Are you tired of spending an enormous amount on flights? Well, good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting way to turn credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into miles which can be used to get discounted or even complimentary flights for your desired destinations. With a little imagination and a little bit of insider knowledge, you can fly for no cost within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about swapping credit card sign-up bonus and incentives for airline miles. These miles can later be used to purchase cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards allow you to redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or car rental offers.
How Does it Work?
The secret to success in hacking your travel plans 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 book a flight, evaluate the cost. If the cost is less than $300, it’s best to pay in cash and use your miles to pay to book a higher-priced flight. If your flights begin to climb above $500, you’ll want to check your frequent flyer accounts and determine which airline offers you the best price. It all boils down to the amount of points or miles in your travel account for each airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to travel hacking? First step to open an account with a sign-up bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards with many features and benefits. It depends on the type of airline, your spending habits, and what features are important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit card options that can be perfect for travel hacking:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
If you’ve been approved for a credit card, you’ll need to hit the limit of spending minimum in order to qualify for the bonus. Every card has different guidelines, so make sure to check for this information. From there you can begin to rack up miles, and using them to plan your dream vacation!
Ready to jet-set with your ideas?
After you’ve accrued your points balance, you’re ready to redeem them for some sweet getaway! Different credit card providers will have different methods of redeeming your rewards, here are some examples from a few of the providers I have experience with:
Take a trip by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of a Chase card, you can redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through it, you’ll get access to virtually every airline and you can use a combination of money and points to book your trip. You can even book completely with points if you’ve enough balance! Sometimes even if you do not possess enough points for the entire cost, you still can buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using every credit card.
Are you fed up of paying full price for flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United you can choose the option of paying using either points or dollars? Be careful, if you don’t have enough points, you can’t combine dollars and points on flights. Don’t worry, though, if you’re only a couple of point short United provides the option of buying additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue offers passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience , with more space and complimentary snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is like United’s, allowing you to book with either JetBlue dollar or points, but not both. The difference is that JetBlue offers a distinct feature that allows you to join your points with family members to accrue points twice as fast. Make sure to establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack into the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel companion Becca I’m sure you’re pretty frugal and it can be difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars in order to meet the required amount to qualify for the credit card bonus. But don’t fret, we’ve been through 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 using a credit card, do it! Just be prepared to pay a fee, usually about 3%. It might be worth it in the end if the bonus is high enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another way to reach the minimum spend is to pay for the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills in the near future Ask your family members to pay their medical bills and they’ll reimburse you.
Pay off the loan
If you have any loans, consider paying them off with the credit card you have. Just make sure you pay off the credit card balance in full so you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask family for help
Discuss your family with them and look into any big expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to trust the person and they understand why you’re taking the initiative.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season, consider buying all of your gifts with your credit card. This way you can meet the minimum spending limit and also be ready for gift giving. Make sure that you’re not paying more than you already planning to.
There are a lot of methods to get the most out of your travel credit card. accumulate miles or points that you can spend on the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few more suggestions for maximising your rewards:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, make use of you travel credit card to book your flight, hotel, rental car, and any other travel expenses. Not only will you be able to hit the minimum amount of spending required for your credit card bonus as well, but you’ll also earn points or miles to cover these expenses.
Make use of your credit card to pay for all your daily costs
Another way to hit the minimum amount of spending in order to accumulate points using your credit card to pay everyday expenditures. This could include things like gas, groceries, and even your phone bill. Be sure to pay the balance off each month in full so you don’t pay interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer bonus points or miles for certain types of purchases, like dining or travel. Be sure to review your credit card’s rewards program and avail any bonus categories that match with your spending routines.
Consider a balance transfer
If you are currently in debt on a credit card, consider transferring the balance to a travel credit card with the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfers. This will allow you to pay off your debt without accruing interest, and also aid in achieving the minimum spend for the credit card bonus.
Utilize your miles and points carefully
When you’ve earned a significant amount of points or miles Make sure to utilize them in a responsible manner. Review the rewards program for your credit card and compare the value of different redemption options. For example, using your points to purchase a flight directly through the airline may give you a better value than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another tip is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer your reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will allow you to get a wider selection of options and greater freedom when it comes to you want to redeem your rewards. For instance, you might be able to transfer your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or Hotel rewards programme. This can give an access larger variety of hotels, flights and other travel benefits that may not be accessible through the rewards program on your credit card.
Also, find out whether your credit card has any perks that can save you money on travel-related expenses. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that are invaluable when you travel.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a friend and both of you get rewards on your own credit card. Just remember that you can’t divide the cost with the same card. Also, make sure to track the rewards you earn separately.
The key to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program on your credit card and make sure you’re using your credit card in the most efficient way possible. Utilizing all 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 benefit from a wide variety of travel benefits.