Are you fed up of spending an enormous amount on flights? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s a fun way to convert credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles which can be used to score discounted or free flights to your ideal destinations. With a little creativity and some insider know-how, you’ll fly for no cost within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about swapping credit card sign-up bonus as well as incentives to earn airline miles. The miles can be used to buy discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards let you redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or car rental deals.
How Does it Work?
The key to successful hacking travel is taking advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and establishing frequent flyer miles on a select group of airlines. When it comes time to make a booking consider the cost. If the price is under $300, it’s usually better to pay in cash and save your miles for a more expensive flight. If your flights begin to climb above $500, you’ll want to check the frequent flyer account and find out which airline will give you the most value. All it boils down to is the number of points or miles in your travel account for each airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets of travel hacking? Your first task is to open an account that comes with a welcome bonus. There are many great credit cards that offer many benefits and features. It is all dependent on the airline, your habits with spending and what features are important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit card options that can be excellent to hack travel
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
After you’ve been accepted for a credit or debit card, you’ll need to reach the limit of spending minimum in order to get the bonus. Every card has different guidelines, so make certain to verify the details. Then you can begin to rack up miles, and then using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to set sail with your points?
Now that you’ve built up the points balance, you’re ready to use them towards sweet getaway! Different credit card companies have different methods of redeeming your points, but here are some examples from a few of the providers I’ve worked with:
Getaway with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of a Chase credit card, then you are able to redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through it, you’ll have access to almost every airline. You can use a combination of points and cash to pay for your next trip. You can even book completely with points if you’ve the balance for it! 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 in cash with every credit card.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option of paying with either points or dollars? But, be careful, if you don’t have enough points you aren’t able to combine dollars and points on one flight. No worries though, if you’re a few points away, United also offers the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue provides passengers a relaxing and pleasant travel experience that includes extra legroom as well as free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines, allowing you to book with either JetBlue points or dollars however, not both. The difference is that JetBlue offers a distinct feature that allows you to join your points with your family members and earn points twice as fast. Be sure to 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 quite economical and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum amount required to earn a credit card bonus. But don’t fret as we’ve done it and we’re here to share our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able pay your rent with a credit card, do it! Make sure you be charged a fee, typically around 3 percent. It might be worth it over the long term if the bonus is high enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another way to reach the spending limit is to cover a medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills in the near future Ask your family members to pay them for theirs, and they will repay you.
Pay off the loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan take into consideration making payments on them with an credit card. Make sure to pay off the balance on your credit card completely so that you don’t accrue additional debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Ask your family members to look into any big expenses coming up which you could help pay for. Just make sure you are able to trust the person and that they understand why you’re doing it.
If you’re celebrating the holidays take into consideration buying all your gifts with the credit card you have. This way you can reach the minimum spending requirement and also be prepared for giving gifts. Be sure to avoid paying more than you planning to.
There are plenty of ways to get the most from your travel credit card. accrue points or miles to be used towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are some additional ways to maximize the rewards you earn:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, use you travel credit card for booking your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as any other travel expenses. You’ll not only be able to hit the minimum spend for your credit card bonus and earn points, but you’ll also be earning points or miles on the expenses.
Make use of your credit card to pay for all your daily expenditures
Another way to hit the minimum spend and earn points is by using your credit card for daily expenses. This could be things like gas, groceries or even your phone bill. Make sure you pay off the balance in full each month so you don’t pay interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or points in exchange on certain kinds of purchases, like eating out or traveling. Check out the rewards program of your credit card and take advantage of any bonus categories that align with your spending routines.
Consider a balance transfer
If you are currently in outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, think about transferring that balance onto a travel credit card with a 0% introductory APR for balance transfer. This will enable you to pay off your debts without accruing interest and simultaneously aid in achieving the minimum spend for the credit card’s bonus.
Utilize your miles and points wisely
If you’ve amassed a large amount of points or miles Make sure to utilize the points or miles wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card and then compare the benefits of different redemption options. For example, using points to book a ticket directly with the airline might offer better return than using them for an gift card.
Another tip is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer your rewards to different loyalty program. This will allow you to have a wider range of choices and more freedom when it comes to making use of your rewards. For instance, you might be able to transfer your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a Hotel rewards programme. This will give the benefit of a larger selection of hotels, flights and other travel benefits that may not be accessible through the rewards program on your credit card.
Additionally, try to discover whether your credit card has any perks that can save you money on travel-related costs. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection, and other benefits that are invaluable when you travel.
When you travel with someone else, both of you can earn rewards using your credit card. Be aware that you cannot divide the cost with the same card, and be sure to track your rewards separately.
Overall, the key to maximizing your travel rewards is to know your credit card’s rewards program and ensure that you’re using this program in the most effective way possible. Utilizing all of the strategies I’ve listed, you’ll be able to earn rewards fast, exchange them for travel experiences that are worth it and take advantage of a broad assortment of travel-related perks.