Are you fed up of spending an enormous amount on flights? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s a fun way to convert sign-up bonuses and incentives into miles which you can use to get discounted or even complimentary flights for your desired 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 swapping credit card sign-up bonus and incentives for airline miles. These miles can then be used to buy cheap or free flight tickets. Some credit cards also allow you to redeem miles towards hotel stays or car rental offers.
How Does it Work?
The key to success in travel hacking is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and to establish a frequent flyer mile program with a limited number of airlines. When it’s time to book a flight, evaluate the cost. If the cost is under $300, it’s usually better to pay in cash and save your miles for a more expensive flight. When the flights start getting over $500, you’ll need to look into those frequent flyer accounts to find out which airline will give you the best deal. It all boils down to the amount of miles or points you have in your travel savings account for each airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to hacking travel? Your first task is to open the credit card that comes that comes with a welcome bonus. There are many great credit cards with various 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 cards that are excellent to hack travel
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
If you’ve been approved for a credit or debit card, you’ll have to meet the minimum spend limit in order to receive the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of guidelines, so make certain to verify this information. From there it’s all about building miles and then using them to book your dream vacation!
Ready to jet-set with your goals?
Now that you’ve built up your points balance, you’re ready to use them towards delicious vacation! Different credit card providers will have different methods of 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 have a Chase credit card, then you are able to use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In this portal you’ll have access to nearly every airline and you can make use of a combination of points and cash to book your trip. You can even book entirely using points if you’ve got enough balance! Sometimes, even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for entire price, you can buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using the credit card of your choice.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for your flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United You have the option to pay with dollars or points? Be careful, if you don’t have enough points you aren’t able to combine dollars and points on flights. No worries though, if you’re just a few point short United provides the option of buying additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue offers a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience , with more legroom and free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines, allowing passengers to book flights using JetBlue points or dollars however, not both. The difference is that JetBlue has a unique feature that lets you pool your points together with your relatives to earn points twice as fast. Make sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me and my travel companion Becca You’re probably quite frugal and it can be difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to hit the minimum spend for a credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried because we’ve been there 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 a credit card, do it! Be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually about 3%. It could be worthwhile over the long term when the bonus is large enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another great way to hit the minimum spend is to cover an medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses in the near future Ask your family members to pay for theirs and they’ll pay you back.
Pay off a loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan you owe, think about making payments on them with the credit card you have. Make sure to pay off the balance on your credit card in full , so that you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Ask your family members to look into any big expenses coming up which you could help pay for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to have confidence in the person you are talking to and they understand why you’re doing it.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season, consider buying all your gifts using cards from your credit account. This way you can hit that minimum spend and also be prepared for gift giving. Be sure to avoid paying more than you already contemplating to.
There are a lot of methods to get the most of the travel credit card. You can earn miles or points to use towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are some additional ideas for maximizing the rewards you earn:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, make use of the travel credit card for booking your hotel, flight, rental car, and any other travel expenses. Not only will you achieve the minimum amount of spending required to earn your credit card and earn points, but you’ll also be earning points or miles to cover the costs.
Make use of your credit card to pay for everyday expenditures
Another way to hit the minimum spend to earn rewards is making use of your credit card for every day expenditures. This can include things like gas, groceries, and even your phone bill. Make sure you pay off the balance in full each month so you don’t accumulate interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or bonus points for certain types of purchases, including eating out or traveling. Make sure you review your credit card’s rewards program and avail any bonus categories that match with your spending habits.
Consider the possibility of transferring your balance
If you’re in the middle of a 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 the debt without accruing interest and simultaneously help you hit the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus.
Make use of your miles or points wisely
When you’ve earned a significant amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize the points or miles wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and then compare the worth of various redemption options. For instance you can use points to purchase a flight directly with the airline could give you a better value than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another tip is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer your rewards to different loyalty program. This will allow you to get a wider selection of options and greater flexibility in making use of your rewards. For example, you may be able to transfer your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a hotel rewards program. This gives the benefit of a larger selection of hotels, flights, and other travel perks which are not available through the rewards program of your credit card.
In addition, you should find out the card’s benefits. certain benefits that will reduce your travel expenses. Many cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that could be very beneficial when traveling.
When you travel with someone else and both of you earn rewards with your credit card. Just remember that you can’t split the cost on the same card. Also, make sure to keep track of your rewards separately.
The key to maximizing your travel rewards is to understand your credit card’s rewards program and ensure that you’re making use of this program in the most efficient method. Through a combination of the strategies I’ve outlined in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards fast, exchange rewards for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide range of travel perks.