Are you tired of paying an enormous amount on flights? Well, good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting method to convert bonus and sign-up incentives into miles which you can use to get discounted or even complimentary flights for your ideal destinations. With a bit of creativity and some insider information, you’ll fly for no cost in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about swapping credit card sign-up bonus and incentives for airline miles. These miles can then be used to purchase discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards permit you to use miles for hotel stays and rental car 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 a frequent flyer mile program with a limited number of airlines. When it’s time to make a booking consider the cost. If the flight is under $300, it’s usually better to pay in cash and save your miles to take a more costly flight. If your flights begin to climb above $500, you’ll want to check your frequent flyer accounts to see which airline can give you the most value. It all comes down to the amount of miles or points in your travel bank for each airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to hacking travel? Your first task is to open the credit card that comes with a sign-up bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards that provide various advantages and features. It is all dependent on the airline, spending habits and what features are important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards that are perfect to hack travel
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
If you’ve been approved for a credit or debit card, you’ll need to reach the minimum spend limit in order to receive the bonus. Every card has different guidelines, so make sure to look up the details. Then it’s all about building miles and using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to set sail with your goals?
Now that you’ve built up the points balance, you’re ready to redeem them for some sweet vacation! Different credit card providers will have different methods for redeeming your rewards, here are some examples from some of the ones I’ve worked with:
Escape with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of an Chase card, you can redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through the portal, you’ll get access to nearly every airline and you can combine points and cash to book your travel. You can even book completely on points if you have the balance for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for entire cost, you are able to book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with any credit card.
Are you tired of paying full price for your flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option of paying with either points or dollars? Be careful, if you don’t have enough points you aren’t able to combine points and dollars for one flight. No worries though, if you’re a few points short, United gives you the option to purchase additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience , with more legroom as well as free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to that of United Airlines, allowing you to book with either JetBlue points or dollars, but not both. However, JetBlue offers a distinct feature that lets you combine your points with family members to accrue points twice as fast. Make 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 companion Becca, you’re probably pretty thrifty and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum amount required to earn credit card bonuses. Don’t worry, we’ve been through 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 to pay for your rent using a credit card, do it! Be prepared to pay a fee, usually around 3%. It might be worth it in the end if the bonus is high enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another way to reach the required spending is to cover a medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses coming up Ask your relatives if you could pay them for theirs, and they’ll reimburse you.
Pay off a loan
If you have any loans, consider making payments on them with the credit card you have. Be sure to pay off the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Talk to your family and see if they have any big expenses coming up which you could help pay for. Make sure that you are able to trust the person and they understand why you’re doing it.
If it’s the holiday season, consider buying all of your gifts with the credit card you have. So you’ll be able to hit that minimum spend and also be prepared to give gifts. Just make sure you’re not paying more than you thinking of.
There are a lot of ways to get the most out of the travel credit card and accumulate miles or points that you can use towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are some additional ways to maximize your rewards:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, make use of the travel credit card to book your flight, hotel, rental car, and any other travel expenses. In addition, you’ll be able to meet the minimum amount of spending required for your credit card reward and earn points, but you’ll also earn points or miles to cover these expenses.
Use your credit card to pay for your everyday costs
Another way to meet the minimum spend and earn points is making use of your credit card to pay daily expenditures. This could include things like gas, groceries or even your phone bill. Be sure to pay off the balance in full each month so you don’t accumulate interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or bonus points for certain types of purchases, including dining or travel. Be sure to review your rewards program on your credit card and make use of any bonus categories that align with your spending routines.
Think about a balance transfer
If you are currently in debt on a high-interest credit card, think about transferring the balance to the travel credit card which has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will allow you to pay off your debt without accruing interest and simultaneously help you hit the minimum spend for the credit card’s bonus.
Utilize your miles and points carefully
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of points or miles, be sure to use them wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and then compare the benefits of different redemption options. For instance using points to book a flight directly with the airline could give you a better return than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another tip is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer rewards to different loyalty program. This will let you get a wider selection of options and greater flexibility when redeeming your rewards. For example, you may be able to transfer your rewards to an airline’s frequent flyer program or a reward program for hotels. This gives the benefit of a greater range of flights, hotels, and other travel perks that may not be offered through your credit card’s rewards program.
In addition, you should find out whether your credit card has certain benefits that will save you money on travel-related costs. Some cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that can be very beneficial when traveling.
When you travel with someone else each of you will be able to get rewards on your credit card. Make sure you don’t split the cost on the same card, and be sure you keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
Overall, the key to maximizing your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program on your credit card and ensure that you’re using it in the most efficient method possible. Utilizing an array of methods I’ve described in this article, you’ll be able get rewards in a short time, use them for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide variety of travel benefits.