Are you tired of paying an enormous amount on flights? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel woes. It’s a fun way to convert credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles which can be used to get discounted or even complimentary flights for your ideal destinations. With a bit of imagination and a little bit of insider information, you’ll fly for no cost within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about swapping credit card sign-up bonus as well as incentives to earn airline miles. The miles can be used to purchase discount or no-cost flights. Some credit cards also permit you to use miles towards hotel stays or rental car deals.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for successful hacking travel is taking advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and to establish a frequent flyer mile program on a select group of airlines. When it comes time to book a flight consider the cost. If the price is less than $300, it’s generally better to pay in cash and save your miles to take a more costly flight. If the prices start to rise over $500, you’ll need to review the frequent flyer account to find out which airline will give you the best deal. It all boils down to the number of points or miles in your travel account for each airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets of travel hacking? The first step is opening the credit card that comes with a sign-up bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that offer various benefits and features. It depends on the type of airline, spending habits and what features are crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards excellent 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 or debit card, you’ll need to hit the limit of spending minimum in order to receive the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of guidelines, so make certain to verify this information. From there, it’s all about racking miles and then using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your ideas?
Once you’ve accumulated your points amount, it’s time to redeem them for some delicious vacation! Different credit card providers will have different methods for redeeming your points. Here are a few examples from some of the companies I have experience with:
Escape by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own a Chase credit card, then you are able to redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. In it, you’ll get access to virtually every airline, and you can combine money and points to pay for your travel. You can book your flight entirely on points if you have the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you do not have enough points to cover the total price, you can buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using every credit card.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for your flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United, you have the option of paying with either points or dollars? Be careful that if you don’t have enough points, you can’t combine points and dollars for one flight. No worries though, if you’re only a couple of points away, United also offers the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue provides a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience with extra legroom as well as free snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to United’s, allowing passengers to book flights using JetBlue either dollars or points however, not both. However, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that lets you pool your points together with your family members and earn points twice as fast. Make sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re anything like me and my travel buddy Becca, you’re probably pretty frugal and it can be difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to reach the minimum amount required to earn a credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried because we’ve been there and we’re here to share some of our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able pay your rent with a credit card, do it! Make sure you be charged a fee, typically around 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 minimum spend is to cover the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills in the near future then ask your relatives if you could pay for theirs and they’ll repay you.
Make a payment to pay off the loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan, consider paying them off with the credit card you have. Be sure to pay off the credit card balance completely so that you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Talk to your family and see if they have any big expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Make sure that you are able to trust the person and they know why you’re taking the initiative.
If you’re celebrating the holidays you should consider purchasing all your gifts with the credit card you have. In this way, you’ll hit that minimum spend and also be prepared for giving gifts. Make sure that you’re not paying more than you planning to.
There are plenty of ways to make the most out of using your credit or debit card for travel and earn miles or points to spend on airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few more suggestions for maximising your rewards
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
If you’re planning a vacation, make use of the travel credit card to book your flight, hotel, rental car, and other travel costs. You’ll not only be able to meet the minimum amount of spending required to earn your credit card bonus as well, however, you’ll also earn points or miles on those expenditures.
Use your credit card for everyday expenses
Another way to hit the minimum spending requirement and earn points is utilising your credit cards for every day costs. This could include things like food, gas and even your telephone bill. Be sure to pay the balance off in full every month to ensure you don’t pay interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or bonus points for specific types of purchases, including eating out or traveling. Make sure you review your credit card’s rewards program and take advantage of any bonus categories that align with your spending habits.
Consider a balance transfer
If you are currently in debt on a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer the balance to 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 amount required to earn the credit card bonus.
Use your points or miles prudently
When you’ve earned a significant amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize them wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and compare the worth of various redemption options. For instance using your points to book a ticket directly through the airline may provide you with a greater 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 allow you to have a wider range of options and greater freedom when it comes to redeeming your rewards. For instance, you might be eligible to transfer your rewards to an airline’s frequent flyer program or a Hotel rewards programme. This will give the benefit of a greater range of flights, hotels, and other travel perks that aren’t available through the rewards program of your credit card.
Also, discover the card’s benefits. any perks that can help you save money on travel expenses. Some cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection, and other benefits that can be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with someone else, both of you can earn rewards using your own credit card. Just remember that you can’t share the costs on the same card and make sure to keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
Overall, the key to making the most of your travel rewards is to understand your credit card’s rewards program and ensure that you’re using your credit card in the most efficient method. Through an array of methods I’ve described in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards quickly, redeem them for travel experiences that are worth it, and enjoy a wide variety of travel benefits.