Are you tired of spending an enormous amount on flights? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting method to convert welcome bonuses and other incentives into miles which can be used to score discounted or free flights to your dream destinations. With a bit of creativity and some insider information, you’ll fly for no cost in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of trading credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can then be used to purchase discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards will also permit you to use miles towards hotel stays or rental car deals.
How Does it Work?
The secret to success in hacking travel is taking advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and building out a frequent flyer mile program for a specific group of airlines. When it comes time to book a flight consider the cost. If the price is less than $300, it’s usually better to pay cash and save your miles to book a higher-priced flight. If the prices start to rise above $500, you’ll want to review those frequent flyer accounts to find out which airline will give you the best price. All it boils down to is the amount of points or miles you have you have in your travel savings account for every airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to hacking travel? The first step is opening a credit card that comes with a welcome bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards that provide various features and benefits. It is all dependent on the airline, your spending habits, and the features that are most crucial 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
After you’ve been accepted for a credit card, you’ll need to hit the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to get the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so be sure to check for this information. Then you can begin to rack miles and using them to book your dream trip!
Ready to jet-set with your ideas?
Now that you’ve built up the points amount, it’s time to use them towards delicious travel! Different credit card companies will offer different ways to redeem your points. Here are some examples from a few of the providers I’ve worked with:
Getaway with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of a Chase card, you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through the portal, you’ll have access to almost every airline and you can make use of a combination of the points as well as cash in order to pay for 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 cost, you still can buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with any credit card.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United you can choose the option of paying with dollars or points? But, be careful that if you don’t have enough points you aren’t able to combine dollars and points on the same flight. If you’re a few points short, United gives you the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides passengers a relaxing and pleasant travel experience that includes extra legroom as well as free snacks. Plus, their booking process is like United’s, allowing customers to book using either JetBlue dollar or points but not both. The difference is that JetBlue has a unique feature where you can combine your points with family members to accrue points twice as fast. Be sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me or my travel buddy Becca You’re probably quite frugal and it can be difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars in order to meet the required amount to qualify for a credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried as we’ve done it and are here to share some of our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able to pay for your rent with credit card, go for it! Be prepared to be charged a fee, typically around 3%. It could be worthwhile in the end if the bonus is high enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the spending limit is to pay for the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills due, ask your relatives if you could pay them for theirs, and they will pay you back.
Make a payment to pay off a loan
If you have any loans take into consideration paying them off with your credit card. Make sure to pay off the credit card balance completely so that you don’t end up with additional debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Talk to your family and determine if they’ve got any large expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to are able to trust the person and that they understand why you’re doing it.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season take into consideration buying all of your gifts with your credit card. In this way, you’ll hit that minimum spend and be ready to give gifts. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you were thinking of.
There are plenty of ways to get the most of the travel credit card. accumulate miles or points that you can be used towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few additional ways to maximize your rewards:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, use you travel credit card to pay for your hotel, flight, rental car, and other travel costs. In addition, you’ll achieve the required amount for your credit card reward, but you’ll also be earning points or miles to cover these expenses.
Utilize your credit card to pay for everyday expenditures
Another method to reach the minimum amount of spending and earn points is making use of your credit card for everyday expenditures. This can include things like food, 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
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or bonus points on certain kinds of purchases, like eating out or travelling. Be sure to review your rewards program on your credit card and avail any bonus categories that match with your spending habits.
Think about the possibility of transferring your balance
If you’re in the middle of a outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, think about transferring that balance onto an account with a travel credit card that has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfers. This will allow you to pay off the debt without accruing interest and simultaneously help you hit the minimum spending requirement for the credit card’s bonus.
Utilize your miles and points prudently
When you’ve earned a significant amount of miles or points make sure you use them in a responsible manner. Review the rewards program for your credit card, and evaluate the benefits of different redemption options. For instance, using your points to purchase a flight directly through the airline may offer better value than using them for an gift card.
Another option is to get an rewards card that permits you to transfer your points to other loyalty programs. This allows you to have a wider range of choices and more freedom when it comes to making use of your rewards. For instance, you might be capable of transferring your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or hotel rewards program. This can give the benefit of a larger variety of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks that aren’t accessible through the rewards program of your credit card.
In addition, you should determine whether your credit card has any perks that can reduce your travel costs. Many cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection, and other benefits that can be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
If you’re traveling with a companion, both of you can earn rewards using your credit card. Be aware that you cannot share the costs on the same card and make sure to track the rewards you earn separately.
The key to reaping the maximum benefits from your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program of your credit card and ensure that you’re making use of this program in the most efficient method. By using an array of strategies I’ve outlined that you can earn rewards quickly, redeem them for travel experiences that are worth it, and enjoy a wide assortment of travel-related perks.