Are you tired of spending an enormous amount on flights? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s a fun 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 ideal destinations. With a little imagination and a little bit of insider information, you’ll fly for no cost in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. The miles can be used to buy cheap or free flight tickets. Some credit cards also let you redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or rental car deals.
How Does it Work?
The key to successful travel hacking is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and establishing frequent flyer miles for a specific group of airlines. When it comes time to book a flight take a look at the price. If the flight is less than $300, it’s generally better to pay in cash and save your miles to book a higher-priced flight. When the flights start getting over $500, you’ll need to review those frequent flyer accounts to see which airline can give you the best price. It all comes down to the number of points or miles you have in your travel 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 that comes with a welcome bonus. There are many great credit cards that offer various features and benefits. 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 some credit card options that can be excellent to use for hacking 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 qualify for the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so be certain to verify the details. Then you can begin to rack 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 amount, it’s time to cash them in for some sweet vacation! Different credit card companies will have different methods of redeeming your points, but here are some examples from some of the ones I’ve had experience with:
Take a trip with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own an Chase cards, you are able to redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within the portal, you’ll get access to virtually every airline, and you can combine the points as well as cash in order to book your next trip. You can even book completely on points if you have enough balance! Sometimes, even if you don’t have enough points to cover the full price, you can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with any credit card.
Are you fed up of paying full price for flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United You have the option of paying using dollars or points? But, be careful that if you don’t have enough points you cannot combine points and dollars on flights. Don’t worry, though, if you’re a few point short United also offers the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue offers passengers a relaxing and pleasant travel experience that includes extra legroom as well as free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to United’s which allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue dollar or points however, not both. The difference is that JetBlue offers a distinct feature that lets you join your points with family members to accrue points twice as fast. Make sure to establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re anything like me and my travel companion Becca You’re probably quite economical and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the required amount to qualify for credit card bonuses. However, don’t be worried as we’ve done it and are here to share some of our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able to pay for your rent with credit card, then do it! Be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually about 3 percent. It may be worth it in the long run if the bonus is high enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another great way to hit the minimum spend is to pay for a medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills in the near future, ask your relatives if you could pay them for theirs, and they’ll reimburse you.
Make a payment to pay off the loan
If you have any loans take into consideration paying them off with an credit card. Be sure to pay off the credit card balance in full so you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Discuss your family with them and see if they have any big expenses coming up which you could help pay for. Just make sure you are able to trust the person and that they are aware of the reason for doing this.
If you’re celebrating the holidays you should consider purchasing all your gifts with cards from your credit account. This way you can meet the minimum spending limit and also be prepared to give gifts. Be sure to avoid spending more than you already thinking of.
There are many ways to make the most from your travel credit card. You can accumulate miles or points that you can spend on airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few more suggestions for maximising your rewards
Book travel expenses with your credit card
If you’re planning a vacation, make use of your travel credit card for booking your hotel, flight, rental car, and any other travel-related expenses. In addition, you’ll be able to meet the minimum amount of spending required to qualify for a credit card reward, however, you’ll also earn points or miles to cover the costs.
Utilize your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday expenditures
Another method to reach the minimum spend to earn rewards is by utilising your credit cards for every day expenses. This can include things like gas, groceries, and even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay the balance off in full each month so you don’t accumulate interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or bonus points for specific types of purchases, like dining or travel. Check out your rewards program on your credit card and avail any bonus categories that align with your spending habits.
Consider the possibility of transferring your balance
If you have existing debt on a credit card, consider transferring that balance onto an account with a travel credit card that has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfers. This will enable you to pay off your debt without accruing interest. It will also help you hit the minimum spending requirement for the credit card’s bonus.
Make use of your miles or points prudently
If you’ve amassed a large amount of points or miles make sure you use them wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card, and evaluate the benefits of different redemption options. For example you can use your points to purchase a flight directly through the airline may offer better value than using them for an gift card.
Another option is to get rewards cards that allow you to transfer reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will let you get a wider selection of choices and more freedom when it comes to you want to redeem your rewards. For example, you may be capable of transferring your reward to the frequent flyer program of an airline or a Hotel rewards programme. This will give the benefit of a greater variety of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks which are not offered through your credit card’s rewards program.
In addition, you should determine if your credit card offers some perks that could save you money on travel-related costs. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that could be invaluable when you travel.
When you travel with someone else each of you will be able to get rewards on your own credit card. Just remember that you can’t split the cost on the same card. Also, make sure to track the rewards you earn separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do to maximizing your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program on your credit card and ensure that you’re using your credit card in the most efficient method. Utilizing a combination of the strategies I’ve listed in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards fast, exchange them for travel experiences that are worth it, and enjoy a wide range of travel perks.