Are you fed up of spending an enormous amount on flights? Well, good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting method to turn credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles which can be used to score discounted or cheap flights from your ideal destinations. With a bit of imagination and a little bit of insider information, you’ll fly for no cost within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. These miles can later be used to purchase discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards will also permit you to use miles for hotel stays and rental car discounts.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for successful travel hacking is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and establishing a frequent flyer mile program on a select group of airlines. When it comes time to book a flight take a look at the price. If the cost is under $300, it’s best to pay in cash and save your miles to take a more costly flight. When the flights start getting over $500, you’ll need to look into the frequent flyer account to determine which airline offers you the most value. It all comes down to the amount of points or miles in your travel account for each airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets of travel hacking? Your first task is to open a credit card that comes with a welcome bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards that offer various advantages and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, your spending habits, and the features that are most crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit card options that can be perfect to hack travel
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
If you’ve been approved for a credit or debit card, you’ll need to reach the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to qualify for the bonus. Every card has different guidelines, so make sure to look up the details. Then you can begin to rack up miles and then using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your goals?
After you’ve accrued the points amount, it’s time to cash them in for some sweet vacation! Different credit card companies will have different methods of redeeming your rewards, here are some examples from some of the companies I’ve had experience with:
Getaway with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own a Chase cards, you are able to use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In it, you’ll have access to virtually every airline. You can use a combination of money and points to pay for your travel. You can even book entirely on points if you have enough balance! Sometimes even if you don’t possess enough points for the entire price, you can buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with the credit card of your choice.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for your flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United, you have the option of paying with either points or dollars? Be careful in case you don’t have enough points, you cannot combine dollars and points for the same flight. If you’re just a few points short, United provides the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue offers passengers a relaxing and pleasant travel experience that includes extra legroom and free snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines that allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue points or dollars, however, not both. But, JetBlue has a unique feature that allows you to pool your points together with your family members and earn points twice as quickly. Make sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re anything like me and my travel buddy Becca, you’re probably pretty thrifty and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to hit the minimum spend for the credit card bonus. Don’t worry 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 pay your rent using credit card, then do it! Be prepared to pay a fee, usually around 3%. It could be worthwhile in the end if the bonus is high enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another way to reach the spending limit is to pay for an medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses coming up then ask your family members if you can pay their medical bills and they can pay you back.
Pay off a loan
If you have any loans take into consideration paying them off with your credit card. Just make sure you pay the credit card balance completely so that you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Discuss your family with them and see if they have any big expenses coming up which you could help pay for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to trust the person and they are aware of the reason for taking the initiative.
If you’re celebrating the holidays you should consider purchasing all your gifts with the credit card you have. This way you can reach the minimum spending requirement and be ready for giving gifts. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you were already contemplating to.
There are many ways to get the most from using your credit or debit card for travel. earn miles or points to be used towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few additional ways to maximize your rewards:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
If you’re planning a vacation, make use of your travel credit card to pay for your hotel, flight, rental car, and any other travel-related expenses. In addition, you’ll achieve the minimum spend for your credit card bonus, however, you’ll also earn points or miles on these costs.
Make use of your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday expenses
Another way to hit the minimum amount of spending and earn points is making use of your credit card to pay for daily costs. This can include things like gas, groceries and even your telephone bill. Be sure to pay the balance off in full every month to ensure you don’t accrue interest charges.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer 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 avail the bonus categories that are in line with your spending routines.
Take into consideration a balance transfer
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a high-interest credit card, think about transferring that balance onto an account with a travel credit card that has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will enable you to pay off your debts without accruing interest, and also help you hit the minimum amount required to earn the credit card’s bonus.
Use your points or miles prudently
When you’ve earned a significant amount of points or miles make sure you use the points or miles wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card, and evaluate the worth of various redemption options. For instance you can use points to book a flight directly through the airline may give you a better value than using them for a gift card.
Another tip is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer points to other loyalty programs. This will allow you to enjoy a greater variety of options and greater flexibility when you want to redeem your rewards. For instance, you might be capable of transferring your reward to an airline’s frequent flyer program or a Hotel rewards programme. This gives an access larger selection of hotels, flights and other travel benefits that aren’t available through the rewards program on your credit card.
Additionally, try to find out whether your credit card has some perks that could reduce your travel costs. 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 companion and both of you earn rewards with your own credit card. Make sure you don’t share the costs on the same card, and be sure you keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
Overall, the key to maximizing your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program on your credit card and make sure you’re making use of your credit card in the most effective method possible. Utilizing a combination of the strategies I’ve outlined that you can earn rewards quickly, redeem them for travel experiences that are worth it and take advantage of a broad variety of travel benefits.