Are you tired of paying an enormous amount on flights? Well, good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting method to turn credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles, that can then be used to get discounted or even complimentary flights for your desired destinations. With a little bit of creativity and some insider knowledge, you can be jet-setting for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of swapping credit card sign-up bonus and rewards for airline miles. These miles can later be used to pay for discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards permit you to use miles towards hotel stays or car rental deals.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for successful hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and building out a frequent flyer mile program for a specific group of airlines. When it’s time to book a flight, evaluate the cost. If the price is less than $300, it’s usually better to pay in cash and save your miles for a more expensive flight. If your flights begin to climb over $500, you’ll need to review the frequent flyer account and find out which airline will give you the best deal. All it boils down to is the number of miles or points in your travel bank for each airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to travel hacking? Your first task is opening a credit card with a sign-up offer. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that offer various advantages and features. It depends on the type of airline, spending habits and the features that are most important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit card options that can be perfect to use for hacking travel:
- 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 spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to get the bonus. Each card has its own guidelines, so make sure to look up the details. From there it’s all about building up miles and then using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your ideas?
Once you’ve accumulated your points balance, it’s time to cash them in for some sweet getaway! Different credit card providers will have different methods for redeeming your rewards, here are a few examples from some of the ones I’ve had experience with:
Take a trip by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of a Chase cards, you are able to redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within this portal you’ll have access to virtually every airline, and you can make use of a combination of the points as well as cash in order to book your trip. You can even book completely with points if you’ve the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you don’t possess enough points for the entire cost, you still can buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using the credit card of your choice.
Are you tired of paying full price for flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United You have the option of paying with either points or dollars? Butbe aware in case you don’t have enough points you aren’t able to combine points and dollars for one flight. If you’re a few points short, United gives you the option of buying additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience with extra legroom as well as free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines that allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue points or dollars but not both. But, JetBlue has a unique feature that allows you to combine your points with your relatives to earn points twice as quickly. Just make sure you can 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 thrifty and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to reach the minimum amount required to earn credit card bonuses. Don’t worry because we’ve been there and are here to share some of our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able to pay your rent with a credit card, do it! Make sure you pay a cost, which is usually at least 3%. It could be worthwhile in the end when the bonus is large enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another way to reach the spending limit is to cover an medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills in the near future, ask your family members to pay their medical bills and they can pay you back.
Repay a loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan take into consideration making payments on them with your credit card. Be sure to pay off the balance on your credit card completely 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 big expenses coming up which you could help pay for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to have confidence in the person you are talking to and they understand why you’re doing it.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season you should consider purchasing all your gifts with cards from your credit account. So you’ll be able to hit that minimum spend and also be prepared for giving gifts. Be sure to avoid spending more than you were thinking of.
There are plenty of methods to get the most out of the travel credit card and accrue points or miles to spend on the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few more ideas for maximizing the rewards you earn:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a vacation, make use of your travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as any other travel-related expenses. Not only will you achieve the minimum amount of spending required to qualify for a credit card reward and earn points, however, you’ll also earn points or miles on these expenses.
Use your credit card to pay for your everyday expenses
Another method to reach the minimum amount of spending to earn rewards is by using your credit card to pay for daily costs. This could be items like groceries, gas, and even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay off the balance each month in full so you don’t pay interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or points in exchange for specific types of purchases, such as eating out or travelling. Check out your rewards program on your credit card and make use of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending habits.
Think about a balance transfer
If you’re in the middle of a outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, consider transferring 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 simultaneously help you hit the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus.
Utilize your miles and points wisely
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points make sure you use the points or miles wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card, and evaluate the value of different redemption options. For instance, using points to book a flight directly through the airline may offer better value than using them for an gift card.
Another tip is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer your reward points into other loyalty programmes. This allows you to enjoy a greater variety of options and greater freedom when it comes to making use of your rewards. For instance, you might be eligible to transfer your rewards to the frequent flyer program of an airline or a reward program for hotels. This gives the benefit of a larger variety of hotels, flights and other travel benefits that may not be accessible through your credit card’s rewards program.
Also, discover the card’s benefits. some perks that could reduce your travel expenses. Many cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that can be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
When you travel with a companion each of you will be able to get rewards on your credit card. Make sure you don’t split the cost on the same card. Also, make sure to track your rewards separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do to maximizing your rewards for travel is to be aware of your credit card’s rewards program and ensure that you’re using your credit card in the most efficient method. Utilizing a combination of the methods I’ve described in this article, you’ll be able get rewards in a short time, use them for travel experiences that are worth it and benefit from a wide range of travel perks.