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 a fun way to convert credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles, that can then be used to get discounted or even free flights to your ideal destinations. With a little bit of imagination and a little bit of insider know-how, you’ll be jet-setting for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of trading credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. The miles can be used to buy discount or no-cost flights. Some credit cards also permit you to use miles for hotel stays and rental car deals.
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 with a limited number of airlines. When it’s time to make a booking consider the cost. If the price is less than $300, it’s best to pay in cash and use your miles to pay for a more expensive flight. When the flights start getting over $500, you’ll need to review those frequent flyer accounts and determine which airline offers you the best deal. All it boils down to is the amount of miles or points in your travel account for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to travel hacking? First step to open the credit card that comes with a sign-up offer. There are plenty of great credit cards that offer many features and benefits. It all depends on your preferred airline, spending habits and the features that are most important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards that are 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 reach the limit of spending minimum in order to qualify for the bonus. Every card has different guidelines, so make sure to check for this information. Then it’s all about building up miles and using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your points?
Once you’ve accumulated your points amount, it’s time to use them towards delicious getaway! Different credit card companies offer different ways to redeem your points, but here are a few examples from some of the companies I have experience with:
Escape by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own a Chase cards, you can redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. In this portal you’ll have access to almost every airline. You can use a combination of the points as well as cash in order to book your trip. You can even book entirely on points if you have the balance for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t have enough points to cover the entire price, you can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using the credit card of your choice.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United, you have the option of paying using either points or dollars? Be careful, if you don’t have enough points you can’t combine dollars and points for the same flight. No worries though, if you’re only a couple of point short United provides the option of buying additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue offers an enjoyable and comfortable travel experience that includes extra legroom as well as free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to United’s which allows you to book with either JetBlue dollar or points, however, not both. However, JetBlue offers a distinct feature where you can pool your points together with your relatives to earn points twice as quickly. Make sure to establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack into 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 economical and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus. Don’t worry as we’ve done it and are here to share some of our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able to pay your rent with credit card, then do it! Be prepared to be charged a fee, typically about 3%. 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 minimum spend 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 pay you back.
Repay the loan
If you’re a borrower take into consideration making payments on them with your credit card. Just make sure you pay off the credit card balance completely so that you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Talk to your family and see if they have any big expenses coming up which you could help pay for. Just make sure you trust the person and they know why you’re doing it.
If it’s the holiday season you should consider purchasing all your gifts using cards from your credit account. This way you can reach the minimum spending requirement and also be ready to give gifts. Make sure that you’re not paying more than you already contemplating to.
There are many methods to get the most out of the travel credit card. You can earn miles or points to spend on airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are some additional ways to maximize the rewards you earn:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, use the travel credit card to pay for your hotel, flight, rental car, and any other travel-related expenses. You’ll not only achieve the required amount for your credit card, but you’ll also earn points or miles for the expenses.
Utilize your credit card to pay for everyday expenses
Another way to meet the minimum amount of spending in order to accumulate points utilising your credit cards for every day expenditures. This could include things like food, gas and even your telephone bill. Be sure to pay off the balance in full every month to ensure you don’t accumulate interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer bonus points or miles for certain types of purchases, such as eating out or travelling. Make sure you review the rewards program of your credit card and make use of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending routines.
Take into consideration the possibility of transferring your balance
If you have existing debt on a high-interest credit card, think about transferring that balance to a travel credit card with a 0% introductory APR for balance transfers. This will let you pay off your debt without accruing interest and simultaneously assist you in reaching the minimum spending requirement for the credit card bonus.
Utilize your miles and points prudently
If you’ve amassed a large 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 ticket directly through the airline may provide you with a greater value than using them for a gift card.
Another tip is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer points to other loyalty programs. This will allow you to have a wider range of options and greater flexibility in making use of your rewards. For example, you may be capable of transferring your reward to the frequent flyer program of an airline or Hotel rewards programme. This will give an access larger variety of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks that may not be offered through the rewards program on your credit card.
In addition, you should determine if your credit card offers some perks that could reduce your travel costs. Many cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection, and other benefits that can be invaluable when you travel.
If you’re traveling with someone else each of you will be able to earn rewards with your credit card. Be aware that you cannot split the cost on the same card, and be sure to track your rewards in a separate manner.
Overall, the key to maximizing your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program on your credit card and ensure that you’re using this program in the most effective method possible. Utilizing a combination of the strategies I’ve listed, you’ll be able to earn rewards quickly, redeem them for travel experiences that are worth it and benefit from a wide assortment of travel-related perks.