Are you fed up of spending an enormous amount on flights? Good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s a fun way to turn credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles which you can use to score discounted or complimentary flights for your ideal destinations. With a little bit of creativity and some insider know-how, you’ll fly for no cost in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about swapping credit card sign-up bonus as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can later be used to purchase cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards let you redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or rental car offers.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for success in hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and to establish frequent flyer miles with a limited number of airlines. When it’s time to book a flight take a look at the price. If the flight is less than $300, it’s generally better to pay cash and use your miles to pay to book a higher-priced flight. When the flights start getting higher than $500, it’s best to review the frequent flyer account and determine which airline offers you the best price. It all comes down to the number of points or miles in your travel account for every airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to hacking travel? First step to open a credit card with a sign-up bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards that provide a variety of advantages and features. It depends on the type of airline, your spending habits, and what features are essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards 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 have to meet the minimum spend limit in order to qualify for the bonus. Each card has its own guidelines, so make certain to verify this information. Then, it’s all about racking up miles, and then using them to book your dream trip!
Ready to jet-set with your ideas?
After you’ve accrued the points balance, it’s time to cash them in for some delicious getaway! Different credit card companies have different methods for redeeming your points, but here are a few examples from some of the companies I’ve worked with:
Escape through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you’re a holder of a Chase credit card, then you are able to redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within the portal, you’ll get access to almost every airline, and you can combine the points as well as cash in order to book your travel. You can even book entirely using points if you’ve got the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you do not have enough points to cover the entire price, you can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with every credit card.
Are you fed up of paying full price for your flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United, you have the option of paying using dollars or points? Butbe aware in case you do not have enough points you can’t combine points and dollars on the same flight. If you’re only a couple of points away, United provides the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience with extra legroom as well as free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to United’s, allowing passengers to book flights using JetBlue dollar or points, but not both. The difference is that JetBlue offers a distinct feature where you can pool your points together with your family members and earn points twice as quickly. Be sure to establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack into the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
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 in order to meet the minimum amount required to earn credit card bonuses. But don’t fret because we’ve been there and are here to share some of 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 pay a fee, usually around 3%. It might be worth it over the long term if the bonus is high enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another way to reach the minimum spend is to pay for a medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills coming up, ask your family members to pay their medical bills and they can repay you.
Pay off the loan
If you’re a borrower you owe, think about making payments on them with your credit card. Be sure to pay off the balance on your credit card completely so that you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask family for help
Talk to your family and look into any large expenses coming up which you could help pay for. Just make sure you are able to trust the person and that they know why you’re doing it.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season, consider buying all your gifts with cards from your credit account. In this way, you’ll meet the minimum spending limit and also be prepared for gift giving. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you were already planning to.
There are many ways to get the most from the travel credit card and accumulate miles or points that you can spend on flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few more ideas for maximizing your rewards
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a vacation, make use of you travel credit card to book your flight, hotel, rental car, and any other travel expenses. In addition, you’ll be able to hit the required amount to earn your credit card bonus, but you’ll also be earning points or miles to cover those expenses.
Use your credit card for everyday expenditures
Another method to reach the minimum amount of spending in order to accumulate points by making use of your credit card for daily costs. This can include things like food, gas or even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay the balance off each month in full so you don’t pay interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or bonus points for specific types of purchases, like eating out or travelling. Check out your credit card’s rewards program and make use of any bonus categories that align with your spending habits.
Take into consideration the possibility of transferring your balance
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a high-interest credit card, think about transferring the balance to the travel credit card which has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfers. This will enable you to pay off the debt without accruing interest. It will also aid in achieving the minimum spending requirement for the credit card’s bonus.
Make use of your miles or points prudently
If you’ve amassed a large amount of miles or points, be sure to use them wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card, and evaluate the benefits of different redemption options. For example you can use points to purchase a flight directly with the airline might give you a better value than using them to purchase a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer your rewards to different loyalty program. This will let you enjoy a greater variety of options and greater freedom when it comes to redeeming your rewards. For example, you may be capable of transferring your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a hotel rewards program. This can give you access to a wider selection of hotels, flights, and other travel perks that may not be available through the rewards program of your credit card.
In addition, you should determine if your credit card offers any perks that can save you money on travel-related expenses. Some cards offer travel insurance as well as 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 with your credit card. Just remember that you can’t split the cost on the same card. Also, make sure to keep track of your rewards separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do to maximizing your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program of your credit card and to ensure you’re making use of it in the most effective method. Utilizing 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.