from bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer bonus points or miles on certain kinds of purchases, like eating out or traveling. Check out the rewards program of your credit card and take advantage of any bonus categories that align with your spending routines.
Take into consideration the possibility of transferring your balance
If you’re in the middle of a outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, think about transferring that balance to a travel credit card with an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfers. This will enable you to pay off your debt without accruing interest and simultaneously help you hit the minimum spending requirement for the credit card bonus.
Make use of your miles or points carefully
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of points or miles make sure you use them in a responsible manner. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and compare the value of different redemption options. For instance, using your points to book a flight directly through the airline may offer better value than using them to purchase a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer reward points into other loyalty programmes. This allows you to enjoy a greater variety of options and greater flexibility when redeeming your rewards. For instance, you might be able to transfer your rewards to an airline’s frequent flyer program or reward program for hotels. This will give you access to a greater selection of hotels, flights and other travel benefits which are not accessible through the rewards program of your credit card.
Also, discover whether your credit card has some perks that could help you save money on travel expenses. Some cards offer travel insurance and 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. Make sure you don’t share the costs on the same card. Also, make sure you keep track of your rewards separately.
Overall, the key to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program on your credit card and ensure that you’re making use of your credit card in the most effective way possible. Through all of the strategies I’ve outlined, you’ll be able to earn rewards fast, exchange them for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad assortment of travel-related perks.