Are you fed up of spending an enormous amount on flights? Good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s a fun way to turn credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into miles which you can use to get discounted or even free flights to your dream destinations. With a bit of imagination and some knowledge, you can be jet-setting for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of trading credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. The miles can be used to purchase cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards allow you to redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or rental car 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 for a specific group of airlines. When it comes time to make a booking take a look at the price. If the cost is less than $300, it’s usually better to pay in cash and save your miles for a more expensive flight. If the prices start to rise higher than $500, it’s best to check your frequent flyer accounts and find out which airline will give you the most value. All it boils down to is the number of miles or points in your travel bank for every airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to travel hacking? First step opening a credit card that comes with a welcome bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards that provide many benefits and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, your spending habits, and the features that are most essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards great 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 minimum spend limit in order to qualify for the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so make certain to verify this information. Then you can begin to rack up miles and using them to book your dream vacation!
Ready to jet-set with your ideas?
Now that you’ve built up your points balance, it’s time to use them towards nice travel! Different credit card companies will have different methods for redeeming your points. Here are some examples from some of the companies I’ve had experience 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. Through it, you’ll get access to virtually every airline and you can make use of a combination of money and points to pay for your trip. You can book your flight entirely using points if you’ve got enough balance! Sometimes even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for total price, you can buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using the credit card of your choice.
Are you tired of paying full price for your flight tickets? Did you realize that when booking directly through United You have the option of paying with either points or dollars? Butbe aware, if you don’t have enough points, you can’t combine dollars and points for the same flight. No worries though, if you’re a few point short United also offers the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience , with more legroom and free snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to United’s, allowing you to book with either JetBlue dollar or points, however, not both. But, JetBlue has a unique feature that lets you combine your points with your family members and earn points twice as fast. Be sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack into the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me and my travel buddy Becca I’m sure you’re pretty economical and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum amount required to earn a credit card bonus. Don’t worry as we’ve done it and we’re here to share our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able to pay your rent using a credit card, do it! Just be prepared to be charged a fee, typically around 3 percent. It may be worth it in the end when the bonus is large enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another excellent way to meet the minimum spend is to cover a medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills coming up Ask your family members if you can pay for theirs and they will pay you back.
Pay off a loan
If you have any loans you owe, think about paying them off with your credit card. Be sure to pay off the balance on your credit card in full so you don’t end up with additional debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Talk to your family and determine if they’ve got any large expenses coming up which you could help pay for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to trust the person and they understand why you’re taking the initiative.
If it’s the holiday season, consider buying all your gifts using the credit card you have. In this way, you’ll reach the minimum spending requirement and be ready for giving gifts. Be sure to avoid spending more than you already planning to.
There are plenty of ways to get the most out of your travel credit card. earn miles or points to be used towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are some additional ways to maximize the rewards you earn:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
If you’re planning a vacation, make use of you travel credit card to book your flight, hotel, rental car, and other travel costs. You’ll not only achieve the required amount to earn your credit card bonus as well, but you’ll also be earning points or miles on these expenditures.
Use your credit card for everyday costs
Another way to meet the minimum spend to earn rewards is making use of your credit card for daily costs. This can include things like food, gas and even your telephone bill. Be sure to pay off the balance each month in full so you don’t pay interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or points in exchange on certain kinds of purchases, like eating out or traveling. Be sure to review your credit card’s rewards program and make use of any bonus categories that match with your spending routines.
Take into consideration a balance transfer
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a credit card, you might want to transfer the balance to an account with a travel credit card that has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfers. This will enable you to pay off the debt without accruing interest, and also help you hit the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus.
Use your points or miles carefully
When you’ve earned a significant amount of miles or points, be sure to 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 your points to purchase a flight directly through the airline may offer better value than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another tip is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer your reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will let you get a wider selection of options and greater flexibility in making use of your rewards. For example, you may be eligible to transfer your rewards to the frequent flyer program of an airline or a reward program for hotels. This gives the benefit of a greater range of flights, hotels and other travel benefits that may not be available through your credit card’s rewards program.
Additionally, try to determine the card’s benefits. some perks that could help you save money on travel costs. 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. Be aware that you cannot split the cost on the same card. Also, make sure to track your rewards in a separate manner.
In the end, the most important thing to do to making the most of your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program on your credit card and ensure that you’re making use of this program in the most effective method possible. Utilizing all of the strategies I’ve outlined in this article, you’ll be able get rewards in a short time, use them for travel experiences that are worth it, and enjoy a wide variety of travel benefits.