Are you tired of paying an enormous amount on flights? Good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel woes. It’s a fun way to turn credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into miles which you can use to get discounted or even cheap flights from your ideal 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 swapping credit card sign-up bonus as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can later be used to pay for discounted or even free flights. Some credit cards also permit you to use 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 credit card sign-up bonus and establishing a frequent flyer mile program for a specific group of airlines. When it’s time to book a flight, evaluate the cost. If the flight is less than $300, it’s generally better to pay in cash and save your miles to take a more costly flight. If your flights begin to climb higher than $500, it’s best to look into those frequent flyer accounts and see which airline can give you the best price. It all boils down to the number of miles or points in your travel bank for every airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to hacking travel? Your first task is to open an account that comes with a welcome bonus. There are many great credit cards that provide various features and benefits. It is all dependent on the airline, spending habits and what features are important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards great to hack travel
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
If you’ve been approved for a credit card, you’ll have to meet the limit of spending minimum in order to receive the bonus. Every card has different rules, so make sure to check for this information. Then, it’s all about racking up miles, and using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your goals?
Now that you’ve built up your points balance, it’s time to cash them in for some sweet vacation! Different credit card companies offer different ways to redeem your rewards, here are some examples from a few of the providers I’ve worked with:
Getaway with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of a Chase card, you are able to redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within it, you’ll have access to virtually every airline, and you can use a combination of points and cash to pay for your trip. You can book your flight entirely with points if you’ve enough balance! Sometimes even if you do not have enough points to cover the entire 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 the full cost for your flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option of paying with either points or dollars? But, be careful that if you don’t have enough points you cannot combine points and dollars on the same flight. If you’re a few points away, United gives you the option of buying additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers passengers a relaxing and pleasant travel experience that includes extra space and complimentary snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to United’s, allowing customers to book using either JetBlue points or dollars, however, not both. But, JetBlue has a unique feature where you can combine your points with family members to accrue points twice as fast. Make sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me and my travel buddy Becca You’re probably quite frugal and it can be difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to reach the required amount to qualify for the credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried because we’ve been there and we’re here to share our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able to pay for your rent using credit card, go for it! Make sure you pay a fee, usually about 3%. It might be worth it over the long term when the bonus is large enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the minimum spend is to pay for a medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses coming up, ask your relatives if you could pay for theirs and they will pay you back.
Make a payment to pay off a loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan take into consideration repaying them using your credit card. Be sure to pay off the balance on your credit card in full , so that you don’t accumulate additional debt.
Ask your family members for help
Talk to your family and determine if they’ve got any major expenses in the near future that you can help pay for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to trust the person and they know why you’re taking the initiative.
If it’s the holiday season, consider buying all of your gifts with the credit card you have. So you’ll be able to hit that minimum spend and also be ready to give gifts. Be sure to avoid paying more than you thinking of.
There are many methods to get the most out of the travel credit card and accumulate miles or points that you can use towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few more ways to maximize the rewards you earn:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, make use of the travel credit card to book your hotel, flight, rental car, and other travel costs. Not only will you achieve the required amount to earn your credit card reward and earn points, but you’ll also be earning points or miles on the expenses.
Utilize your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday costs
Another way to meet the minimum amount of spending and earn points is utilising your credit cards for every day costs. This could include things like food, gas, and even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay off the balance in full each month so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Benefit from bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or points in exchange for certain types 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 habits.
Think about the possibility of transferring your balance
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer that balance onto the travel credit card which has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfers. This will enable you to pay off your debts without accruing interest. It will also help you hit the minimum spend for the credit card bonus.
Make use of your miles or points wisely
When you’ve earned a significant amount of miles or points make sure you use the points or miles wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and compare the worth of various redemption options. For instance, using your points to book 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 rewards cards that allow you to transfer reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will let you have a wider range of choices and more flexibility in making use of your rewards. For instance, you might be able to transfer your reward to the frequent flyer program of an airline or hotel rewards program. This can give an access wider selection of hotels, flights and other travel benefits that aren’t accessible through the rewards program of your credit card.
Additionally, try to determine whether your credit card has any perks that can reduce your travel expenses. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that could be very beneficial when traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a friend and both of you earn rewards using your credit card. Just remember that you can’t divide the cost with the same card. Also, make sure to track the rewards you earn separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do to maximizing 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 way possible. Utilizing all of the strategies I’ve listed that you can get rewards in a short time, use them for travel experiences that are worth it and benefit from a wide variety of travel benefits.