Are you tired of spending an enormous amount on flights? Good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting method to convert bonus and sign-up incentives into miles which you can use to get discounted or even cheap flights from your desired destinations. With a little bit of imagination and some information, you’ll fly for no cost in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. These miles can then be used to purchase discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards will also permit you to use miles towards hotel stays or rental car discounts.
How Does it Work?
The secret to successful hacking travel is taking advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and to establish a frequent flyer mile program on a select group of airlines. When you are ready to make a booking, evaluate the cost. If the price is under $300, it’s generally better to pay cash and save your miles to book a higher-priced flight. If your flights begin to climb higher than $500, it’s best to look into those frequent flyer accounts and find out which airline will give you the most value. It all boils down to the amount of points or miles you have in your travel savings account for every airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to hacking travel? Your first task is to open an account with a sign-up bonus. There are many great credit cards that provide a variety of advantages and features. It depends on the type of airline, spending habits and what features are crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards that are perfect to hack travel
- 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 have to meet the minimum spend limit in order to get the bonus. Every card has different rules, so be sure to check for this information. From there you can begin to rack miles and using them to plan your dream vacation!
Ready to jet-set with your ideas?
Once you’ve accumulated the points amount, it’s time to use them towards sweet vacation! Different credit card companies offer different ways to redeem your points. Here are a few examples from some of the companies I’ve worked with:
Take a trip by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of a Chase credit card, then you can redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within it, you’ll get access to nearly every airline and you can combine money and points to book your next trip. You can book your flight entirely on points if you have enough balance! Sometimes, even if you don’t have enough points to cover the full cost, you are able to buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using the credit card of your choice.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for your flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option of paying with dollars or points? But, be careful in case you don’t have enough points, you aren’t able to combine points and dollars for flights. If you’re only a couple of point short United provides the option of buying additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience , with more legroom and free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is like United’s which allows you to book with either JetBlue points or dollars however, not both. However, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that lets you pool your points together with your family members and earn points twice as quickly. Be sure to establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack into the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me or my travel companion Becca You’re probably quite thrifty and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to hit the required amount to qualify for the credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried because we’ve been there and are here to share some of our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able to pay your rent using credit card, go for it! Just be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually at least 3%. It could be worthwhile in the long run when the bonus is large enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another excellent way to meet the minimum spend is to cover the medical bills. If you do not have any medical expenses due then ask your family members to pay their medical bills and they can reimburse you.
Make a payment to pay off a loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan take into consideration paying them off with your credit card. Be sure to pay off the balance on your credit card in full , so that you don’t accumulate additional debt.
Ask family for help
Ask your family members to look into any big expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to trust the person and they understand why you’re taking the initiative.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season take into consideration buying all your gifts using your credit card. This way you can meet the minimum spending limit and also be prepared to give gifts. Be sure to avoid paying more than you already thinking of.
There are many methods to get the most from 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 your rewards
Make travel reservations using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, use you travel credit card for booking your flight, hotel, rental car, and other travel costs. You’ll not only be able to hit the minimum amount of spending required for your credit card bonus and earn points, however, you’ll also earn points or miles on these costs.
Use your credit card to pay for your everyday costs
Another way to meet the minimum amount of spending to earn rewards is by making use of your credit card to pay for daily expenses. This could include things like gas, groceries and even your telephone bill. Just make sure to pay the balance off in full each month so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Make the most of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or points in exchange for certain types of purchases, including eating out or travelling. Check out the rewards program of your credit card and take advantage of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending routines.
Consider the possibility of transferring your balance
If you have existing debt on a credit card, think about transferring the balance to the travel credit card which has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfer. This will allow you to pay off the debt without accruing interest. It will also aid in achieving the minimum amount required to earn the credit card’s bonus.
Use your points or miles prudently
If you’ve amassed a large amount of points or miles Make sure to utilize the points or miles wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card, and evaluate the worth of various redemption options. For example using 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 suggestion is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer your reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will let you have a wider range of options and greater flexibility in you want to redeem your rewards. For instance, you might be eligible to transfer your reward to an airline’s frequent flyer program or hotel rewards program. This gives you access to a wider selection of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks that may not be offered through the rewards program on your credit card.
Also, determine if your credit card offers some perks that could save you money on travel-related costs. Some cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that can be invaluable when you travel.
If you’re traveling with a companion and both of you earn rewards using your credit card. Be aware that you cannot share the costs on the same card and make sure you keep track of your rewards separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do to maximizing your travel rewards is to know your credit card’s rewards program and to ensure you’re making use of your credit card in the most effective way possible. By using a combination of the strategies I’ve listed that you can earn rewards fast, exchange them for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide variety of travel benefits.