Are you tired of spending an enormous amount on flights? Good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting method to turn credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into miles which can be used to obtain discounted or free flights to your dream destinations. With a little bit of imagination and a little bit of insider 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 as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can later be used to pay for discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards let you redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or car rental discounts.
How Does it Work?
The key to success in hacking travel is taking advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and establishing a frequent flyer mile program on a select group of airlines. When it’s time to book a flight consider the cost. If the cost is less than $300, it’s generally better to pay in cash and use your miles to pay to book a higher-priced flight. When the flights start getting above $500, you’ll want to check those frequent flyer accounts to determine which airline offers you the best price. All it boils down to is the number of points or miles in your travel account for every airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets of travel hacking? Your first task is to open a credit card with a sign-up offer. There are many great credit cards that offer many advantages and features. It is all dependent on the airline, spending habits and what features are essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit card options that can be perfect for travel hacking:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
After you’ve been accepted for a credit or debit card, you’ll need to hit the limit of spending minimum in order to qualify for the bonus. Every card has different rules, so be sure to check for the details. From there you can begin to rack miles and then using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your ideas?
Once you’ve accumulated your points balance, it’s time to redeem them for some nice getaway! Different credit card companies have different methods of redeeming your points, but here are a few examples from some of the companies I’ve had experience with:
Escape by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own a Chase cards, you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within the portal, you’ll have access to nearly every airline, and you can combine money and points to pay for your next trip. You can even book entirely on points if you have the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you do not possess enough points for the entire cost, you still can buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using every credit card.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United, you have the option of paying with dollars or points? Be careful in case you don’t have enough points you can’t combine points and dollars for the same flight. No worries though, if you’re a few point short United provides the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue offers 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 which allows you to book with either JetBlue points or dollars but not both. The difference is that JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that lets you join your points with your relatives to earn points twice as quickly. Be sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me and my travel buddy Becca You’re probably quite frugal and it can be daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to reach the minimum amount required to earn credit card bonuses. However, don’t be worried because we’ve been there and are here to share some of our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able pay your rent using credit card, then do it! Just be prepared to be charged a fee, typically at least 3%. It may be worth it 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 a medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills due Ask your family members if you can pay for theirs and they will pay you back.
Make a payment to pay off a loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan take into consideration repaying them using the credit card you have. Be sure to pay off the balance on your credit card in full so you don’t end up with additional debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Ask your family members to look into any large expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Just make sure you have confidence in the person you are talking to and they are aware of the reason for doing it.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season take into consideration buying all your gifts with your credit card. So you’ll be able to reach the minimum spending requirement and be ready to give gifts. Be sure to avoid paying more than you already planning to.
There are plenty of ways to make the most of the travel credit card and accrue points or miles to spend on airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few more ideas for maximizing the rewards you earn:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a vacation, make use of your travel credit card to book your flight, hotel, rental car, and any other travel-related expenses. In addition, you’ll achieve the required amount to earn your credit card bonus as well, but you’ll also earn points or miles to cover those expenditures.
Utilize your credit card to pay for all your daily costs
Another way to hit the minimum amount of spending and earn points is utilising your credit cards for everyday costs. This can include things like gas, groceries, and even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay the balance off in full each month so you don’t accumulate interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or points in exchange on certain kinds of purchases, like eating out or traveling. Check out the rewards program of your credit card and take advantage of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending routines.
Think about the possibility of transferring your balance
If you have existing outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, consider transferring the balance to an account with a travel credit card that has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfer. This will allow you to pay off your debts without accruing interest. It will also aid in achieving the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus.
Use your points or miles prudently
When you’ve earned a significant amount of points or miles, be sure to use them wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and then compare the worth of various redemption options. For instance, using your points to purchase a flight directly with the airline might provide you with a greater return than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another tip is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer your points to other loyalty programs. This will allow you to have a wider range of options and greater freedom when it comes to making use of your rewards. For example, you may be able to transfer your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a reward program for hotels. This will give you access to a wider selection of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks that aren’t offered through the rewards program of your credit card.
In addition, you should discover the card’s benefits. certain benefits that will reduce your travel costs. Some cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that could be invaluable when you travel.
If you’re traveling with someone else each of you will be able to earn rewards with your credit card. Be aware that you cannot divide the cost with the same card and make sure to track your rewards separately.
Overall, the key to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to know the rewards program on your credit card and to ensure you’re using your credit card in the most efficient method possible. Through all of the strategies I’ve outlined in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards quickly, redeem rewards for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide range of travel perks.