Are you tired of paying an enormous amount on flights? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting method to convert bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles, which can be used to score discounted or complimentary flights for your dream destinations. With a little bit of imagination and a little bit of insider information, you’ll travel for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about swapping credit card sign-up bonus as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can then be used to pay for discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards let you redeem miles towards hotel stays or rental car deals.
How Does it Work?
The secret to success in hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and building out a frequent flyer mile program for a specific group of airlines. When it’s time to book a flight consider the cost. If the price is under $300, it’s generally better to pay in cash and use your miles to pay for a more expensive flight. If your flights begin to climb above $500, you’ll want to check your frequent flyer accounts to find out which airline will give you the best price. All it boils down to is the amount of miles or points you have in your travel savings account for every airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to travel hacking? Your first task is to open a credit card with a sign-up offer. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards with various features and benefits. It all depends on your preferred airline, spending habits and what features are important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards that are perfect for travel hacking:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
If you’ve been approved for a credit card you’ll need to reach the limit of spending minimum in order to receive the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so be certain to verify this information. From there it’s all about building 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 redeem them for some delicious travel! Different credit card providers will have different methods for redeeming your points. Here are some examples from a few of the ones I’ve worked with:
Getaway through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you have a Chase credit card, then you can redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within it, you’ll have access to almost every airline. You can combine money and points to book your travel. You can book your flight entirely with points if you’ve the balance for it! Sometimes even if you don’t possess enough points for the total cost, you are able to buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using the credit card of your choice.
Are you fed up of paying full price for flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option of paying with dollars or points? Butbe aware, if you don’t have enough points, you aren’t able to combine dollars and points on the same flight. If you’re only a couple of points away, United provides the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience with extra legroom as well as free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to that of United Airlines, allowing passengers to book flights using JetBlue points or dollars but not both. The difference is that JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature where you can join your points with your relatives to earn points twice as fast. Make sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re like me or my travel buddy Becca I’m sure you’re pretty frugal and it can be challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to hit the minimum amount required to earn a credit card bonus. But don’t fret, we’ve been through 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 using a credit card, do it! Be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually at least 3%. It could be worthwhile over the long term 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 don’t have any medical bills due, ask your family members to pay them for theirs, and they can reimburse you.
Repay the loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan you owe, think about repaying them using your credit card. Make sure to pay off the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t accrue 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. Just make sure you have confidence in the person you are talking to and they understand why you’re taking the initiative.
If it’s the holiday season, consider buying all your gifts with cards from your credit account. This way you can hit that minimum spend and also be prepared for giving gifts. Be sure to avoid spending more than you already planning to.
There are plenty of ways to make the most of the travel credit card and accumulate miles or points that you can be used towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few additional ideas for maximizing the rewards you earn:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, make use of the travel credit card for booking your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as other travel costs. You’ll not only be able to hit the minimum spend for your credit card and earn points, but you’ll also earn points or miles to cover the expenditures.
Utilize your credit card to pay for all your daily costs
Another method to reach the minimum spend and earn points is by utilising your credit cards for everyday expenditures. This could include things like food, gas and even your telephone bill. Make sure you pay the balance off in full every month to ensure you don’t pay interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer bonus points or miles for specific types of purchases, including dining or travel. Make sure you review your credit card’s rewards program and avail any bonus categories that align with your spending routines.
Think about a balance transfer
If you have existing outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer the balance to the travel credit card which has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfers. This will enable you to pay off your debts without accruing interest. It will also help you hit the minimum amount required to earn the credit card’s bonus.
Utilize your miles and points wisely
If you’ve amassed a large amount of points or miles, be sure to use the points or miles wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card, and evaluate the value of different redemption options. For instance, using points to purchase a flight directly with the airline might offer better return than using them for a gift card.
Another tip is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer 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 capable of transferring your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a hotel rewards program. This will give an access larger range of flights, hotels, and other travel perks which are not accessible through the rewards program on your credit card.
In addition, you should find out the card’s benefits. some perks that could help you save money on travel costs. Some cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that could be invaluable when you travel.
When you travel with someone else each of you will be able to get rewards on your own credit card. Just remember that you can’t divide the cost with the same card, and be sure to track your rewards separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do 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 effective method. Utilizing an array of strategies I’ve listed that you can earn rewards fast, exchange them for travel experiences that are worth it and benefit from a wide variety of travel benefits.