Are you tired of spending an enormous amount on flights? Good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting way to convert sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles which can be used to get discounted or even cheap flights from your desired destinations. With a little bit of imagination and a little bit of insider information, you’ll be jet-setting for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about trading credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can later be used to buy discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards let you redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or car rental discounts.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for success in travel hacking is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and to establish frequent flyer miles on a select group of airlines. When you are ready to make a booking consider the cost. If the flight 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 check those frequent flyer accounts to see which airline can give you the best price. It all boils down to the number of points or miles you have in your travel savings account for every airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets of travel hacking? First step to open an account with a sign-up offer. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that offer many features and benefits. It all depends on your preferred airline, spending habits and what features are essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some 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 card you’ll need to reach the limit of spending minimum in order to qualify for the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so be certain to verify this information. From there it’s all about building miles and using them to book your dream vacation!
Ready to jet-set with your ideas?
Once you’ve accumulated your points amount, it’s time to redeem them for some nice travel! Different credit card companies will have different methods for redeeming your points. Here are some examples from some of the companies I’ve worked with:
Escape with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own a Chase card, you are able to use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within it, you’ll get access to nearly every airline, and you can use a combination of money and points to book your travel. You can even book entirely on points if you have the funds to pay for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t possess enough points for the entire cost, you still can buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using any credit card.
Are you tired of paying full price for your flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United You have the option to pay with either points or dollars? But, be careful in case you do not have enough points you aren’t able to combine points and dollars for one flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re just a few point short United provides the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience , with more space and complimentary snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to United’s, allowing you to book with either JetBlue points or dollars, but not both. However, JetBlue offers a distinct feature that allows you to combine your points with family members to accrue points twice as fast. Be sure to 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 buddy Becca I’m sure you’re pretty economical and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to reach the minimum spend for a credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried as we’ve done it and are here to share our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able pay your rent using a credit card, do it! Make sure you be charged a fee, typically around 3%. It might be worth it over the long term in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another great way to hit the spending limit is to cover the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills coming up then ask your family members to pay for theirs and they’ll reimburse you.
Make a payment to pay off a loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan, consider making payments on them with your credit card. Just make sure you pay off the credit card balance completely so that you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Talk to your family and determine if they’ve got any large expenses coming up which you could help pay for. Just make sure you have confidence in the person you are talking to and they know why you’re taking the initiative.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season you should consider purchasing all of your gifts with cards from your credit account. So you’ll be able to hit that minimum spend and be ready to give gifts. Be sure to avoid spending more than you were thinking of.
There are a lot of ways to get the most out of the travel credit card. earn miles or points to use towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few additional suggestions for maximising your rewards
Make travel reservations using your credit card
If you’re planning a vacation, make use of you travel credit card to pay for your hotel, flight, rental car, and any other travel expenses. You’ll not only be able to meet the minimum amount of spending required to qualify for a credit card reward and earn points, however, you’ll also earn points or miles to cover these expenses.
Use your credit card for everyday expenses
Another way to meet the minimum amount of spending in order to accumulate points making use of your credit card to pay for every day expenses. This could be things like food, gas, and even your phone bill. Be sure to pay the balance off each month in full so you don’t accumulate interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or points in exchange on certain kinds of purchases, like eating out or traveling. Be sure to review the rewards program of your credit card and make use of any bonus categories that align with your spending habits.
Take into consideration a balance transfer
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a high-interest credit card, consider transferring that balance onto a travel credit card with the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfers. This will let you pay off your debts without accruing interest. It will also help you hit the minimum amount required to earn the credit card’s bonus.
Utilize your miles and points carefully
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points make sure you use them in a responsible manner. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and compare the value of different redemption options. For example you can use points to purchase a flight directly with the airline could offer better return than using them for a gift card.
Another tip is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer your points to other loyalty programs. This will allow you to have a wider range of options and greater flexibility in making use of your rewards. For instance, you might be eligible to transfer your reward to the frequent flyer program of an airline or a hotel rewards program. This gives an access larger range of flights, hotels as well as other travel perks which are not available through the rewards program of your credit card.
Additionally, try to determine whether your credit card has any perks that can reduce your travel costs. Some cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection, and other benefits that could be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with someone else, both of you can earn rewards using your credit card. Just remember that you can’t share the costs on the same card, and be sure to track your rewards separately.
The key to making the most of your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program on your credit card and make sure you’re making use of this program in the most efficient way possible. By using an array of strategies I’ve listed that you can earn rewards quickly, redeem rewards for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide assortment of travel-related perks.