Are you fed up of spending an enormous amount on flights? Well, good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting method to turn credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into miles that can then be used to get discounted or even cheap flights from your ideal destinations. With a little bit of imagination and a little bit of insider know-how, you’ll be jet-setting for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about trading credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. These miles can then be used to purchase discount or no-cost flights. Some credit cards also let you redeem miles towards hotel stays or rental car offers.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for successful hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and building out frequent flyer miles with a limited number of airlines. When you are ready to make a booking take a look at the price. If the price is less than $300, it’s generally better to pay in cash and save your miles for a more expensive flight. If your flights begin to climb above $500, you’ll want to review your frequent flyer accounts and determine which airline offers you the best deal. It all boils down to the amount of points or miles you have you have in your travel savings account for each airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to hacking travel? First step to open the credit card that comes that comes with a welcome bonus. There are many great credit cards that provide a variety of 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 cards that are excellent to hack travel
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
Once you’ve been approved for a credit card, you’ll need to hit the limit of spending minimum in order to get the bonus. Every card has different rules, so be certain to verify the details. Then it’s all about building up miles, and using them to plan your dream trip!
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 have different methods of redeeming your points, but here are some examples from a few of the ones I’ve worked with:
Take a trip through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you’re a holder of a Chase cards, you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through it, you’ll have access to nearly every airline. You can combine points and cash to book your next trip. You can even book completely using points if you’ve got the balance for it! Sometimes even if you do not be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for full cost, you still can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using every credit card.
Are you fed up of paying full price for your flight tickets? Did you realize that when booking directly through United, you have the option to pay with either points or dollars? But, be careful, if you don’t have enough points you can’t combine points and dollars on the same flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re just a few points short, United provides the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience with extra legroom and free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to United’s, allowing passengers to book flights using JetBlue dollar or points however, not both. However, JetBlue has a unique feature that lets you pool your points together with your relatives to earn points twice as fast. Just make sure you can verify that you are a family member before trying to hack into the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me or my travel buddy Becca, you’re probably pretty thrifty and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to hit the required amount to qualify for a credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried because we’ve been there and are here to share our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able to pay your rent using credit card, go for it! Make sure you be charged a fee, typically at least 3 percent. It might be worth it in the long run if the bonus is high enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another excellent way to meet the required spending is to pay for an medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses in the near future, ask your relatives if you could pay for theirs and they’ll pay you back.
Pay off a loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan, consider making payments on them with your credit card. Make sure to pay the credit card balance completely so that you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask family for help
Ask your family members to see if they have any major expenses in the near future that you can help pay for. Make sure that you are able to have confidence in the person you are talking to and they know why you’re doing it.
If you’re celebrating the holidays, consider buying all your gifts with cards from your credit account. This way you can meet the minimum spending limit and also be ready for gift giving. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you contemplating to.
There are a lot of ways to make the most of using your credit or debit card for travel and accumulate miles or points that you can spend on flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are some additional ideas for maximizing the rewards you earn:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, make use of your travel credit card for booking your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as any other travel expenses. You’ll not only be able to hit the minimum spend to qualify for a credit card bonus, but you’ll also be earning points or miles to cover the costs.
Use your credit card to pay for your everyday expenditures
Another way to meet the minimum spending requirement to earn rewards is by making use of your credit card to pay for daily costs. This can include items like groceries, gas or even your phone bill. Be sure to pay the balance off each month in full so you don’t pay interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or bonus points for specific types of purchases, such as dining or travel. Make sure you review your rewards program on your credit card and make use of any bonus categories that align with your spending routines.
Take into consideration a balance transfer
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a credit card, you might want to transfer that balance to the travel credit card which has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfer. This will enable you to pay off your debts without accruing interest and simultaneously assist you in reaching the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus.
Use your points or miles carefully
If you’ve amassed a large amount of points or miles Make sure to utilize the points or miles wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card and compare the value of different redemption options. For example, using points to book a ticket directly through the airline may provide you with a greater value than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another tip is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer rewards to different loyalty program. This will allow you to enjoy a greater variety of choices and more freedom when it comes to 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 a Hotel rewards programme. This will give an access larger range of flights, hotels and other travel benefits that aren’t available through the rewards program of your credit card.
Additionally, try to discover if your credit card offers some perks that could help you save money on travel expenses. Many cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that are very beneficial when traveling.
If you’re traveling with someone else each of you will be able to get rewards on your credit card. Just remember that you can’t divide the cost with the same card. Also, make sure to keep track of your rewards separately.
The key to maximizing your travel rewards is to know the rewards program on your credit card and make sure you’re making use of your credit card in the most efficient way possible. By using an array of methods I’ve described that you can get rewards in a short time, use rewards for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad variety of travel benefits.