Are you tired of spending an enormous amount on flights? Good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s a fun way to turn credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into miles that can then be used to get discounted or even free flights to your desired destinations. With a bit of creativity and some insider knowledge, you can fly for no cost in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. These miles can later be used to purchase discount or no-cost flights. Some credit cards also permit you to use miles for hotel stays and rental car deals.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for success in hacking travel is taking advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and establishing frequent flyer miles on a select group of airlines. When it’s time to make a booking take a look at the price. If the cost is less than $300, it’s generally better to pay cash and save your miles to take a more costly flight. If your flights begin to climb above $500, you’ll want to check your frequent flyer accounts to see which airline can give you the best deal. It all boils down to the number of points or miles you have in your travel savings account for each airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets of travel hacking? The first step is opening an account that comes with a welcome bonus. There are many great credit cards with many advantages and features. It is all dependent on the 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 perfect for travel hacking:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
Once you’ve been approved for a credit card, you’ll have to meet the limit of spending minimum in order to receive the bonus. Every card has different rules, so make sure to check for the details. From there you can begin to rack up miles and then using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your goals?
After you’ve accrued your points balance, you’re ready to use them towards sweet getaway! Different credit card companies will have different methods of redeeming your rewards, here are a few examples from some of the ones I’ve worked with:
Escape by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have an Chase card, you are able to use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through this portal you’ll have access to virtually every airline and you can use a combination of money and points to book your trip. You can even book completely on points if you have enough balance! Sometimes even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for entire cost, you still can purchase flights through 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 realize that when booking directly through United you can choose the option of paying using dollars or points? But, be careful in case you do not have enough points you can’t combine dollars and points on one flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re only a couple of points short, United also offers the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers passengers a relaxing and pleasant travel experience that includes extra legroom as well as free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines that allows you to book with either JetBlue points or dollars, however, not both. The difference is that JetBlue has a unique feature that allows you to combine your points with family members to accrue points twice as quickly. Make 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 or my travel buddy Becca I’m sure you’re pretty economical and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to hit the required amount to qualify for credit card bonuses. But don’t fret 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 your rent with credit card, then do it! Be prepared to be charged a fee, typically about 3 percent. It may be worth it over the long term if the bonus is high enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another great way to hit the minimum spend is to cover an medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses due then ask your family members to pay their medical bills and they will repay you.
Repay the loan
If you’re a borrower take into consideration making payments on them with your credit card. Just make sure you pay off the balance on your credit card in full , so that you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Talk to your family and determine if they’ve got any large expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Make sure that you are able to have confidence in the person you are talking to and they understand why you’re taking the initiative.
If it’s the holiday season, consider buying all of your gifts with your credit card. So you’ll be able to meet the minimum spending limit and also be ready to give gifts. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you already thinking of.
There are many ways to get the most from using your credit or debit card for travel and accumulate miles or points that you can spend on the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few additional suggestions for maximising the rewards you earn:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, make use of you travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel, rental car, and any other travel expenses. In addition, you’ll be able to meet the required amount to qualify for a credit card reward as well, but you’ll also earn points or miles to cover those expenditures.
Use your credit card for everyday costs
Another way to hit the minimum amount of spending to earn rewards is by making use of your credit card to pay daily costs. This could be things like gas, groceries and even your telephone bill. Make sure you pay off the balance each month in full so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Take advantage of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or bonus points for certain types of purchases, including eating out or travelling. Make sure you review the rewards program of your credit card and make use of any bonus categories that align with your spending habits.
Consider the possibility of transferring your balance
If you have existing debt on a credit card, consider transferring that balance onto an account with a travel credit card that has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfers. This will let you pay off your debts without accruing interest, and also help you hit the minimum spend for the credit card bonus.
Utilize your miles and points prudently
If you’ve amassed a large amount of points or miles, be sure to use them wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card and then compare the value of different redemption options. For instance, using points to book a ticket directly with the airline might offer better return than using them for an gift card.
Another option is to get rewards cards that allow you to transfer rewards to different loyalty program. This will let you enjoy a greater variety of options and greater flexibility when you want to redeem your rewards. For example, you may be capable of transferring your reward to the frequent flyer program of an airline or a hotel rewards program. This can give the benefit of a larger selection of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks that aren’t available through the rewards program of your credit card.
Also, determine the card’s benefits. certain benefits that will save you money on travel-related costs. Some cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that could be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
When you travel with someone else and both of you get rewards on your credit card. Just remember that you can’t split the cost on the same card and make sure to track your rewards in a separate manner.
In the end, the most important thing to do to making the most of your travel rewards is to know the rewards program on your credit card and to ensure you’re making use of this program in the most effective way possible. Utilizing a combination of the strategies I’ve outlined, you’ll be able to get rewards in a short time, use them for travel experiences that are worth it and benefit from a wide range of travel perks.