Are you fed up of spending 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 bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles, which you can use to obtain discounted or complimentary flights for your ideal destinations. With a 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 and rewards for airline miles. These miles can then be used to buy discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards allow you to redeem miles towards hotel stays or car rental offers.
How Does it Work?
The key to success in hacking travel is taking advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and establishing a frequent flyer mile program for a specific group of airlines. When you are ready to book a flight consider the cost. If the price is less than $300, it’s generally better to pay in cash and use your miles to pay for a more expensive flight. If the prices start to rise higher than $500, it’s best to review the frequent flyer account to find out which airline will give you the most value. It all boils down to the amount of points or miles in your travel account for every airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets of travel hacking? Your first task is opening the credit card that comes that comes with a welcome bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards with many 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 card options that can be great to hack 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 reach the minimum spend limit in order to receive the bonus. Every card has different guidelines, so make certain to verify this information. Then it’s all about building up miles, and then using them to book your dream trip!
Ready to jet-set with your goals?
After you’ve accrued your points balance, you’re ready to redeem them for some delicious travel! Different credit card companies will offer different ways to redeem your points, but here are some examples from a few of the providers I’ve had experience with:
Getaway by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have a Chase cards, you are able to use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through the portal, you’ll get access to virtually every airline. You can make use of a combination of the points as well as cash in order to pay for your next trip. You can even book entirely with points if you’ve the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you don’t possess enough points for the full 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 fed up of paying the full cost for your flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United, you have the option to pay with either points or dollars? Be careful, if you don’t have enough points you cannot combine points and dollars on the same flight. No worries though, if you’re a few points short, United also offers the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience , with more legroom as well as free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to United’s, allowing you to book with either JetBlue points or dollars but not both. The difference is that JetBlue offers a distinct feature that lets you join your points with your family members and earn points twice as fast. Be sure to establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack into the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re like me and my travel companion Becca, you’re probably pretty thrifty and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to hit the minimum amount required to earn credit card bonuses. However, don’t be worried, we’ve been through it and are here to share some of our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able to pay your rent with a credit card, do it! Make sure you be charged a fee, typically about 3 percent. It could be worthwhile over the long term if the bonus is high enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the required spending is to cover an medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills coming up then ask your family members if you can pay their medical bills and they’ll pay you back.
Make a payment to pay off the loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan, consider repaying them using an credit card. Be sure to pay off the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Ask your family members to see if they have any big expenses coming up which you could help pay for. Make sure that you are able to are able to trust the person and that they understand why you’re doing it.
If you’re celebrating the holidays take into consideration buying all your gifts using the credit card you have. So you’ll be able to reach the minimum spending requirement and also be prepared for giving gifts. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you were already planning to.
There are a lot of ways to get the most out of your travel credit card. You can accrue points or miles to spend on the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are some additional ways to maximize your rewards:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
When you’re planning your next vacation, make use of your travel credit card to book your hotel, flight, rental car, and any other travel expenses. In addition, you’ll be able to hit the minimum spend to earn your credit card as well, but you’ll also earn points or miles for the expenditures.
Make use of your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday expenses
Another way to meet the minimum spending requirement and earn points is by making use of your credit card to pay every day expenses. This could include items like groceries, gas and even your telephone bill. Make sure you pay off the balance in full every month to ensure 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, such as dining or travel. Be sure to review your rewards program on your credit card and take advantage of any bonus categories that match with your spending routines.
Think about a balance transfer
If you have existing debt on a high-interest credit card, consider transferring the balance to an account with a travel credit card that has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfers. This will let you pay off the debt without accruing interest, and also help you hit the minimum spend for the credit card bonus.
Use your points or miles prudently
If you’ve amassed a large amount of points or miles make sure you use the points or miles wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card and then compare the benefits of different redemption options. For example you can use points to purchase a flight directly through the airline may give you a better value than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another option is to get an rewards card that permits you to transfer points to other loyalty programs. This allows you to get a wider selection of options and greater flexibility when redeeming your rewards. For example, you may be eligible to transfer your rewards to the frequent flyer program of an airline or hotel rewards program. This gives you access to a wider range of flights, hotels, and other travel perks that may not be available through your credit card’s rewards program.
Also, discover whether your credit card has certain benefits that will save you money on travel-related expenses. Many cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that can be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
When you travel with a friend each of you will be able to earn rewards with your own credit card. Be aware that you cannot share the costs on the same card, and be sure you keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
The key to making the most of your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program on your credit card and ensure that you’re making use of this program in the most effective method possible. Through an array of strategies I’ve listed that you can get rewards in a short time, use rewards for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad assortment of travel-related perks.