Are you tired of spending an enormous amount on flights? Then, there’s a 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, that can then be used to get discounted or even cheap flights from your desired destinations. With a bit of imagination and a little bit of insider know-how, you’ll be jet-setting for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can later be used to pay for cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards allow you to redeem miles for hotel stays and car rental offers.
How Does it Work?
The secret to success in hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and establishing a frequent flyer mile program with a limited number of airlines. When you are ready to make a booking consider the cost. If the price is less than $300, it’s usually better to pay in cash and save your miles for a more expensive flight. If your flights begin to climb 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 number of points or miles you have in your travel account for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets of travel hacking? The first step is to open an account that comes with a welcome bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that provide various benefits and features. It is all dependent on the airline, your spending habits, and what features are essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards that are great to use for hacking travel:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
If you’ve been approved for a credit card you’ll need to reach the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to get the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so be 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 goals?
After you’ve accrued your points balance, it’s time to use them towards sweet vacation! Different credit card providers will offer different ways to redeem your points. Here are some examples from a few of the companies I’ve worked with:
Getaway with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have an Chase cards, you are able to use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through this portal you’ll get access to virtually every airline and you can combine money and points to book your travel. You can book your flight entirely on points if you have the balance for it! Sometimes even if you don’t have enough points to cover the full cost, you are able to book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using the credit card of your choice.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for your flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United, you have the option of paying using either points or dollars? But, be careful that if you don’t have enough points, you can’t combine dollars and points on the same flight. If you’re a few point short United also offers the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides a comfortable and enjoyable travel experience that includes extra legroom as well as free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is like United’s, allowing you to book with either JetBlue points or dollars, however, not both. But, JetBlue has a unique feature that allows you to combine your points with your family members and earn points twice as quickly. Make sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack into the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel buddy Becca I’m sure you’re pretty economical and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to reach the minimum spend for a credit card bonus. Don’t worry because we’ve been there and are here to share some of our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able to pay for your rent with credit card, then do it! Just be prepared to pay a fee, usually around 3 percent. It could be worthwhile over the long term when the bonus is large enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another way to reach the minimum spend is to pay for the medical bills. If you do not have any medical expenses coming up, ask your relatives if you could pay them for theirs, and they’ll reimburse you.
Repay a loan
If you have any loans take into consideration paying them off with an credit card. Make sure to pay off the balance on your credit card in full so you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Discuss your family with them and look into any large expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to have confidence in the person you are talking to and they understand why you’re doing this.
If it’s the holiday season, consider buying all of your gifts with your credit card. In this way, you’ll hit that minimum spend and be ready for gift giving. Be sure to avoid spending more than you planning to.
There are a lot of methods to get the most out of the travel credit card. You can accumulate miles or points that you can be used towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few more ways to maximize the rewards you earn:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, make use of the travel credit card to book your hotel, flight, rental car, and any other travel-related expenses. In addition, you’ll be able to hit the minimum spend for your credit card bonus as well, but you’ll also earn points or miles to cover the expenditures.
Utilize your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday expenses
Another way to meet the minimum amount of spending to earn rewards is using your credit card for daily costs. This can include things like food, gas, and even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay the balance off in full each month so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Make the most of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer 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 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 the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfer. This will let you pay off your debts without accruing interest. It will also help you hit the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus.
Make use of your miles or points wisely
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of points or miles Make sure to utilize them in a responsible manner. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and then compare the worth of various redemption options. For instance, using your points to book a flight directly with the airline could offer better return than using them for an gift card.
Another option is to get an rewards card that permits you to transfer points to other loyalty programs. This will allow you to enjoy a greater variety of options and greater flexibility in redeeming your rewards. For example, you may be capable of transferring your reward to the frequent flyer program of an airline or hotel rewards program. This will give the benefit of a wider variety of hotels, flights and other travel benefits that aren’t available through the rewards program of your credit card.
In addition, you should discover the card’s benefits. some perks that could help you save money on travel costs. Many cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that can be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with someone else each of you will be able to earn rewards with your own credit card. Make sure you don’t share the costs on the same card. Also, make sure you keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
The key to making the most of your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program of your credit card and ensure that you’re using it in the most efficient way possible. Through a combination of the strategies I’ve outlined in this article, you’ll be able get rewards in a short time, use them for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide range of travel perks.