Are you tired of paying an enormous amount on flights? Good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting method to convert credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles which you can use to get discounted or even cheap flights from your dream destinations. With a little bit of imagination and some information, you’ll fly for no cost 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 then be used to pay for discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards will also allow you to redeem miles towards hotel stays or rental car deals.
How Does it Work?
The key to success in travel hacking is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and to establish a frequent flyer mile program with a limited number of airlines. When you are ready to book a flight, evaluate the cost. If the cost is less than $300, it’s generally better to pay cash and save your miles to book a higher-priced flight. If your flights begin to climb over $500, you’ll need to check your frequent flyer accounts and determine which airline offers you the most value. It all comes down to the amount of points or miles you have you have in your travel savings account for every airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets of travel hacking? First step opening the credit card that comes with a sign-up offer. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that offer many benefits and features. It depends on the type of airline, spending habits and the features that are most important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit card options that can be perfect to use for hacking travel:
- 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 minimum spend limit in order to receive the bonus. Every card has different rules, so be sure to look up this information. Then you can begin to rack up miles, and using them to book your dream trip!
Ready to jet-set with your goals?
Now that you’ve built up your points amount, it’s time to use them towards delicious getaway! Different credit card companies offer different ways to redeem your points. Here are some examples from a few of the ones I’ve worked with:
Take a trip by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own a Chase card, you are able to use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through it, you’ll get access to almost every airline, and you can use a combination of points and cash to pay for your travel. You can even book completely with points if you’ve the balance for it! Sometimes even if you do not have enough points to cover the full cost, you are able to purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using the credit card of your choice.
Are you tired of paying full price for your flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United, you have the option of paying with either points or dollars? Butbe aware that if you don’t have enough points, you aren’t able to combine dollars and points on flights. If you’re only a couple of points away, United provides the option to purchase additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers passengers a relaxing and pleasant travel experience that includes extra legroom and free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to that of United Airlines which allows you to book with either JetBlue dollar or points however, not both. The difference is that JetBlue has a unique feature that lets you combine 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 anything like me and my travel buddy Becca I’m sure you’re 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 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 your rent with credit card, go for it! Just be prepared to pay a fee, usually about 3%. It may be worth it in the end when the bonus is large enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another way to reach the required spending is to pay for an medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses in the near future, ask your family members if you can pay their medical bills and they will repay you.
Pay off the loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan take into consideration repaying them using your credit card. Be sure to pay off the balance on your credit card in full , so that you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Talk to your family and determine if they’ve got any major expenses in the near future that you can contribute for. Make sure that you are able to are able to trust the person and that they are aware of the reason for doing this.
If it’s the holiday season, consider buying all your gifts using your credit card. This way you can reach the minimum spending requirement and also be ready to give gifts. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you already thinking of.
There are many ways to get the most from your travel credit card. You can accumulate miles or points that you can spend on airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few more ideas for maximizing the rewards you earn:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, use the travel credit card to book your hotel, flight, rental car, and any other travel expenses. You’ll not only achieve the minimum spend to qualify for a credit card reward, but you’ll also earn points or miles to cover these costs.
Make use of your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday costs
Another method to reach the minimum spend to earn rewards is using your credit card for everyday expenses. This can include things like gas, groceries, and even your phone bill. Be sure to pay the balance off each month in full so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Make the most of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or points in exchange on certain kinds of purchases, such as eating out or traveling. Check out the rewards program of your credit card and avail the bonus categories that are in line with your spending routines.
Think about the possibility of transferring your balance
If you have existing debt on a credit card, think about transferring the balance to the travel credit card which has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfers. This will enable you to pay off the debt without accruing interest, and also aid in achieving the minimum spending requirement for the credit card’s bonus.
Make use of your miles or points carefully
When you’ve earned a significant amount of miles or points, be sure to use them wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card and compare the benefits of different redemption options. For instance you can use your points to book a ticket directly with the airline might offer better return than using them for an gift card.
Another option is to get a rewards card that allows you to transfer your points to other loyalty programs. This will let you have a wider range of options and greater flexibility in you want to redeem your rewards. For instance, you might be capable of transferring your reward to the frequent flyer program of an airline or hotel rewards program. This will give you access to a greater range of flights, hotels, and other travel perks that aren’t available through the rewards program of your credit card.
Additionally, try to find out if your credit card offers certain benefits that will help you save money on travel costs. Many cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that could be invaluable when you travel.
If you’re traveling with a companion each of you will be able to earn rewards using your own credit card. Just remember that you can’t split the cost on the same card. Also, make sure to track your rewards in a separate manner.
Overall, the key to making the most of your travel rewards is to know your credit card’s rewards program and to ensure you’re making use of this program in the most efficient way possible. Utilizing an array of strategies I’ve listed that you can earn rewards quickly, redeem them for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad variety of travel benefits.