Are you fed up of spending an enormous amount on flights? Well, good news! Travel hacking is the answer to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting method to turn credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles which can be used to score discounted or cheap flights from your desired destinations. With a 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 then be used to purchase cheap or free flight tickets. Some credit cards also let you redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or rental car 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 under $300, it’s generally better to pay in cash and use your miles to pay for a more expensive flight. If the prices start to rise above $500, you’ll want to check your frequent flyer accounts and find out which airline will give you the most value. It all boils down to the number of miles or points you have in your travel savings account for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets of travel hacking? Your first task is to open an account with a sign-up bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards with many advantages and features. It depends on the type of airline, your habits with spending and the features that are most important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards perfect for travel hacking:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
After you’ve been accepted 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 rules, so be sure to check for the details. Then you can begin to rack up miles, and then using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your ideas?
Once you’ve accumulated the points amount, it’s time to cash them in for some nice vacation! Different credit card companies will have different methods of redeeming your rewards, here are a few examples from some of the providers I’ve worked with:
Getaway through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you’re a holder of an Chase card, you are able to redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through the portal, you’ll get access to almost every airline and you can make use of a combination of points and cash to pay for your trip. You can even book entirely on points if you have the funds to pay for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t possess enough points for the total cost, you are able to book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with any credit card.
Are you fed up of paying full price for flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United, you have the option of paying using dollars or points? But, be careful that if you don’t have enough points you aren’t able to combine dollars and points for flights. No worries though, if you’re only a couple of points away, 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 flight experience , with more space and complimentary snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to United’s which allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue either dollars or points however, not both. However, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that lets you join your points with your relatives to earn points twice as quickly. Be sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack into the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re like me or my travel companion Becca I’m sure you’re pretty frugal and it can be daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the required amount to qualify for the credit card bonus. But don’t fret as we’ve done it and are here to share our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able pay your rent using a credit card, do it! Be prepared to be charged a fee, typically around 3%. It may be worth it over the long term when the bonus is large enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another excellent way to meet the minimum spend is to pay for the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills due, ask your relatives if you could pay their medical bills and they can repay you.
Make a payment to pay off a loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan you owe, think about making payments on them with the credit card you have. Make sure to pay off the credit card balance completely so that you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask family for help
Talk to your family and look into any big expenses coming up which you could 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 doing this.
If you’re celebrating the holidays you should consider purchasing all your gifts using your credit card. In this way, you’ll meet the minimum spending limit and be ready for gift giving. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you thinking of.
There are plenty of ways to get the most 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 additional ideas for maximizing your rewards:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, make use of the travel credit card to book your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as any other travel expenses. Not only will you achieve the required amount to qualify for a credit card, but you’ll also be earning points or miles for the expenditures.
Utilize your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday expenses
Another method to reach the minimum spend and earn points is by using your credit card for everyday expenditures. This can include things like food, gas and even your telephone bill. Just make sure to pay the balance off in full each month so you don’t accumulate interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or bonus points on certain kinds of purchases, including eating out or traveling. Be sure to review the rewards program of your credit card and avail any bonus categories that align with your spending routines.
Take into consideration a balance transfer
If you have existing debt on a 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 transfers. This will enable you to pay off your debts without accruing interest and simultaneously aid in achieving the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus.
Use your points or miles prudently
If you’ve amassed a large amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize them in a responsible manner. Check out the rewards program on your credit card, and evaluate the benefits of different redemption options. For example, using points to purchase a flight directly through the airline may provide you with a greater value 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 get a wider selection of choices and more flexibility when making use of your rewards. For example, you may be eligible to transfer your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a hotel rewards program. This gives an access wider selection of hotels, flights, and other travel perks that may not be available through your credit card’s rewards program.
Also, determine the card’s benefits. any perks that can reduce your travel expenses. Some cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that can be very beneficial when traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a companion and both of you earn rewards with your credit card. Be aware that you cannot divide the cost with the same card, and be sure to keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
The key to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to understand your credit card’s rewards program and make sure you’re using your credit card in the most effective method possible. Through a combination of the strategies I’ve outlined, you’ll be able to earn rewards quickly, redeem them for travel experiences that are worth it and benefit from a wide range of travel perks.