Are you fed up of spending an enormous amount on flights? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting method to convert sign-up bonuses and incentives into miles which you can use to get discounted or even complimentary flights for your dream destinations. With a little imagination and a little bit of insider knowledge, you can be jet-setting for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of swapping credit card sign-up bonus and incentives for airline miles. These miles can later be used to pay for discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards let you redeem miles towards hotel stays or rental car deals.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for success in hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and establishing frequent flyer miles with a limited number of airlines. When you are ready to make a booking take a look at the price. If the cost is less than $300, it’s best 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 check your frequent flyer accounts and find out which airline will give you the best deal. All it boils down to is the amount of points or miles you have you have in your travel savings account for each airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets of travel hacking? The first step is opening a credit card with a sign-up offer. There are many great credit cards with various advantages and features. It depends on the type of airline, your habits with spending and what features are important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit card options that can be excellent to hack travel
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
Once you’ve been approved for a credit or debit card, you’ll need to reach the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to get the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of guidelines, so make sure to look up this information. Then, it’s all about racking up miles and then using them to book your dream vacation!
Ready to jet-set with your goals?
Now that you’ve built up the points balance, you’re ready to redeem them for some delicious travel! Different credit card companies have different methods for redeeming your rewards, here are some examples from a few of the companies I’ve had experience with:
Take a trip with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have a Chase credit card, then you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In it, you’ll have access to almost every airline and you can combine money and points to book your trip. You can even book entirely on points if you have enough balance! Sometimes even if you don’t possess enough points for the entire price, you can buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using the credit card of your choice.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United You have the option of paying using dollars or points? Be careful, if you don’t have enough points, you can’t combine points and dollars on flights. Don’t worry, though, if you’re a few points away, United also offers the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience with extra legroom as well as free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is like United’s, allowing you to book with either JetBlue points or dollars, but not both. But, JetBlue has a unique feature where you can combine your points with family members to accrue points twice as fast. Be sure to establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me or my travel companion Becca You’re probably quite economical and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to reach the minimum spend for the credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried as we’ve done it 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 pay your rent using credit card, then do it! Be prepared to be charged a fee, typically around 3 percent. It may be worth it in the long run when the bonus is large enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another great way to hit the required spending is to cover the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills due Ask your family members to pay their medical bills and they’ll pay you back.
Repay a loan
If you have any loans, consider making payments on them with an 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 major expenses in the near future that you can help pay for. Just make sure you trust the person and they know why you’re taking the initiative.
If it’s the holiday season, consider buying all your gifts using the credit card you have. This way you can hit that minimum spend and be ready for giving gifts. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you were already contemplating to.
There are many ways to get the most of your travel credit card. You can accrue points or miles to use towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few additional ideas for maximizing the rewards you earn:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a vacation, make use of the travel credit card to pay for your hotel, flight, rental car, and any other travel expenses. You’ll not only achieve the required amount for your credit card bonus as well, but you’ll also earn points or miles on these expenditures.
Utilize your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday expenses
Another way to hit the minimum spend to earn rewards is making use of your credit card for daily expenditures. This could be things like food, gas, and even your phone bill. Be sure to pay off the balance in full each month so you don’t accumulate interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide bonus points or miles on certain kinds of purchases, like eating out or travelling. Make sure you review your rewards program on your credit card and make use of any bonus categories that align with your spending routines.
Take into consideration the possibility of transferring your balance
If you are currently in outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, think about transferring the balance to a travel credit card with an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will enable you to pay off the debt without accruing interest, and also assist you in reaching the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus.
Use your points or miles wisely
If you’ve amassed a large amount of miles or points, be sure to use them in a responsible manner. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and compare the value of different redemption options. For example, using points to book a flight directly with the airline might give you a better value than using them for a gift card.
Another option is to get a rewards card that allows you to transfer reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will let you enjoy a greater variety of options and greater flexibility in making use of your rewards. For instance, you might be capable of transferring your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a reward program for hotels. This can give the benefit of a greater range of flights, hotels as well as other travel perks which are not available through the rewards program on your credit card.
In addition, you should determine if your credit card offers any perks that can reduce your travel costs. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that could be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
When you travel with a friend each of you will be able to get rewards on your own credit card. Make sure you don’t split the cost on the same card and make sure to track your rewards in a separate manner.
In the end, the most important thing to do to making the most of your travel rewards is to know the rewards program of your credit card and ensure that you’re using your credit card in the most effective method. By using a combination of the strategies I’ve outlined that you can get rewards in a short time, use rewards for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad assortment of travel-related perks.