Are you fed up of spending an enormous amount on flights? Well, good news! Travel hacking is the answer to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting way to turn credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles, which you can use to score discounted or complimentary flights for your ideal destinations. With a little creativity and some insider knowledge, you can fly for no cost within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of swapping credit card sign-up bonus and incentives for airline miles. The miles can be used to purchase cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards will also let you redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or car rental offers.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for successful travel hacking is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and to establish frequent flyer miles for a specific group of airlines. When it’s time to make a booking consider the cost. If the flight is less than $300, it’s usually better to pay cash and save your miles to book a higher-priced flight. When the flights start getting above $500, you’ll want to look into your frequent flyer accounts to see which airline can give you the best price. It all boils down to the number of points or miles you have in your travel savings account for every airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets of travel hacking? Your first task is to open a credit card with a sign-up offer. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards with various benefits and features. It is all dependent on the airline, spending habits and what features are crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit card options that can be 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 hit the minimum spend limit in order to receive the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of guidelines, so make sure to look up the details. From there you can begin to rack up miles, and using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to set sail with your goals?
Now that you’ve built up the points balance, it’s time to redeem them for some nice vacation! Different credit card companies offer different ways to redeem your points, but here are a few examples from some of the providers I’ve worked with:
Take a trip by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of an Chase cards, you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through it, you’ll have access to nearly every airline, and you can use a combination of money and points to book your trip. You can even book entirely using points if you’ve got the balance for it! Sometimes even if you do not have enough points to cover the total cost, you still can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using the credit card of your choice.
Are you tired of paying full price for your flight tickets? Did you realize that when booking directly through United, you have the option of paying using dollars or points? Butbe aware in case you do not have enough points you cannot combine points and dollars on flights. Don’t worry, though, if you’re only a couple of points away, United also offers the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience , with more legroom and free snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines that allows customers to book using either JetBlue either dollars or points, however, not both. The difference is that JetBlue has a unique feature where you can join your points with family members to accrue points twice as fast. Make sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack into the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re like me and my travel buddy Becca You’re probably quite thrifty and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to hit the minimum spend for a credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried as we’ve done it and we’re here to share some of our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able pay your rent with credit card, then do it! Just be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually around 3 percent. It could be worthwhile in the end in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another excellent way to meet the minimum spend is to pay for an medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses coming up, ask your family members if you can pay them for theirs, and they can reimburse you.
Make a payment to pay off a loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan you owe, think about paying them off with the credit card you have. Make sure to pay the credit card balance completely so that you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask family for help
Ask your family members to look into any big expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Just make sure you trust the person and they know why you’re taking the initiative.
If you’re celebrating the holidays take into consideration buying all of your gifts with cards from your credit account. In this way, you’ll meet the minimum spending limit and also be ready for gift giving. Just make sure you’re not paying more than you already planning to.
There are plenty of methods to get the most of the travel credit card and accumulate miles or points that you can use towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few more ideas for maximizing your rewards:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, use the travel credit card to pay for your hotel, flight, rental car, and any other travel expenses. You’ll not only be able to meet the minimum spend to earn your credit card bonus and earn points, however, you’ll also earn points or miles on these expenditures.
Use your credit card for all your daily costs
Another method to reach the minimum amount of spending in order to accumulate points by using your credit card to pay every day expenses. This could include things like gas, groceries and even your telephone bill. Just make sure to pay off the balance in full every month to ensure you don’t accumulate interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or points in exchange on certain kinds of purchases, like dining or travel. Make sure you review the rewards program of your credit card and avail any bonus categories that align with your spending habits.
Consider the possibility of transferring your balance
If you’re in the middle of a outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, consider transferring that balance onto the travel credit card which has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfer. This will let you pay off your debts without accruing interest. It will also aid in achieving the minimum amount required to earn the credit card’s bonus.
Utilize your miles and points carefully
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize the points or miles wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card, and evaluate the value of different redemption options. For instance you can use points to book a flight directly with the airline might offer better value than using them to purchase an gift card.
Another tip is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer rewards to different loyalty program. This allows you to enjoy a greater variety of choices and more flexibility when redeeming your rewards. For instance, you might be eligible to transfer your rewards to an airline’s frequent flyer program or a hotel rewards program. This will give you access to a wider range of flights, hotels and other travel benefits which are not offered through your credit card’s rewards program.
Additionally, try to discover the card’s benefits. any perks that can reduce your travel costs. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that could be invaluable when you travel.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a friend and both of you get rewards on your credit card. Make sure you don’t share the costs on the same card and make sure to keep track of your rewards separately.
Overall, the key to reaping the maximum benefits from 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 efficient way possible. By using a combination of the strategies I’ve outlined in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards quickly, redeem them for travel experiences that are worth it, and enjoy a wide range of travel perks.