Are you fed up of spending an enormous amount on flights? Well, good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting way to convert sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles, which you can use to obtain discounted or cheap flights from your ideal destinations. With a little creativity and some insider knowledge, you can fly for no cost in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about trading credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. These miles can later be used to purchase cheap or free flight tickets. Some credit cards also let you redeem miles for hotel stays and rental car deals.
How Does it Work?
The key to successful hacking travel is taking advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and to establish frequent flyer miles on a select group of airlines. When you are ready to make a booking consider the cost. If the flight is less than $300, it’s generally better to pay in cash and save your miles for a more expensive flight. When the flights start getting above $500, you’ll want to check the frequent flyer account and see which airline can give you the best deal. It all boils down to the number 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 of travel hacking? First step to open the credit card that comes that comes with a welcome bonus. There are many great credit cards with many advantages and features. It depends on the type of airline, your habits with spending and the features that are most essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards that are great for travel hacking:
- 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 hit the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to get the bonus. Every card has different rules, so be certain to verify the details. Then you can begin to rack up miles, and using them to plan your dream vacation!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your points?
Now that you’ve built up your points amount, it’s time to redeem them for some nice vacation! Different credit card providers will have different methods for redeeming your points, but here are some examples from a few of the ones I have experience with:
Escape through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you’re a holder of a Chase credit card, then you can redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within it, you’ll have access to nearly every airline. You can use a combination of money and points to book your trip. You can even book completely on points if you have the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you don’t 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 know that when you book directly through United You have the option of paying using dollars or points? Be careful that if you do not have enough points you cannot combine points and dollars on one flight. No worries though, if you’re only a couple of point short United gives you the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue offers an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience with extra legroom as well as free snacks. Plus, their booking process is like United’s, allowing customers to book using either JetBlue either dollars or points, however, not both. However, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that allows you to combine your points with your family members and earn points twice as fast. Just make sure you can prove you’re really family before trying to hack the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me or 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 required amount to qualify for credit card bonuses. Don’t worry as we’ve done it and we’re here to share our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able to pay for your rent using a credit card, do it! Be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually about 3 percent. It might be worth it over the long term when the bonus is large enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another way to reach the minimum spend is to cover an medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses in the near future Ask your relatives if you could pay them for theirs, and they’ll reimburse you.
Repay the loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan you owe, think about making payments on them with an credit card. Just make sure you pay off the balance on your credit card completely so that you don’t accrue additional debt.
Ask family for help
Discuss your family with them and determine if they’ve got any major expenses in the near future which you could 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 it’s the holiday season, consider buying all of your gifts with cards from your credit account. So you’ll be able to meet the minimum spending limit and be ready for gift giving. Be sure to avoid paying more than you planning to.
There are plenty of methods to get the most of using your credit or debit card for travel. You can accumulate miles or points that you can be used towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are some additional suggestions for maximising the rewards you earn:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
When you’re planning your next vacation, make use of you travel credit card to book your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as other travel costs. You’ll not only be able to hit the minimum spend to qualify for a credit card bonus, however, you’ll also earn points or miles to cover these expenditures.
Utilize your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday costs
Another way to hit the minimum spending requirement to earn rewards is making use of your credit card to pay for everyday costs. This could 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 accumulate interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or bonus points for specific types of purchases, including eating out or traveling. Be sure to review your rewards program on your credit card and make use of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending routines.
Think about a balance transfer
If you have existing debt on a credit card, you might want to transfer that balance to an account with a travel credit card that has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfer. This will allow you to pay off your debts without accruing interest. It will also aid in achieving the minimum spend for the credit card bonus.
Utilize your miles and points carefully
When you’ve earned a significant amount of points or miles Make sure to utilize them wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and then compare the value of different redemption options. For example using points to purchase a flight directly with the airline might give you a better value than using them to purchase an gift card.
Another tip is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer rewards to different loyalty program. This will allow you to have a wider range of options and greater flexibility when making use of your rewards. For example, you may be capable of transferring your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or reward program for hotels. This gives you access to a greater selection of hotels, flights, and other travel perks that aren’t offered through your credit card’s rewards program.
Additionally, try to determine the card’s benefits. certain benefits that will help you save money on travel expenses. Many cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that could be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
If you’re traveling with a friend and both of you get rewards on your own credit card. Just remember that you can’t divide the cost with the same card, and be sure to track your rewards separately.
The key to reaping the maximum benefits from your rewards for travel is to be aware of your credit card’s rewards program and ensure that you’re making use of it in the most effective method possible. Utilizing an array of methods I’ve described in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards fast, exchange them for travel experiences that are worth it and take advantage of a broad variety of travel benefits.