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 problems. It’s an exciting way to convert credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles which you can use to score discounted or complimentary flights for your dream destinations. With a little creativity and some insider information, you’ll fly for no cost within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about trading credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. These miles can later be used to pay for discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards will also allow you to redeem miles towards hotel stays or car rental offers.
How Does it Work?
The key to successful travel hacking is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and building out frequent flyer miles for a specific group of airlines. When you are ready to book a flight take a look at the price. If the flight is less than $300, it’s usually better to pay cash and use your miles to pay for a more expensive flight. When the flights start getting over $500, you’ll need to review 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 account for each airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to travel hacking? Your first task is opening a credit card with a sign-up offer. There are many great credit cards that provide many features and benefits. It is all dependent on the airline, your spending habits, and the features that are most crucial 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
After you’ve been accepted for a credit or debit card, you’ll have to meet the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to qualify for the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so be sure to check for the details. From there, it’s all about racking miles and using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to set sail with your goals?
Once you’ve accumulated the points balance, you’re ready to use them towards sweet vacation! Different credit card companies will have different methods for redeeming your rewards, here are some examples from a few of the ones I’ve had experience with:
Getaway by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own an Chase card, you are able to redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through the portal, you’ll have access to almost every airline and you can make use of a combination of points and cash to pay for your next trip. You can book your flight entirely using points if you’ve got the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you don’t possess enough points for the entire cost, you still can buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using any credit card.
Are you fed up of paying full price for your flight tickets? Did you know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option of paying with either points or dollars? Butbe aware that if you do not have enough points you cannot combine points and dollars for one flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re a few point short United provides the option to purchase additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue provides an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience , with more legroom as well as free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is like United’s which allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue either dollars or points, but not both. The difference is that JetBlue offers a distinct feature where you can join your points with your relatives to earn points twice as quickly. Make sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel companion Becca, you’re probably pretty frugal and it can be challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to reach the minimum amount required to earn credit card bonuses. Don’t worry as we’ve done it and we’re here to share our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able pay your rent with credit card, go for it! Be prepared to pay a fee, usually about 3 percent. It might be worth it over the long term when the bonus is large enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another excellent way to meet the spending limit 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 repay you.
Repay the loan
If you have any loans, consider paying them off with an credit card. Make sure to pay off the balance on your credit card in full so you don’t accrue additional debt.
Ask your family members for help
Discuss your family with them and see if they have any big expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to trust the person and they know why you’re doing it.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season take into consideration buying all your gifts with the credit card you have. So you’ll be able to hit that minimum spend and also be ready for gift giving. Just make sure you’re not paying more than you already thinking of.
There are many ways to make the most from using your credit or debit card for travel and accumulate miles or points that you can use towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few additional ideas for maximizing the rewards you earn:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, make use of your travel credit card for booking your hotel, flight, rental car, and other travel costs. Not only will you achieve the minimum amount of spending required to earn your credit card bonus as well, but you’ll also earn points or miles to cover the costs.
Use your credit card for all your daily expenditures
Another way to hit the minimum spend and earn points is using your credit card for every day costs. This could include things like food, gas, and even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay the balance off in full each month so you don’t pay interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer bonus points or miles on certain kinds of purchases, including eating out or travelling. Be sure to review your credit card’s rewards program and make use of any bonus categories that match with your spending habits.
Think about a balance transfer
If you have existing outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer that balance to the travel credit card which has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfers. This will allow you to pay off your debt without accruing interest, and also aid in achieving the minimum amount required to earn the credit card’s bonus.
Make use of your miles or points wisely
If you’ve amassed a large amount of points or miles Make sure to utilize them wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card, and evaluate the value of different redemption options. For example using your points to book a flight directly with the airline could offer better value than using them to purchase the purchase of a gift card.
Another option is to get an rewards card that permits you to transfer rewards to different loyalty program. This will let you get a wider selection of options and greater freedom when it comes to making use of your rewards. For example, you may be eligible to transfer your reward to an airline’s frequent flyer program or hotel rewards program. This gives an access larger range of flights, hotels, and other travel perks that may not be accessible through the rewards program on your credit card.
Additionally, try to find out the card’s benefits. some perks that could help you save money on travel costs. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that can be very beneficial when traveling.
If you’re traveling with a companion and both of you earn rewards with your credit card. Just remember that you can’t share the costs on the same card. Also, make sure to track your rewards separately.
The key to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to know your credit card’s rewards program and to ensure you’re making use of your credit card in the most efficient method possible. Through all of the strategies I’ve outlined in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards quickly, redeem rewards for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide variety of travel benefits.