Are you fed up of spending an enormous amount on flights? Good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting method to convert credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles which you can use to get discounted or even complimentary flights for your desired destinations. With a little imagination and a little bit of insider information, you’ll be jet-setting for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about swapping credit card sign-up bonus and rewards for airline miles. These miles can later be used to purchase discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards permit you to use miles to pay for hotel stays or rental car deals.
How Does it Work?
The secret to success in travel hacking is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and to establish frequent flyer miles for a specific group of airlines. When it’s time to make a booking, evaluate the cost. If the flight is under $300, it’s generally better to pay in cash and save your miles for a more expensive flight. If the prices start to rise higher than $500, it’s best to look into those frequent flyer accounts to find out which airline will give you the best price. All it boils down to is the number of points or miles you have in your travel savings account for every airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets of travel hacking? First step opening the credit card that comes with a sign-up offer. There are plenty of great credit cards that provide a variety of benefits and features. It is all dependent on the airline, spending habits and the features that are most crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit card options that can be perfect to hack travel
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
If you’ve been approved for a credit or debit card, you’ll need to hit the minimum spend limit in order to receive the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so be certain to verify this information. Then, it’s all about racking up miles, and using them to plan your dream trip!
Ready to jet-set with your goals?
Now that you’ve built up your points balance, it’s time to redeem them for some delicious travel! Different credit card providers will have different methods of redeeming your points. Here are a few examples from some of the ones I’ve had experience with:
Take a trip through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you own a Chase card, you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through the portal, you’ll have access to almost every airline and you can use a combination of the points as well as cash in order to book your travel. You can even book entirely using points if you’ve got the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for full cost, you still can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using the credit card of your choice.
Are you fed up of paying full price for flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United You have the option to pay with either points or dollars? Be careful in case you don’t have enough points you aren’t able to combine points and dollars on one flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re only a couple of points away, United provides the option of buying additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides passengers a relaxing and pleasant travel experience that includes extra legroom as well as free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to that of United Airlines, allowing you to book with either JetBlue dollar or points, but not both. However, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that allows you to pool your points together with your relatives to earn points twice as quickly. Be sure to prove you’re really family 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 economical and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum amount required to earn a credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried because we’ve been there and we’re 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 using a credit card, do it! Just be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually around 3 percent. It may be worth it over the long term in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another great way to hit the spending limit is to cover an medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills coming up Ask your family members if you can pay their medical bills and they can repay you.
Pay off a loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan you owe, think about repaying them using the credit card you have. Be sure to pay off the credit card balance completely so that you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Discuss your family with them and look into any major expenses in the near future which you could help pay for. Make sure that you are able to are able to trust the person and that they understand why you’re doing it.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season take into consideration buying all your gifts with the credit card you have. In this way, you’ll meet the minimum spending limit and be ready to give gifts. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you were already contemplating to.
There are a lot of ways to get the most out of your travel credit card. accrue points or miles to be used towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few more suggestions for maximising your rewards
Book travel expenses with your credit card
When you’re planning your next vacation, make use of your travel credit card to book your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as any other travel expenses. Not only will you achieve the required amount to earn your credit card reward and earn points, but you’ll also earn points or miles for these expenditures.
Utilize your credit card to pay for everyday expenses
Another way to hit the minimum spending requirement and earn points is making use of your credit card to pay daily expenditures. This could be things like food, gas or even your phone bill. Make sure you 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 specific types of purchases, including eating out or travelling. Make sure you review your credit card’s rewards program and take advantage of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending habits.
Think about the possibility of transferring your balance
If you have existing debt on a high-interest credit card, consider transferring that balance onto an account with a travel credit card that has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfer. This will let you pay off your debts without accruing interest. It will also aid in achieving 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 make sure you use them wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and then compare the worth of various redemption options. For example, using points to book a ticket directly through the airline may offer better return than using them for an gift card.
Another suggestion is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer your points to other loyalty programs. This will allow you to have a wider range of options and greater flexibility in redeeming your rewards. For instance, you might be able to transfer your rewards to the frequent flyer program of an airline or reward program for hotels. This will give you access to a wider range of flights, hotels, and other travel perks that aren’t offered through the rewards program of your credit card.
Also, determine if your credit card offers certain benefits that will reduce your travel expenses. Many cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that can be very beneficial when traveling.
If you’re traveling with a companion, both of you can get rewards on your own credit card. Be aware that you cannot split the cost on the same card, and be sure to keep track of your rewards separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to understand your credit card’s rewards program and make sure you’re making use of it in the most effective method. Through an array of strategies I’ve listed in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards fast, exchange them for travel experiences that are worth it and take advantage of a broad range of travel perks.