Are you fed up of spending an enormous amount on flights? Well, good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s a fun way to convert credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles, which can be used to get discounted or even cheap flights from your dream destinations. With a little bit of imagination and some knowledge, you can be jet-setting for free 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 discount or no-cost flights. Some credit cards also allow you to redeem miles towards hotel stays or car rental deals.
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 frequent flyer miles for a specific group of airlines. When it’s time to book a flight take a look at the price. If the price is less than $300, it’s usually better to pay cash and save your miles to book a higher-priced flight. If your flights begin to climb over $500, you’ll need to look into your frequent flyer accounts to determine which airline offers you the best price. It all comes down to the number of points or miles in your travel bank for each airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to travel hacking? The first step is opening the credit card that comes with a sign-up bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards that provide various advantages and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, your spending habits, and the features that are most essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit card options that can be excellent to hack travel
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
If you’ve been approved for a credit card you’ll have to meet the limit of spending minimum in order to receive the bonus. Every card has different rules, so make sure to look up the details. Then, it’s all about racking up miles and using them to plan your dream trip!
Are you ready to set sail with your goals?
Once you’ve accumulated your points amount, it’s time to redeem them for some delicious vacation! Different credit card companies have different methods for redeeming your rewards, here are some examples from a few of the companies I’ve worked with:
Escape with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have a Chase cards, you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within the portal, you’ll get access to nearly every airline, and you can combine money and points to book your travel. You can even book completely using points if you’ve got the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for entire price, you can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using every credit card.
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 in case you don’t have enough points you cannot combine points and dollars for the same flight. If you’re just a few points away, United provides the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience with extra legroom and free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to that of United Airlines, allowing you to book with either JetBlue either dollars or points, however, not both. The difference is that JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that lets you pool your points together with your relatives to earn points twice as quickly. Just make sure you can prove you’re really family before trying to hack into the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me or my travel buddy Becca, you’re probably pretty thrifty and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to reach the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus. Don’t worry 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 an important one! If you’re able pay your rent using credit card, go for it! Be prepared to pay a fee, usually around 3 percent. It could be worthwhile in the long run if the bonus is high enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another excellent way to meet the minimum spend is to cover an medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills coming up Ask your family members to pay them for theirs, and they will repay you.
Make a payment to pay off the 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 you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Discuss your family with them and see if they have any big expenses coming up which you could help pay for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to are able to trust the person and that they are aware of the reason for doing this.
If it’s the holiday season take into consideration buying all of your gifts with cards from your credit account. This way you can hit that minimum spend and be ready to give gifts. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you already thinking of.
There are plenty of ways to get the most of your travel credit card. You can accumulate miles or points that you can spend on the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are some additional ways to maximize your rewards
Book travel expenses with your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, make use of your travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as any other travel expenses. You’ll not only achieve the required amount to earn your credit card bonus, however, you’ll also earn points or miles on these costs.
Utilize your credit card to pay for all your daily costs
Another way to meet the minimum spend in order to accumulate points utilising your credit cards for every day expenses. This can include things like gas, groceries, and even your phone bill. Be sure to pay the balance off each month in full so you don’t accumulate interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or bonus points on certain kinds of purchases, such as eating out or travelling. Be sure to review the rewards program of your credit card and make use of any bonus categories that match with your spending routines.
Consider a balance transfer
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a credit card, think about transferring that balance onto 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 also assist you in reaching the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus.
Use your points or miles prudently
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize them in a responsible manner. Review the rewards program for your credit card and then compare the benefits of different redemption options. For example, using your points to purchase a flight directly with the airline might offer better value than using them for an gift card.
Another tip is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer rewards to different loyalty program. This will let you have a wider range of choices and more flexibility when making use of your rewards. For example, you may be eligible to transfer your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a reward program for hotels. This will give an access larger selection of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks that aren’t accessible through the rewards program of your credit card.
Additionally, try to discover whether your credit card has some perks that could reduce your travel costs. Some cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that are invaluable when you travel.
When you travel with a companion each of you will be able to get rewards on your own credit card. Make sure you don’t share the costs on the same card. Also, make sure you keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do to making the most of your travel rewards is to know the rewards program on your credit card and ensure that you’re making use of this program in the most effective method. Utilizing a combination of the strategies I’ve outlined that you can earn rewards quickly, redeem rewards for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide range of travel perks.