Are you tired of paying an enormous amount on flights? Good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting method to convert sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles, that can then be used to obtain discounted or free flights to your dream destinations. With a little bit of imagination and a little bit of insider information, you’ll fly for no cost within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about trading credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can then be used to buy cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards allow you to redeem miles for hotel stays and rental car offers.
How Does it Work?
The secret to success in travel hacking is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and building out frequent flyer miles on a select group of airlines. When it’s time to make a booking consider the cost. If the flight is under $300, it’s usually better to pay in cash and save your miles for a more expensive flight. When the flights start getting higher than $500, it’s best to review those frequent flyer accounts to see which airline can give you the best deal. It all boils down to the number of points or miles in your travel account for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to hacking travel? Your first task is opening an account that comes with a welcome bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards with various features and benefits. It depends on the type of airline, spending habits and what features are 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
Once you’ve been approved for a credit card you’ll need to reach the minimum spend limit in order to get the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of guidelines, so make certain to verify the details. From there, it’s all about racking up miles, and then using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your ideas?
After you’ve accrued your points balance, you’re ready to use them towards nice travel! Different credit card companies will have different methods for redeeming your points, but here are some examples from some of the companies I’ve had experience with:
Getaway by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own a Chase credit card, then you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through the portal, you’ll get access to virtually every airline and you can combine money and points to pay for your travel. You can even book entirely with points if you’ve enough balance! Sometimes, even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for entire cost, you are able to purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using any credit card.
Are you fed up of paying full price for your flight tickets? Did you realize that when booking directly through United You have the option to pay with either points or dollars? Butbe aware that if you don’t have enough points you aren’t able to combine points and dollars for one flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re just a few point short United provides the option to purchase additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience , with more space and complimentary snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to United’s which allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue either dollars or points, however, not both. But, JetBlue offers a distinct feature that lets you pool your points together with your family members and earn points twice as quickly. Make sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel companion Becca, you’re probably pretty thrifty and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to reach the required amount to qualify for the credit card bonus. Don’t worry as we’ve done it and are here to share our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able pay your rent using credit card, go for it! Make sure you pay a fee, usually around 3%. It may be worth it in the long run if the bonus is high enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the spending limit is to cover a medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses due, ask your family members to pay for theirs and they’ll repay you.
Repay the loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan you owe, think about paying them off with the credit card you have. Make sure to pay off the balance on your credit card in full so you don’t accumulate additional debt.
Ask family for help
Talk to your family and see if they have any major expenses in the near future that you can help pay for. Make sure that you are able to have confidence in the person you are talking to and they understand why you’re taking the initiative.
If you’re celebrating the holidays take into consideration buying all your gifts with your credit card. This way you can hit that minimum spend and also be ready for gift giving. Just make sure you’re not paying more than you planning to.
There are plenty of methods to get the most of using your credit or debit card for travel. accrue points or miles to 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 you travel credit card to book your hotel, flight, rental car, and any other travel-related expenses. You’ll not only achieve the required amount for your credit card bonus as well, but you’ll also earn points or miles to cover the expenses.
Make use of your credit card to pay for all your daily expenses
Another way to hit the minimum spending requirement and earn points is by using your credit card to pay daily expenses. This could be things like food, gas or even your phone bill. Make sure you pay the balance off each month in full so you don’t accumulate interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or bonus points on certain kinds of purchases, including dining or travel. Check out the rewards program of your credit card and take advantage of any bonus categories that match with your spending routines.
Consider a balance transfer
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a high-interest credit card, think about transferring that balance onto the travel credit card which has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfer. This will let you pay off the debt without accruing interest, and also assist you in reaching the minimum amount required to earn the credit card’s bonus.
Make use of your miles or points carefully
When you’ve earned a significant amount of points or miles, be sure to use them in a responsible manner. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and compare the benefits of different redemption options. For instance, using your points to book a flight directly with the airline might provide you with a greater value than using them to purchase an gift card.
Another option is to get rewards cards that allow you to transfer your reward points into other loyalty programmes. This allows you to get a wider selection of options and greater flexibility in making use of your rewards. For example, you may be able to transfer your reward to an airline’s frequent flyer program or a hotel rewards program. This can give the benefit of a wider variety of hotels, flights and other travel benefits which are not offered through the rewards program on your credit card.
Also, discover if your credit card offers some perks that could save you money on travel-related expenses. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that can be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a companion each of you will be able to earn rewards using your credit card. Just remember that you can’t share the costs on the same card. Also, make sure you keep track of your rewards separately.
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 make sure you’re making use of your credit card in the most effective method possible. By using all of the strategies I’ve listed that you can get rewards in a short time, use rewards for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad variety of travel benefits.