Are you fed up of spending an enormous amount on flights? Good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel woes. It’s a fun way to convert credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into miles which you can use to score discounted or free flights to your dream destinations. With a little bit of creativity and some insider knowledge, you can fly for no cost within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of swapping credit card sign-up bonus and rewards for airline miles. These miles can later be used to purchase discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards permit you to use miles for hotel stays and car rental deals.
How Does it Work?
The secret to successful hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and to establish a frequent flyer mile program on a select group of airlines. When it comes time to book a flight consider the cost. If the cost is less than $300, it’s best to pay in cash and save your miles to take a more costly flight. When the flights start getting above $500, you’ll want to check the frequent flyer account and find out which airline will give you the best price. It all boils down to the amount of points or miles you have in your travel savings account for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets of travel hacking? The first step is opening the credit card that comes with a sign-up bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards that offer various benefits and features. It is all dependent on the airline, your spending habits, and the features that are most essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit card options that can be excellent for travel hacking:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
Once you’ve been approved for a credit card, you’ll need to reach the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to qualify for the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of guidelines, so make certain to verify the details. Then you can begin to rack up miles, and using them to book your dream trip!
Ready to jet-set with your ideas?
Now that you’ve built up the points balance, you’re ready to use them towards sweet getaway! Different credit card companies will have different methods for redeeming your points, but here are a few examples from some of the ones I’ve had experience with:
Getaway by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of an Chase credit card, then you are able to redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within it, you’ll have access to almost every airline and you can make use of a combination of points and cash to book your trip. You can book your flight entirely using points if you’ve got the balance for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t have enough points to cover the full cost, you still can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using the credit card of your choice.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United You have the option of paying using dollars or points? Be careful in case you don’t have enough points, you can’t combine points and dollars for one flight. No worries though, if you’re just a few points short, United provides the option to purchase 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 space and complimentary snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to United’s that allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue either dollars or points however, not both. But, JetBlue has a unique feature where you can pool your points together with your family members and earn points twice as quickly. Just make sure you can 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 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 a credit card bonus. Don’t worry, 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 to pay for your rent using credit card, then do it! Just be prepared to be charged a fee, typically at least 3 percent. It could be worthwhile in the long run in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another great way to hit the minimum spend is to pay for an medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills due Ask your family members if you can pay them for theirs, and they will pay you back.
Repay a loan
If you’re a borrower, consider making payments on them with your credit card. Just make sure you pay the credit card balance in full so you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Discuss your family with them and see if they have 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 know why you’re taking the initiative.
If it’s the holiday season take into consideration buying all of your gifts with cards from your credit account. This way you can reach the minimum spending requirement and also be prepared to give gifts. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you already thinking of.
There are many methods to get the most from the travel credit card and accrue points or miles to use towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few additional ways to maximize your rewards:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
When you’re planning your next vacation, make use of the travel credit card to book your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as other travel costs. You’ll not only be able to meet the minimum spend to earn your credit card bonus, but you’ll also earn points or miles to cover those expenditures.
Utilize your credit card to pay for everyday costs
Another way to hit the minimum spend and earn points is utilising your credit cards for everyday expenditures. This could include items like groceries, gas, and even your phone bill. Be sure to pay the balance off in full each month so you don’t pay interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or bonus points for specific types of purchases, like eating out or traveling. Make sure you review your rewards program on your credit card and avail the bonus categories that are in line with your spending habits.
Take into consideration a balance transfer
If you are currently in debt on a credit card, think about transferring that balance to the travel credit card which has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfers. This will allow you to pay off the debt without accruing interest. It will also help you hit the minimum spend for the credit card bonus.
Utilize your miles and points wisely
When you’ve earned a significant amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize them in a responsible manner. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and compare the worth of various redemption options. For instance you can use your points to book a ticket directly with the airline might provide you with a greater return than using them for a gift card.
Another option is to get an rewards card that permits you to transfer rewards to different loyalty program. This allows you to have a wider range of options and greater flexibility in you want to redeem your rewards. For example, you may be able to transfer your rewards to the frequent flyer program of an airline or a reward program for hotels. This will give the benefit of a greater range of flights, hotels as well as other travel perks that aren’t available through your credit card’s rewards program.
Also, discover the card’s benefits. any perks that can help you save money on travel expenses. Many cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that can be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
When you travel with a companion and both of you get rewards on your credit card. Just remember that you can’t share the costs on the same card. Also, make sure to keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
In the end, the most important thing to do to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to know the rewards program of your credit card and make sure you’re making use of it in the most effective method possible. Utilizing a combination of the strategies I’ve outlined that you can get rewards in a short time, use rewards for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad assortment of travel-related perks.