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 way to convert credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into miles which can be used to score discounted or cheap flights from your dream destinations. With a little imagination and some know-how, you’ll fly for no cost in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of trading credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. These miles can then be used to purchase discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards permit you to use miles towards hotel stays or rental car discounts.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for success in hacking travel is taking advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and to establish a frequent flyer mile program on a select group of airlines. When it’s time to book a flight, evaluate the cost. If the cost is under $300, it’s usually better to pay in cash and save your miles to take a more costly flight. If the prices start to rise above $500, you’ll want to look into your frequent flyer accounts and find out which airline will give you the best price. It all comes down to the number of points or miles you have in your travel bank for each airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to travel hacking? First step opening an account that comes with a welcome bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that offer a variety of benefits and features. It depends on the type of airline, your habits with spending and the features that are most essential 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 hit the limit of spending minimum in order to receive the bonus. Each card has its own guidelines, so make sure to look up the details. Then, it’s all about racking up miles, and using them to plan your dream vacation!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your points?
Now that you’ve built up your points balance, you’re ready to use them towards nice vacation! Different credit card companies offer different ways to redeem your points, but here are a few examples from some of the providers I have experience with:
Escape by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own an Chase credit card, then you are able to redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through the portal, you’ll have access to almost every airline and you can use a combination of points and cash to pay for your trip. You can book your flight entirely on points if you have the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you do not be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for total price, you can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using every credit card.
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 with either points or dollars? But, be careful, if you do not have enough points you can’t combine points and dollars for flights. Don’t worry, though, if you’re just a few points short, United provides the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience , with more space and complimentary snacks. Additionally, their booking process is like United’s, allowing customers to book using either JetBlue dollar or points but not both. However, JetBlue has a unique feature that lets you pool your points together with family members to accrue points twice as quickly. Be sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me or my travel companion Becca, you’re probably pretty economical and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to reach the minimum amount required to earn a credit card bonus. But don’t fret because we’ve been there and are here to share our tricks and tips.
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! Just be prepared to be charged a fee, typically about 3%. It could be worthwhile in the long run when the bonus is large enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another way to reach the required spending is to pay for a medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills in the near future, ask your family members if you can pay their medical bills and they can reimburse you.
Pay off the loan
If you’re a borrower take into consideration making payments on them with your credit card. Make sure to pay off the balance on your credit card in full so you don’t end up with additional debt.
Ask family for help
Discuss your family with them and see if they have any major expenses in the near future that you can contribute for. Make sure that you are able to have confidence in the person you are talking to and they are aware of the reason for doing this.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season take into consideration buying all your gifts with your credit card. This way you can reach the minimum spending requirement and be ready for giving gifts. Be sure to avoid spending more than you contemplating to.
There are a lot of methods to get the most of your travel credit card. earn miles or points to spend on the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few more ways to maximize your rewards:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, make use of your travel credit card for booking your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as any other travel-related expenses. Not only will you be able to meet the required amount for your credit card bonus and earn points, but you’ll also be earning points or miles on those expenses.
Use your credit card to pay for your everyday expenditures
Another way to meet the minimum spend in order to accumulate points by making use of your credit card to pay everyday costs. This can include items like groceries, gas or even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay the balance off in full each month so you don’t accumulate interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or points in exchange on certain kinds of purchases, including eating out or traveling. Make sure you review the rewards program of your credit card and make use of any bonus categories that match with your spending habits.
Think about a balance transfer
If you are currently in outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer that balance to the travel credit card which has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfers. This will enable you to pay off the debt without accruing interest, and also assist you in reaching the minimum spend for the credit card bonus.
Make use of your miles or points prudently
When you’ve earned a significant amount of points or miles make sure you use them in a responsible manner. Review the rewards program for your credit card and then compare the worth of various redemption options. For instance you can use points to book a flight directly with the airline could provide you with a greater return than using them for a gift card.
Another tip is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer your reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will allow you to get a wider selection of options and greater flexibility when making use of your rewards. For instance, you might be able to transfer your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or reward program for hotels. This can give you access to a wider selection of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks which are not offered through the rewards program of your credit card.
Additionally, try to discover the card’s benefits. any perks that can help you save money on travel expenses. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection and other benefits that are invaluable when you travel.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a companion, both of you can get rewards on your own credit card. Make sure you don’t divide the cost with the same card and make sure to track the rewards you earn separately.
The key to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to know the rewards program on your credit card and to ensure you’re making use of it in the most efficient method. By using an array of strategies I’ve listed in this article, you’ll be able get rewards in a short time, use them for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide variety of travel benefits.