Are you tired of paying an enormous amount on flights? Well, good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting way to turn credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles, which you can use to get discounted or even cheap flights from your desired destinations. With a little imagination and some knowledge, you can be jet-setting for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of trading credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. These miles can then be used to pay for cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards permit you to use miles for hotel stays and car rental offers.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for success in hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and establishing 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 in cash and use your miles to pay to book a higher-priced flight. If the prices start to rise above $500, you’ll want to review those frequent flyer accounts to see which airline can give you the best deal. It all comes down to 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 to hacking travel? Your first task is opening a credit card that comes with a welcome bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards that provide various features and benefits. It all depends on your preferred airline, your habits with spending and the features that are most essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards perfect for travel hacking:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
After you’ve been accepted for a credit card, you’ll have to meet the limit of spending minimum in order to receive the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so make sure to check for this information. From there, it’s all about racking up miles, and using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your points?
Once you’ve accumulated the points balance, it’s time to redeem them for some nice vacation! Different credit card providers will have different methods for redeeming your rewards, here are some examples from some of the providers I have experience with:
Getaway with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have an Chase credit card, then you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through the portal, you’ll get access to nearly every airline. You can combine the points as well as cash in order to book your next trip. You can even book completely using points if you’ve got enough balance! Sometimes, even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for full price, you can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using the credit card of your choice.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for your flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United, you have the option to pay with dollars or points? Be careful in case you don’t have enough points, you can’t combine dollars and points on one flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re a few points short, United also offers the option to purchase additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue provides passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience , with more space and complimentary snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to United’s that allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue points or dollars, however, not both. However, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that lets you combine your points with family members to accrue points twice as fast. Just make sure you can verify that you are a family member before trying to hack into the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel companion Becca I’m sure you’re pretty frugal and it can be daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to reach the minimum amount required to earn 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 credit card, go for it! Just be prepared to be charged a fee, typically about 3 percent. It might be worth it in the end if the bonus is high enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another great way to hit the spending limit is to pay for a medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses coming up then ask your family members to pay their medical bills and they’ll reimburse you.
Pay off a loan
If you have any loans, consider repaying them using your credit card. Just make sure you pay off the balance on your credit card in full , so that you don’t accrue additional debt.
Ask family for help
Talk to your family and look into 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 understand why you’re doing this.
If it’s the holiday season take into consideration buying all your gifts using your credit card. In this way, you’ll hit that minimum spend and be ready for gift giving. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you thinking of.
There are plenty of ways to make the most of the travel credit card. You can accumulate miles or points that you can use towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are some additional suggestions for maximising the rewards you earn:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, make use of your travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel, rental car, and other travel costs. Not only will you achieve the minimum spend for your credit card bonus and earn points, but you’ll also earn points or miles to cover those expenditures.
Utilize your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday costs
Another way to hit the minimum spend to earn rewards is by making use of your credit card for everyday expenses. This could include items like groceries, gas or even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay the balance off in full every month to ensure you don’t accumulate interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or points in exchange on certain kinds of purchases, including dining or travel. Check out your rewards program on your credit card and avail any bonus categories that match with your spending habits.
Take into consideration the possibility of transferring your balance
If you are currently in debt on a credit card, consider transferring that balance to the travel credit card which has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfer. This will let you pay off your debt without accruing interest. It will also aid in achieving the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus.
Use your points or miles wisely
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize the points or miles wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and compare the benefits of different redemption options. For example using your points to book a ticket directly through the airline may provide you with a greater value than using them to purchase a gift card.
Another option is to get an rewards card that permits you to transfer reward points into other loyalty programmes. This allows you to have a wider range of options and greater flexibility when redeeming your rewards. For example, you may be able to transfer your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or Hotel rewards programme. This can give an access larger range of flights, hotels and other travel benefits which are not accessible through the rewards program on your credit card.
Also, find out the card’s benefits. some perks that could help you save money on travel costs. Some cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection and other benefits that can be invaluable when you travel.
When you travel with a friend each of you will be able to earn rewards with your own credit card. Be aware that you cannot split the cost on the same card, and be sure you keep track of your rewards separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do to maximizing your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program on your credit card and to ensure you’re using it in the most efficient method. By using all of the methods I’ve described that you can get rewards in a short time, use rewards for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide variety of travel benefits.