Are you tired of paying an enormous amount on flights? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting way to turn credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles, that can then be used to get discounted or even complimentary flights for your dream destinations. With a bit of imagination and some information, you’ll fly for no cost within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about trading credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. These miles can later be used to purchase discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards will also permit you to use miles towards hotel stays or rental car deals.
How Does it Work?
The key to success in hacking travel is taking advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and building out a frequent flyer mile program for a specific group of airlines. When it’s time to book a flight take a look at the price. If the flight is under $300, it’s best to pay cash and use your miles to pay to take a more costly flight. If your flights begin to climb over $500, you’ll need to look into the frequent flyer account and see which airline can give you the best price. It all comes down to the amount of points or miles you have in your travel bank for each airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to hacking travel? The first step is to open an account with a sign-up offer. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards with many features and benefits. It depends on the type of airline, your spending habits, and the features that are most crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards perfect 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 have to meet the limit of spending minimum in order to get the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so be sure to look up this information. Then it’s all about building miles and then using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your goals?
Now that you’ve built up the points balance, it’s time to cash them in for some sweet vacation! Different credit card providers will have different methods of redeeming your points. Here are some examples from a few of the companies I’ve had experience with:
Getaway through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you have a Chase card, you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through it, you’ll get access to almost every airline, and you can combine money and points to pay for your travel. 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 entire price, you can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with every credit card.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for your flight tickets? Did you not know that when you book directly through United, you have the option to pay with dollars or points? But, be careful, if you don’t have enough points you aren’t able to combine points and dollars for the same flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re a few points short, United also offers the option to purchase additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience with extra legroom and free snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to United’s that allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue points or dollars however, not both. But, JetBlue offers a distinct feature where you can combine your points with your relatives to earn points twice as fast. Just make sure you can establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me or my travel buddy Becca, you’re probably pretty frugal and it can be difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to hit the minimum spend for a credit card bonus. Don’t worry 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 to pay your rent with credit card, go for it! Be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually about 3%. It could be worthwhile in the end when the bonus is large enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another excellent way to meet the minimum spend is to pay for a medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses due, ask your relatives if you could pay for theirs and they’ll pay you back.
Repay the loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan you owe, think about paying them off with your credit card. Make sure to pay off the balance on your credit card in full , so that you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Ask your family members to look into any large expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to are able to trust the person and that they are aware of the reason for doing it.
If you’re celebrating the holidays you should consider purchasing all your gifts with your credit card. This way you can meet the minimum spending limit and be ready to give gifts. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you thinking of.
There are many methods to get the most from your travel credit card. You can accrue points or miles to use towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few additional ways to maximize your rewards
Make travel reservations using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, make use of your travel credit card to book your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as any other travel-related expenses. Not only will you be able to meet the minimum amount of spending required to qualify for a credit card reward and earn points, however, you’ll also earn points or miles on those costs.
Make use of your credit card to pay for all your daily expenses
Another way to meet the minimum spend and earn points is by making use of your credit card to pay every day expenditures. This can include items like groceries, gas and even your telephone bill. Make sure you pay the balance off in full every month to ensure you don’t pay interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or bonus points for specific types of purchases, including eating out or traveling. Check out the rewards program of your credit card and make use of any bonus categories that align with your spending routines.
Think about a balance transfer
If you’re in the middle of a outstanding debt due to 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 allow you to pay off the debt without accruing interest. It will also help you hit the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus.
Use your points or miles carefully
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points, be sure to use them wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card, and evaluate the benefits of different redemption options. For example you can use points to purchase a flight directly with the airline might provide you with a greater value than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another tip is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer your points to other loyalty programs. This will let you have a wider range of options and greater freedom when it comes to redeeming your rewards. For example, you may be capable of transferring your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a reward program for hotels. This will give an access greater selection of hotels, flights and other travel benefits that aren’t accessible through your credit card’s rewards program.
Also, discover whether your credit card has any perks that can help you save money on travel costs. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection, and other benefits that can be invaluable when you travel.
When you travel with a companion each of you will be able to earn rewards using your own credit card. Just remember that you can’t divide the cost with the same card and make sure to track the rewards you earn separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do to maximizing your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program on your credit card and make sure you’re making use of this program in the most efficient method possible. Through a combination of the methods I’ve described that you can earn rewards quickly, redeem them for travel experiences that are worth it, and enjoy a wide range of travel perks.