Are you tired of paying an enormous amount on flights? Good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting way to turn credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into miles that can then be used to get discounted or even complimentary flights for your ideal destinations. With a little imagination and a little bit of insider know-how, you’ll be jet-setting for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about trading credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can later be used to purchase cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards permit you to use miles towards hotel stays or car rental offers.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for successful travel hacking 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 consider the cost. If the flight is less than $300, it’s usually better 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 look into those frequent flyer accounts to see which airline can give you the most value. It all comes down to the amount 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 of travel hacking? The first step is opening an account with a sign-up offer. There are many great credit cards that offer many benefits and features. It depends on the type of airline, spending habits and the features that are most essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards excellent to use for hacking travel:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
Once you’ve been approved for a credit card you’ll have to meet the minimum spend limit in order to receive the bonus. Every card has different rules, so be sure to look up the details. Then, it’s all about racking up miles, and using them to book your dream trip!
Ready to jet-set with your goals?
Once you’ve accumulated the points amount, it’s time to redeem them for some nice travel! Different credit card providers will have different methods of redeeming your points. Here are some examples from some of the providers I’ve worked with:
Getaway through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you’re a holder of a Chase card, you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In it, you’ll have access to virtually every airline. You can make use of a combination of points and cash to book your trip. You can book your flight entirely with points if you’ve the funds to pay for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t have enough points to cover the entire price, you can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with every credit card.
Are you tired of paying full price for flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United, you have the option of paying with dollars or points? Be careful that if you do not have enough points you cannot combine dollars and points on one flight. If you’re just a few points short, United gives you the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue offers an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience , with more legroom and free snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines, allowing customers to book using either JetBlue either dollars or points but not both. However, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature where you can combine your points with family members to accrue points twice as quickly. Just make sure you can establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel companion Becca You’re probably quite thrifty and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the required amount to qualify for the credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried as we’ve done it and are here to share some of our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able to pay for your rent with a credit card, do it! Be prepared to pay a fee, usually at least 3 percent. It might be worth it in the end if the bonus is high enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another great way to hit the required spending is to pay for the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills due Ask your relatives if you could pay for theirs and they can reimburse you.
Repay the loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan, consider making payments on them with an credit card. Just make sure you pay the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask family for help
Talk to your family and determine if they’ve got any major expenses in the near future that you can contribute for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to have confidence in the person you are talking to and they are aware of the reason for doing it.
If it’s the holiday season take into consideration buying all your gifts using your credit card. In this way, you’ll reach the minimum spending requirement and also be prepared to give gifts. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you were planning to.
There are plenty of ways to get the most from the travel credit card and accumulate miles or points that you can be used towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few more ideas for maximizing your rewards
Make travel reservations using your credit card
If 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 expenses. In addition, you’ll be able to hit the minimum amount of spending required to earn your credit card reward as well, however, you’ll also earn points or miles for these expenses.
Use your credit card to pay for your everyday costs
Another way to meet the minimum spend and earn points is using your credit card to pay for daily expenditures. This can include things like food, gas and even your telephone bill. Be sure to pay off the balance in full each month so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or bonus points on certain kinds of purchases, like dining or travel. Be sure to review your rewards program on your credit card and avail any bonus categories that match with your spending routines.
Take into consideration a balance transfer
If you have existing debt on a high-interest credit card, think about transferring that balance to an account with a travel credit card that has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will allow you to pay off your debts without accruing interest. It will also aid in achieving the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus.
Make use of your miles or points carefully
If you’ve amassed a large amount of points or miles Make sure to utilize them wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card and compare the value of different redemption options. For instance you can use points to book a flight directly through the airline may provide you with a greater value than using them to purchase the purchase of a gift card.
Another option is to get an rewards card that permits you to transfer your reward points into other loyalty programmes. This allows you to enjoy a greater variety of options and greater flexibility in you want to redeem your rewards. For instance, you might be able to transfer your reward to an airline’s frequent flyer program or a Hotel rewards programme. This will give the benefit of a greater selection of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks that aren’t available through the rewards program on your credit card.
Also, find out whether your credit card has any perks that can save you money on travel-related costs. Many cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection, and other benefits that could be invaluable when you travel.
Finally, when you’re traveling with someone else each of you will be able to earn rewards with your own credit card. Just remember that you can’t share the costs on the same card and make sure to track the rewards you earn separately.
Overall, the key to making the most of your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program of your credit card and to ensure you’re using this program in the most effective method possible. Utilizing 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 take advantage of a broad variety of travel benefits.