Are you tired of paying an enormous amount on flights? Well, good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s a fun way to convert bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles, which you can use to get discounted or even complimentary flights for your ideal destinations. With a bit of imagination and some knowledge, you can be jet-setting for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about swapping credit card sign-up bonus and rewards for airline miles. These miles can then be used to buy discounted or even free flights. Some credit cards also let you redeem miles towards hotel stays or car rental deals.
How Does it Work?
The secret to success in hacking travel is taking advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and to establish a frequent flyer mile program with a limited number of airlines. When it comes time to make a booking consider the cost. If the flight is under $300, it’s best to pay cash and save your miles to book a higher-priced flight. If your flights begin to climb higher than $500, it’s best to check those frequent flyer accounts and see which airline can give you the best deal. It all comes down to the amount of points or miles you have in your travel savings account for every airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to hacking travel? First step opening the credit card that comes with a sign-up bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that provide a variety of features and benefits. It is all dependent on the airline, your spending habits, and what features are crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards great 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 limit of spending minimum in order to receive the bonus. Every card has different rules, so be certain to verify the details. From there you can begin to rack up miles and using them to plan your dream vacation!
Ready to jet-set with your points?
Once you’ve accumulated your points balance, you’re ready to use them towards nice vacation! Different credit card companies have different methods of redeeming your points, but here are some examples from a few of the providers I’ve worked with:
Take a trip with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own an Chase cards, you are able to use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through it, you’ll have access to nearly every airline. You can combine the points as well as cash in order to book your trip. You can even book completely with points if you’ve the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you don’t have enough points to cover the total cost, you are able to purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using every credit card.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United You have the option to pay with dollars or points? But, be careful that if you don’t have enough points, you can’t combine dollars and points for one flight. If you’re only a couple of point short United provides the option to purchase additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience with extra space and complimentary snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines, allowing passengers to book flights using JetBlue either dollars or points however, not both. But, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature where you can pool your points together with your relatives to earn points twice as fast. Be sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack into the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me or my travel companion Becca I’m sure you’re pretty frugal and it can be challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum spend for the credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried, we’ve been through 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 using credit card, then do it! Be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually about 3%. It may 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 minimum spend is to cover an medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses in the near future then ask your family members if you can pay for theirs and they’ll reimburse you.
Make a payment to pay off the loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan take into consideration making payments on them with the credit card you have. Make sure to pay the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Talk to your family and determine if they’ve got any major expenses in the near future that you can help pay for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to have confidence in the person you are talking to and they are aware of the reason for doing this.
If it’s the holiday season, consider buying all your gifts using your credit card. In this way, you’ll meet the minimum spending limit and also be ready for gift giving. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you planning to.
There are a lot of ways to make the most of your travel credit card and earn miles or points to use towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few more suggestions for maximising your rewards:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, make use of the travel credit card for booking your hotel, flight, rental car, and other travel costs. You’ll not only be able to hit the minimum spend to qualify for a credit card bonus as well, but you’ll also be earning points or miles for the expenses.
Use your credit card for all your daily costs
Another method to reach the minimum spend to earn rewards is using your credit card to pay for everyday expenses. This could include items like groceries, gas or even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay the balance off in full every month to ensure you don’t accumulate interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or points in exchange on certain kinds of purchases, including eating out or traveling. Check out the rewards program of your credit card and make use of any bonus categories that match with your spending routines.
Think about the possibility of transferring your balance
If you have existing debt on a high-interest credit card, think about transferring that balance to 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 simultaneously help you hit the minimum spend for the credit card bonus.
Use your points or miles prudently
When you’ve earned a significant amount of points or miles make sure you use them wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and compare the worth of various redemption options. For example, using your points to book a flight directly with the airline might provide you with a greater return than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another tip is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer rewards to different loyalty program. This allows you to have a wider range of options and greater flexibility in redeeming your rewards. For example, you may be able to transfer your reward to the frequent flyer program of an airline or a hotel rewards program. This gives the benefit of a greater variety of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks that may not be offered through your credit card’s rewards program.
Additionally, try to determine whether your credit card has certain benefits that will save you money on travel-related expenses. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that are extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a companion and both of you earn rewards with your own credit card. Just remember that you can’t share the costs on the same card, and be sure to track your rewards in a separate manner.
The key to reaping the maximum benefits from your rewards for travel is to be aware of your credit card’s rewards program and to ensure you’re making use of it in the most efficient method. Utilizing all of the strategies I’ve outlined that you can earn rewards quickly, redeem rewards for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide range of travel perks.