Are you tired of paying an enormous amount on flights? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting way to turn credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles that can then be used to get discounted or even complimentary flights for your desired destinations. With a little bit of imagination and some know-how, you’ll fly for no cost within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about trading credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. These miles can later be used to buy cheap or free flight tickets. Some credit cards also permit you to use miles for hotel stays and rental car offers.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for success in hacking travel is taking advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and establishing frequent flyer miles with a limited number of airlines. When it comes time to book a flight take a look at the price. If the cost is less than $300, it’s usually better to pay in cash and save your miles for a more expensive flight. When the flights start getting higher than $500, it’s best to review the frequent flyer account and see which airline can give you the best deal. All it boils down to is the number of points or miles you have in your travel account for each airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets of travel hacking? Your first task is to open the credit card that comes that comes with a welcome bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards with various advantages and features. It is all dependent on the airline, your spending habits, and what features are essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards that are excellent to use for hacking 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 limit of spending minimum in order to receive the bonus. Each card has its own guidelines, so make sure to check for the details. Then, it’s all about racking up miles and then using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to set sail with your points?
Now that you’ve built up the points balance, you’re ready to redeem them for some nice vacation! Different credit card companies will have different methods of redeeming your points, but here are some examples from some of the ones I’ve worked with:
Take a trip with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of a Chase card, you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within this portal you’ll have access to nearly every airline and you can use a combination of points and cash to pay for your trip. You can book your flight entirely using points if you’ve got enough balance! Sometimes even if you do not be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for total cost, you still can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using the credit card of your choice.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for your flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option of paying using either points or dollars? Be careful that if you don’t have enough points, you cannot combine dollars and points on flights. Don’t worry, though, if you’re only a couple of points away, United provides the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides an enjoyable and comfortable travel experience that includes extra legroom as well as free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to that of United Airlines that allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue dollar or points however, not both. However, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature where you can combine your points with your family members and earn points twice as quickly. Just make sure you can establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel buddy Becca I’m sure you’re pretty frugal and it can be difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to reach the minimum spend for a 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 with a credit card, do it! Be prepared to be charged a fee, typically at least 3%. It may be worth it in the end in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the required spending is to cover the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills due, ask your family members if you can pay them for theirs, and they’ll reimburse you.
Repay the loan
If you have any loans take into consideration paying them off with the credit card you have. Just make sure you pay off the balance on your credit card in full so you don’t end up with additional debt.
Ask your family members for help
Discuss your family with them and determine if they’ve got any big expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Make sure that you are able to are able to trust the person and that they are aware of the reason for taking the initiative.
If it’s the holiday season you should consider purchasing all your gifts using the credit card you have. This way you can hit that minimum spend and be ready for gift giving. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you already thinking of.
There are a lot of methods to get the most from your travel credit card and accrue points or miles to be used towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few additional suggestions for maximising your rewards:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, use the travel credit card to book your hotel, flight, rental car, and other travel costs. In addition, you’ll be able to meet the required amount to qualify for a credit card, however, you’ll also earn points or miles to cover the expenses.
Make use of your credit card to pay for all your daily expenses
Another method to reach the minimum amount of spending and earn points is making use of your credit card to pay for everyday costs. This can include items like groceries, gas and even your telephone bill. Be sure to pay the balance off in full each month so you don’t accumulate interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or points in exchange for certain types of purchases, such as dining or travel. Check out the rewards program of your credit card and avail any bonus categories that align with your spending routines.
Think about a balance transfer
If you have existing outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer that balance onto the travel credit card which has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfer. This will allow you to pay off your debts without accruing interest. It will also assist you in reaching the minimum spend for the credit card bonus.
Use your points or miles wisely
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of points or miles, be sure to use them wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card and then compare the benefits of different redemption options. For example you can use your points to purchase a flight directly with the airline could offer better value than using them to purchase a gift card.
Another option is to get an rewards card that permits you to transfer rewards to different loyalty program. This will allow you to enjoy a greater variety of choices and more freedom when it comes to redeeming your rewards. For example, you may be eligible to transfer your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a reward program for hotels. This gives you access to a larger range of flights, hotels and other travel benefits which are not accessible through the rewards program of your credit card.
In addition, you should discover if your credit card offers certain benefits that will help you save money on travel costs. Some cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that could be very beneficial when traveling.
When you travel with a companion, both of you can earn rewards using your credit card. Be aware that you cannot divide the cost with the same card and make sure to keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
In the end, the most important thing to do to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to know the rewards program on your credit card and ensure that you’re using your credit card in the most efficient method. Through a combination of the strategies I’ve listed, you’ll be able to get rewards in a short time, use them for travel experiences that are worth it and take advantage of a broad range of travel perks.