Are you tired of spending an enormous amount on flights? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking is the answer to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting way to convert welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles, which can be used to score discounted or cheap flights from your ideal destinations. With a little imagination and some information, you’ll fly for no cost within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about trading 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 allow you to redeem miles towards hotel stays or rental car discounts.
How Does it Work?
The key to successful hacking travel is taking advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and building out frequent flyer miles for a specific group of airlines. When it’s time to make a booking consider the cost. If the price is under $300, it’s usually better to pay in cash and save your miles to take a more costly flight. If the prices start to rise higher than $500, it’s best to look into your frequent flyer accounts to determine which airline offers you the best deal. It all comes down to the number of miles or points you have in your travel savings account for every airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to travel hacking? The first step is opening the credit card that comes with a sign-up bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards with a variety of advantages and features. 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 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 minimum spend limit in order to get the bonus. Every card has different rules, so be sure to check for this information. From there it’s all about building miles and then using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to set sail with your ideas?
Once you’ve accumulated the points balance, it’s time to cash them in for some nice travel! Different credit card companies have different methods for redeeming your points. Here are some examples from a few of the ones I have experience with:
Take a trip with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have a Chase card, you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within the portal, you’ll have access to almost every airline. You can make use of a combination of the points as well as cash in order to pay for your trip. You can even book completely using points if you’ve got enough balance! Sometimes even if you do not have enough points to cover the full price, you can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using any credit card.
Are you tired of paying full price for your flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option to pay with dollars or points? But, be careful that if you don’t have enough points you cannot combine dollars and points for one flight. No worries though, if you’re only a couple of point short United also offers the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience with extra space and complimentary snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to United’s which allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue dollar or points however, not both. But, JetBlue has a unique feature that lets you join your points with your relatives to earn points twice as quickly. Be sure to establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re like me or my travel companion Becca You’re probably quite economical and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to hit the minimum spend for a credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried as we’ve done it and are here to share our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able pay your rent with credit card, then do it! Just be prepared to pay a fee, usually around 3%. It may be worth it over the long term in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the minimum spend is to pay for a medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills in the near future then ask your relatives if you could pay for theirs and they’ll reimburse you.
Make a payment to pay off the loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan, consider making payments on them with your credit card. Make sure to pay off the credit card balance completely so that you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask family for help
Ask your family members to see if they have any major expenses in the near future which you could help pay for. Make sure that you are able to trust the person and they understand why you’re doing this.
If it’s the holiday season take into consideration buying all your gifts using your credit card. This way you can meet the minimum spending limit and also be ready for giving gifts. Be sure to avoid spending more than you were planning to.
There are plenty of ways to get the most out of your travel credit card and earn miles or points to use towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are some additional suggestions for maximising your rewards:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, use your travel credit card to pay for your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as any other travel-related expenses. You’ll not only be able to hit the minimum spend for your credit card reward as well, but you’ll also earn points or miles to cover these costs.
Use your credit card to pay for your everyday expenses
Another method to reach the minimum amount of spending in order to accumulate points making use of your credit card for everyday costs. This could be things like gas, groceries and even your telephone bill. Be sure to pay off the balance each month in full so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Take advantage of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or points in exchange for certain types of purchases, including eating out or traveling. Check out your rewards program on your credit card and make use of any bonus categories that match with your spending habits.
Consider a balance transfer
If you are currently in debt on a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer that balance onto an account with a travel credit card that has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfer. This will allow you to pay off your debt without accruing interest, and also aid in achieving the minimum amount required to earn the credit card’s bonus.
Make use of your miles or points prudently
When you’ve earned a significant amount of points or miles Make sure to utilize them wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card, and evaluate the worth of various redemption options. For example, using points to book a flight directly with the airline might provide you with a greater value than using them for a gift card.
Another option is to get rewards cards that allow you to transfer reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will allow you to get a wider selection of options and greater flexibility in making use of your rewards. For example, you may be capable of transferring your reward to the frequent flyer program of an airline or a Hotel rewards programme. This can give an access greater selection of hotels, flights and other travel benefits which are not offered through the rewards program on your credit card.
Additionally, try to determine the card’s benefits. any perks that can save you money on travel-related expenses. Many cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that are extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with someone else and both of you earn rewards with your credit card. Just remember that you can’t divide the cost with the same card, and be sure to keep track of your rewards separately.
The key to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to know your credit card’s rewards program and ensure that you’re using your credit card in the most effective method. Through a combination of the strategies I’ve outlined, you’ll be able to earn rewards fast, exchange them for travel experiences that are worth it and benefit from a wide range of travel perks.