Are you fed up of spending an enormous amount on flights? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting method to convert credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into miles that can then be used to score discounted or cheap flights from your ideal destinations. With a little creativity and some insider information, you’ll be jet-setting for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about trading credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. These miles can then be used to purchase discount or no-cost flights. Some credit cards also permit you to use miles to pay for hotel stays or rental car offers.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for successful hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and to establish a frequent flyer mile program for a specific group of airlines. When it comes time to make a booking, evaluate the cost. If the price is less than $300, it’s usually better to pay cash and save your miles to book a higher-priced flight. If your flights begin to climb over $500, you’ll need to check your frequent flyer accounts and determine which airline offers you the best deal. All it boils down to is the number of points or miles you have in your travel account for every airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets of travel hacking? First step to open an account with a sign-up offer. There are many great credit cards that offer many benefits and features. It depends on the type of airline, your spending habits, and the features that are most important 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
Once you’ve been approved for a credit card you’ll have to meet the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to receive the bonus. Each card has its own guidelines, so make certain to verify this information. Then you can begin to rack up miles, and then using them to book your dream trip!
Ready to jet-set with your goals?
Now that you’ve built up the points balance, you’re ready to redeem them for some sweet getaway! Different credit card companies will have different methods of redeeming your rewards, here are some examples from some of the companies I’ve worked with:
Take a trip through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you own a Chase card, you are able to use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In it, you’ll get access to almost every airline, and you can use a combination of the points as well as cash in order to pay for your travel. You can book your flight entirely with points if you’ve the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you don’t have enough points to cover the total cost, you still can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using the credit card of your choice.
Are you tired of paying full price for your flight tickets? Did you realize that when booking directly through United you can choose the option of paying with dollars or points? Be careful in case you don’t have enough points, you can’t combine dollars and points for one flight. If you’re just a few point short United also offers the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience , with more legroom and free snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines, allowing passengers to book flights using JetBlue dollar or points, but not both. However, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature where you can combine your points with family members to accrue points twice as quickly. Just make sure you can prove you’re really family before trying to hack into the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re anything like me and my travel buddy Becca, you’re probably pretty thrifty and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the required amount to qualify for a credit card bonus. But don’t fret as we’ve done it and we’re 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 with a credit card, do it! Be prepared to pay a fee, usually around 3%. It may be worth it over the long term when the bonus is large enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another way to reach the required spending is to cover an medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills coming up Ask your family members to pay them for theirs, and they’ll pay you back.
Pay off a loan
If you have any loans, consider paying them off with the credit card you have. Be sure to pay off the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Talk to your family and look into any large expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Make sure that you are able to trust the person and they know why you’re doing it.
If it’s the holiday season, consider buying all your gifts using the credit card you have. In this way, you’ll hit that minimum spend and also be ready for gift giving. Be sure to avoid spending more than you were planning to.
There are a lot of ways to get the most out of using your credit or debit card for travel. earn miles or points to spend on the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few more suggestions for maximising the rewards you earn:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, make use of you travel credit card for booking your hotel, flight, rental car, and any other travel expenses. You’ll not only achieve the required amount to earn your credit card bonus, but you’ll also earn points or miles for those expenses.
Use your credit card for everyday expenditures
Another method to reach the minimum spending requirement in order to accumulate points by utilising your credit cards for every day costs. This could include things like food, gas and even your telephone bill. Be sure to pay the balance off in full each month so you don’t accumulate interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer bonus points or miles for specific types of purchases, including eating out or traveling. Make sure you review the rewards program of your credit card and take advantage of any bonus categories that align with your spending habits.
Consider a balance transfer
If you have existing debt on a high-interest credit card, think about transferring the balance to a travel credit card with a 0% introductory APR for balance transfers. This will allow you to pay off the debt without accruing interest, and also aid in achieving the minimum spending requirement for the credit card’s bonus.
Make use of your miles or points wisely
If you’ve amassed a large amount of miles or points, be sure to use them in a responsible manner. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and compare the worth of various redemption options. For instance you can use your points to book a ticket directly with the airline might offer better return than using them for a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will let you get a wider selection of options and greater freedom when it comes to making use of your rewards. For example, you may be able to transfer your rewards to the frequent flyer program of an airline or Hotel rewards programme. This can give an access wider selection of hotels, flights and other travel benefits which are not available through the rewards program of your credit card.
Also, find out whether your credit card has any perks that can save you money on travel-related expenses. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that can be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
If you’re traveling with someone else and both of you get rewards on your credit card. Be aware that you cannot share the costs on the same card. Also, make sure to track your rewards separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do to reaping the maximum benefits from your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program of your credit card and make sure you’re using it in the most effective method. Utilizing an array of strategies I’ve listed that you can earn rewards quickly, redeem rewards for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide variety of travel benefits.