Are you fed up of spending an enormous amount on flights? Well, good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting way to convert credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles that can then be used to score discounted or complimentary flights for your desired destinations. With a little creativity and some insider information, you’ll travel for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. These miles can then be used to pay for discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards permit you to use miles towards hotel stays or car rental deals.
How Does it Work?
The key to success in hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and to establish frequent flyer miles with a limited number of airlines. When it comes time to book a flight consider the cost. If the price is less than $300, it’s best to pay 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 and see which airline can give you the most value. It all comes down to the number of points or miles you have you have in your travel savings account for each airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets of travel hacking? The first step is opening the credit card that comes that comes with a welcome bonus. There are many great credit cards that offer many advantages and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, your spending habits, and what features are important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards great for travel hacking:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
After you’ve been accepted for a credit card you’ll have to meet the minimum spend limit in order to receive the bonus. Every card has different guidelines, so make sure to look up the details. From there you can begin to rack up miles, and using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your ideas?
Once you’ve accumulated the points balance, you’re ready to redeem them for some sweet vacation! Different credit card providers will offer different ways to redeem your points. Here are a few examples from some of the providers I’ve worked with:
Getaway with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have an Chase credit card, then you are able to redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through this portal you’ll have access to nearly every airline, and you can make use of a combination of money and points to book your next trip. You can even book entirely on points if you have 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 flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option of paying with either points or dollars? Butbe aware that if you don’t have enough points, you aren’t able to combine dollars and points for one flight. No worries though, if you’re just a few point short United also offers the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue offers a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience , with more legroom and free snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to United’s, allowing passengers to book flights using JetBlue dollar or points however, not both. However, JetBlue has a unique feature where you can combine your points with family members to accrue points twice as quickly. Just make sure you can establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack into the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel buddy Becca You’re probably quite thrifty and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to hit the minimum spend for a credit card bonus. Don’t worry as we’ve done it and are here to share our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able to pay your rent using credit card, then do it! Just be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually at least 3 percent. It may be worth it in the end in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another great way to hit the spending limit is to pay for an medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills due Ask your relatives if you could pay for theirs and they will repay you.
Pay off a loan
If you’re a borrower, consider repaying them using your credit card. Just make sure you pay the credit card balance completely so that you don’t accumulate additional debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Discuss your family with them and determine if they’ve got any large expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to trust the person and they are aware of the reason for taking the initiative.
If it’s the holiday season take into consideration buying all your gifts using cards from your credit account. In this way, you’ll reach the minimum spending requirement and also be prepared for gift giving. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you were already thinking of.
There are a lot of ways to get the most of using your credit or debit card for travel and earn miles or points to spend on airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are some additional ways to maximize your rewards
Book travel expenses with your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, make use of your travel credit card to book your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as other travel costs. In addition, you’ll be able to hit the required amount to earn your credit card as well, but you’ll also be earning points or miles on those expenditures.
Make use of your credit card to pay for all your daily expenses
Another method to reach the minimum spend to earn rewards is by using your credit card for everyday expenditures. This can include items like groceries, gas and even your telephone bill. Just make sure to pay the balance off in full each month so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Take advantage of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or points in exchange for certain types of purchases, including dining or travel. Make sure you review your credit card’s rewards program and make use of any bonus categories that align with your spending habits.
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 the travel credit card which has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will let you pay off your debts without accruing interest and simultaneously help you hit the minimum spending requirement for the credit card bonus.
Use your points or miles prudently
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of points or miles make sure you use them in a responsible manner. Examine the rewards program of your credit card, and evaluate the worth of various redemption options. For example, using your points to book a flight directly with the airline might offer better return than using them for a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer your points to other loyalty programs. This allows you to have a wider range of options and greater flexibility in you want to redeem your rewards. For instance, you might be capable of transferring your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a hotel rewards program. This can give an access wider variety of hotels, flights, and other travel perks which are not accessible through your credit card’s rewards program.
Additionally, try to find out whether your credit card has certain benefits that will help you save money on travel costs. Some cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that are very beneficial when traveling.
When you travel with a companion and both of you earn rewards with your own credit card. Make sure you don’t share the costs on the same card and make sure to track the rewards you earn 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 making use of it in the most efficient method. Utilizing an array of methods I’ve described, you’ll be able to earn rewards quickly, redeem them for travel experiences that are worth it and benefit from a wide variety of travel benefits.