Are you fed up 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 airline miles, which you can use to get discounted or even complimentary flights for your ideal destinations. With a little creativity and some insider knowledge, you can be jet-setting for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about swapping credit card sign-up bonus and rewards for airline miles. These miles can later be used to buy discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards will also permit you to use miles to pay for hotel stays or rental car deals.
How Does it Work?
The secret to success in travel hacking is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and to establish frequent flyer miles with a limited number of airlines. When it comes time to make a booking, evaluate the cost. If the price is under $300, it’s best to pay in cash and save your miles for a more expensive flight. When the flights start getting above $500, you’ll want to check those frequent flyer accounts to find out which airline will give you the most value. It all boils down to the number of points or miles you have in your travel savings account for each airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets of travel hacking? First step to open a credit card with a sign-up offer. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards with many features and benefits. It all depends on your preferred airline, your habits with spending and what features are essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit card options that can be great to use for hacking travel:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
If you’ve been approved for a credit card you’ll need to hit the limit of spending minimum in order to receive the bonus. Every card has different rules, so be certain to verify the details. Then, it’s all about racking up miles, and then using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your goals?
After you’ve accrued your points amount, it’s time to use them towards delicious travel! Different credit card companies will offer different ways to redeem your points. Here are a few examples from some of the ones I’ve worked with:
Getaway through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you own an Chase cards, you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within this portal you’ll have access to almost every airline and you can use a combination of points and cash to book your next trip. You can even book entirely 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 total price, you 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 flight tickets? Did you not know that when you book directly through United, you have the option of paying using either points or dollars? Be careful, if you do not have enough points you aren’t able to combine dollars and points on flights. Don’t worry, though, if you’re just a few points away, United also offers the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue provides 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, allowing customers to book using either JetBlue either dollars or points, but not both. The difference is that JetBlue has a unique feature that lets you join your points with your family members and earn points twice as quickly. Just make sure you can verify that you are a family member before trying to hack the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me and my travel companion Becca, you’re probably pretty frugal and it can be challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to reach the minimum amount required to earn credit card bonuses. But don’t fret, we’ve been through it 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 to pay for your rent with credit card, then do it! Be prepared to pay a fee, usually about 3 percent. It might be worth it in the end in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another way to reach the required spending is to cover the medical bills. If you do not have any medical expenses in the near future then ask your family members to pay for theirs and they’ll reimburse you.
Make a payment to pay off the loan
If you have any loans take into consideration repaying them using your credit card. Be sure to pay off the balance on your credit card in full so you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Ask your family members to see if they have 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 are aware of the reason for doing it.
If it’s the holiday season take into consideration buying all your gifts with the credit card you have. So you’ll be able to reach the minimum spending requirement and be ready to give gifts. Just make sure you’re not paying more than you contemplating to.
There are a lot of ways to get the most from the travel credit card. You can accrue points or miles to use towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are some additional suggestions for maximising your rewards
Book travel expenses with your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, make use of you travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as any other travel expenses. In addition, you’ll be able to meet the minimum amount of spending required for your credit card as well, however, you’ll also earn points or miles on the costs.
Use your credit card for all your daily expenditures
Another way to meet the minimum spend to earn rewards is making use of your credit card to pay everyday expenses. This could be things like gas, groceries and even your telephone bill. Be sure to pay the balance off each month in full so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Benefit from bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or bonus points for certain types of purchases, like eating out or traveling. Be sure to review your rewards program on your credit card and take advantage of any bonus categories that align with your spending routines.
Consider the possibility of transferring your balance
If you are currently in 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 the debt without accruing interest, and also assist you in reaching the minimum spending requirement for the credit card bonus.
Use your points or miles prudently
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 then compare the worth of various redemption options. For example using points to book a ticket directly with the airline might give you a better value than using them for an gift card.
Another option is to get an rewards card that permits you to transfer your rewards to different loyalty program. This will allow you to have a wider range of choices and more flexibility in redeeming your rewards. For example, you may be capable of transferring your rewards to the frequent flyer program of an airline or Hotel rewards programme. This gives you access to a greater range of flights, hotels and other travel benefits that aren’t available through the rewards program of your credit card.
Also, find out whether your credit card has certain benefits that will help you save money on travel expenses. Many cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that can be very beneficial when traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a friend, both of you can get rewards on your own credit card. Make sure you don’t share the costs on the same card, and be sure to track the rewards you earn separately.
Overall, the key to maximizing your travel rewards is to know the rewards program on your credit card and make sure you’re using it in the most effective method possible. Through an array of strategies I’ve listed that you can earn rewards fast, exchange them for travel experiences that are worth it, and enjoy a wide assortment of travel-related perks.