Are you fed up of spending an enormous amount on flights? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting method to turn credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles which can be used to score discounted or cheap flights from your ideal destinations. With a bit of imagination and some know-how, you’ll fly for no cost in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. These miles can later be used to buy discount or no-cost flights. Some credit cards also allow you to redeem miles towards hotel stays or rental car offers.
How Does it Work?
The key to successful hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and establishing a frequent flyer mile program with a limited number of airlines. When it comes time to make a booking consider the cost. If the cost is under $300, it’s best to pay cash and use your miles to pay to book a higher-priced flight. If your flights begin to climb higher than $500, it’s best to check the frequent flyer account and determine which airline offers you the most value. It all boils down to the amount of points or miles you have in your travel savings account for every airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets of travel hacking? Your first task is to open a credit card with a sign-up bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards with a variety of features and benefits. It all depends on your preferred airline, your habits with spending and what features are crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards that are great to hack travel
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
After you’ve been accepted for a credit card, you’ll need to reach the limit of spending minimum in order to qualify for the bonus. Every card has different rules, so make sure to check for this information. From there it’s all about building miles and using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your ideas?
Now that you’ve built up your points balance, you’re ready to cash them in for some nice getaway! Different credit card providers will offer different ways to redeem your points. Here are some examples from some of the companies I’ve had experience with:
Getaway by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own an Chase cards, you can redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through it, you’ll get access to almost every airline, and you can use a combination of money and points to pay for your trip. You can even book completely using points if you’ve got enough balance! Sometimes even if you don’t have enough points to cover the total cost, you are able to book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using the credit card of your choice.
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 either points or dollars? Be careful that if you don’t have enough points you aren’t able to combine points and dollars on flights. Don’t worry, though, if you’re a few points short, United provides the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience with extra space and complimentary snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to that of United Airlines, allowing passengers to book flights using JetBlue points or dollars, but not both. But, JetBlue offers a distinct feature that lets you pool your points together with your relatives to earn points twice as quickly. Just make sure you can verify that you are a family member before trying to hack the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me and my travel companion Becca I’m sure you’re pretty frugal and it can be daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to hit the minimum amount required to earn credit card bonuses. However, don’t be worried 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 big one! If you’re able to pay for your rent using a credit card, do it! Make sure you pay a fee, usually at least 3 percent. It may be worth it over the long term in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another great way to hit the minimum spend is to pay for an medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses due, ask your family members if you can pay them for theirs, and they will pay you back.
Repay a loan
If you’re a borrower take into consideration paying them off with an credit card. Be sure to pay off the credit card balance completely so that you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Talk to your family and see if they have 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 it.
If you’re celebrating the holidays you should consider purchasing all your gifts with cards from your credit account. So you’ll be able to hit that minimum spend and also be prepared for gift giving. Just make sure you’re not paying more than you already contemplating to.
There are many methods to get the most from using your credit or debit card for travel and earn miles or points to spend on flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few more ways to maximize your rewards
Make travel reservations using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, make use of you travel credit card to pay for your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as any other travel expenses. Not only will you achieve the minimum amount of spending required to qualify for a credit card and earn points, but you’ll also earn points or miles for these expenditures.
Use your credit card to pay for your everyday expenditures
Another method to reach the minimum spending requirement to earn rewards is by making use of your credit card for everyday expenses. This could include items like groceries, gas or even your phone bill. Be sure to pay off the balance each month in full so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or points in exchange for specific types of purchases, like eating out or traveling. Be sure to review your rewards program on your credit card and avail any bonus categories that align with your spending routines.
Consider the possibility of transferring your balance
If you are currently in debt on a credit card, you might want to transfer the balance to an account with a travel credit card that has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfers. This will enable you to pay off your debts without accruing interest, and also assist you in reaching the minimum spend for the credit card bonus.
Make use of your miles or points carefully
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of points or miles make sure you use them wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and compare the value of different redemption options. For example you can use your points to purchase a flight directly with the airline might offer better value than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another option is to get rewards cards that allow you to transfer points to other loyalty programs. This will allow you to get a wider selection of options and greater freedom when it comes to redeeming your rewards. For example, you may be capable of transferring your rewards to the frequent flyer program of an airline or hotel rewards program. This can give the benefit of a greater variety of hotels, flights, and other travel perks that may not be available through your credit card’s rewards program.
In addition, you should discover if your credit card offers some perks that could 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 invaluable when you travel.
When you travel with someone else each of you will be able to earn rewards with your credit card. Be aware that you cannot share the costs on the same card and make sure you keep track of your rewards separately.
Overall, the key to making the most of your travel rewards is to know the rewards program on your credit card and ensure that you’re making use of it in the most efficient method. By using a combination of the strategies I’ve listed in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards fast, exchange rewards for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide assortment of travel-related perks.