Are you fed up of spending an enormous amount on flights? Good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting method to convert credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles, which you can use to obtain discounted or cheap flights from your ideal destinations. With a little bit of imagination and a little bit of insider know-how, you’ll fly for no cost 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 buy cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards will also permit you to use miles for hotel stays and car rental discounts.
How Does it Work?
The key to success in hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and to establish frequent flyer miles with a limited number of airlines. When it’s time to make a booking consider the cost. If the cost is less than $300, it’s generally better to pay cash and save your miles to book a higher-priced flight. If the prices start to rise above $500, you’ll want to look into your frequent flyer accounts and see which airline can give you the best price. It all boils down to the amount of points or miles you have in your travel savings account for every airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to travel hacking? Your first task is to open a credit card with a sign-up bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that offer many features and benefits. It all depends on your preferred airline, spending habits and the features that are most essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards excellent 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 have to meet the limit of spending minimum in order to get the bonus. Every card has different rules, so be sure to look up this information. From there, 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 points?
After you’ve accrued your points balance, you’re ready to cash them in for some nice vacation! Different credit card providers will have different methods of redeeming your points. Here are a few examples from some of the providers I’ve had experience with:
Take a trip through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you own an Chase cards, you are able to use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In this portal you’ll get access to virtually every airline and you can make use of a combination of points and cash to pay for your trip. You can even book entirely with points if you’ve the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for entire cost, you are able to book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with the credit card of your choice.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for your flight tickets? Did you realize that when booking directly through United you can choose the option to pay with dollars or points? Butbe aware, if you do not have enough points you can’t combine dollars and points on the same flight. If you’re just a few points short, United provides the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers a comfortable and enjoyable travel experience that includes extra legroom and free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to United’s, allowing passengers to book flights using JetBlue points or dollars but not both. But, JetBlue offers a distinct feature that lets you join your points with your family members and earn points twice as quickly. Just make sure you can prove you’re really family before trying to hack into the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel companion Becca I’m sure you’re pretty thrifty and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to hit the minimum amount required to earn a credit card bonus. Don’t worry, we’ve been through it and are here to share our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able pay your rent using a credit card, do it! Just be prepared to pay a fee, usually about 3 percent. It may be worth it in the end in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another great way to hit the required spending is to cover the medical bills. If you do not have any medical expenses in the near future, ask your relatives if you could pay for theirs and they will pay you back.
Pay off a loan
If you’re a borrower you owe, think about repaying them using the credit card you have. Make sure to pay off the credit card balance completely so that you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Ask your family members to look into any major expenses in the near future which you could help pay for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to trust the person and they are aware of the reason for taking the initiative.
If it’s the holiday season take into consideration buying all of your gifts with your credit card. In this way, you’ll reach the minimum spending requirement and also be prepared for giving gifts. Be sure to avoid paying more than you planning to.
There are many ways to get the most out of the travel credit card. You can accumulate miles or points that you can spend on the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few more ways to maximize the rewards you earn:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a vacation, make use of you travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel, rental car, and other travel costs. Not only will you be able to hit the minimum amount of spending required to qualify for a credit card bonus, but you’ll also be earning points or miles to cover the expenditures.
Use your credit card for all your daily costs
Another way to meet the minimum spending requirement and earn points is by making use of your credit card to pay everyday expenditures. This can include things like food, gas or even your phone bill. Be sure to pay off the balance each month in full so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Make the most of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide bonus points or miles for certain types of purchases, such as eating out or traveling. Check out the rewards program of your credit card and make use of any bonus categories that align with your spending habits.
Consider the possibility of transferring your balance
If you have existing debt on a credit card, consider transferring that balance onto a travel credit card with an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfers. This will enable you to pay off the debt without accruing interest and simultaneously help you hit the minimum spending requirement for the credit card’s bonus.
Utilize your miles and points carefully
When you’ve earned a significant amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize the points or miles wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card and compare the value of different redemption options. For example, using your points to book a flight directly with the airline might give you a better return than using them for a gift card.
Another option is to get a rewards card that allows you to transfer rewards to different loyalty program. This will let you enjoy a greater variety of choices and more freedom when it comes to making use of your rewards. For instance, you might be eligible to transfer your reward to an airline’s frequent flyer program or a Hotel rewards programme. This gives an access larger variety of hotels, flights, and other travel perks which are not accessible through the rewards program on your credit card.
In addition, you should determine if your credit card offers any perks that can reduce your travel costs. Some cards offer 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 someone else, both of you can earn rewards with your credit card. Just remember that you can’t share the costs on the same card and make sure to track your rewards in a separate manner.
Overall, the key to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program on your credit card and ensure that you’re making use of your credit card in the most effective way possible. Through a combination of the methods I’ve described that you can earn rewards fast, exchange rewards for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad assortment of travel-related perks.