Are you fed up of spending an enormous amount on flights? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s a fun way to turn credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles that can then be used to obtain discounted or complimentary flights for your ideal destinations. With a little bit of imagination and some knowledge, you can fly for no cost within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. The miles can be used to buy discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards permit you to use miles to pay for hotel stays or rental car offers.
How Does it Work?
The key to success in hacking travel is taking advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and building out frequent flyer miles on a select group of airlines. When you are ready to make a booking take a look at the price. If the flight is less than $300, it’s usually better to pay cash and use your miles to pay to take a more costly flight. If your flights begin to climb over $500, you’ll need to check your frequent flyer accounts and see which airline can give you the best price. It all comes down to the number of miles or points in your travel bank for each airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets of travel hacking? First step to open an account that comes with a welcome bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards that provide many features and benefits. It all depends on your preferred airline, spending habits and what features are essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards perfect for travel hacking:
- 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 qualify for the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so be certain to verify this information. Then it’s all about building miles and then using them to book your dream trip!
Ready to jet-set with your points?
Now that you’ve built up your points amount, it’s time to redeem them for some nice travel! Different credit card providers will offer different ways to redeem your rewards, here are some examples from some of the providers I’ve had experience with:
Escape with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own an Chase cards, you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In it, you’ll get access to almost every airline. You can make use of a combination of points and cash to book your next trip. You can even book completely using points if you’ve got the balance for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t possess enough points for the full cost, you are able to book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using every credit card.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for your flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United You have the option of paying using dollars or points? Be careful in case you don’t have enough points, you aren’t able to combine points and dollars for flights. No worries though, if you’re just a few points away, United gives you the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience , with more legroom as well as free snacks. Plus, their booking process is like United’s which allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue either dollars or points, but not both. However, JetBlue offers a distinct feature that allows you to join your points with family members to accrue points twice as fast. Be sure to prove you’re really family 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 reach the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus. But don’t fret, we’ve been through it and we’re here to share our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able pay your rent using a credit card, do it! Be prepared to pay a fee, usually around 3%. It may be worth it in the long run in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay for a medical bill
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 then ask your family members to pay them for theirs, and they will reimburse you.
Make a payment to pay off the loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan you owe, think about repaying them using an credit card. Just make sure you pay the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Discuss your family with them and look into any large expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Just make sure you have confidence in the person you are talking to and they know why you’re taking the initiative.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season take into consideration buying all your gifts using the credit card you have. This way you can meet the minimum spending limit and also be prepared to give gifts. Just make sure you’re not paying more than you already planning to.
There are plenty of methods to get the most from the travel credit card. You can accrue points or miles to be used towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few additional ways to maximize the rewards you earn:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
If you’re planning a vacation, make use of the travel credit card to book your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as any other travel expenses. In addition, you’ll be able to meet the minimum spend to earn your credit card bonus as well, however, you’ll also earn points or miles to cover these expenditures.
Make use of your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday expenditures
Another method to reach the minimum spend to earn rewards is using your credit card to pay every day costs. This could be things like gas, groceries, and even your phone bill. Be sure to pay off the balance in full each month so you don’t accumulate interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or bonus points for specific types of purchases, such as dining or travel. Be sure to review your credit card’s rewards program and take advantage of any bonus categories that align with your spending habits.
Consider a balance transfer
If you have existing outstanding debt due to a high-interest 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’s bonus.
Utilize your miles and points prudently
When you’ve earned a significant amount of points or miles Make sure to utilize the points or miles wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card and compare the worth of various redemption options. For instance using your points to purchase a flight directly with the airline could provide you with a greater value than using them to purchase a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer points to other loyalty programs. This will allow you to have a wider range of options and greater freedom when it comes to you want to redeem your rewards. For instance, you might be capable of transferring your reward to the frequent flyer program of an airline or reward program for hotels. This gives you access to a greater variety of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks that may not be accessible through the rewards program of your credit card.
In addition, you should discover if your credit card offers any perks that can help you save money on travel expenses. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection and other benefits that are very beneficial when traveling.
If you’re traveling with a companion each of you will be able to get rewards on your own credit card. Make sure you don’t divide the cost with the same card and make sure you keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
The key to making the most of your rewards for travel is to be aware of your credit card’s rewards program and make sure you’re using it in the most efficient way possible. Through all of the strategies I’ve listed that you can earn rewards quickly, redeem rewards for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide range of travel perks.