Are you tired of paying an enormous amount on flights? Well, good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting method to convert credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles that can then be used to obtain discounted or complimentary flights for your dream destinations. With a little bit of creativity and some insider information, you’ll fly for no cost in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of trading credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. These miles can then be used to pay for cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards permit you to use miles towards hotel stays or car rental deals.
How Does it Work?
The secret to successful hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and building out a frequent flyer mile program on a select group of airlines. When it comes time to book a flight, evaluate the cost. If the flight is less than $300, it’s usually better to pay cash and save your miles to book a higher-priced flight. When the flights start getting higher than $500, it’s best to look into the frequent flyer account to see which airline can give you the best price. It all comes down to the number of points or miles you have you have in your travel savings account for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to hacking travel? First step opening the credit card that comes with a sign-up offer. There are many great credit cards that provide various benefits and features. It is all dependent on the 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 great 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 have to meet the limit of spending minimum in order to qualify for the bonus. Every card has different rules, so make certain to verify this information. Then, it’s all about racking up miles, and using them to plan your dream vacation!
Ready to jet-set with your goals?
Now that you’ve built up the points balance, you’re ready to use them towards nice vacation! Different credit card companies offer different ways to redeem your rewards, here are some examples from a few of the companies I have experience with:
Escape with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own a Chase cards, you are able to redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within this portal you’ll get access to virtually every airline and you can combine points and cash to book your travel. You can book your flight entirely with points if you’ve the balance for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t possess enough points for the full cost, you are able to book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using the credit card of your choice.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for your flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United, you have the option to pay with either points or dollars? Butbe aware in case you don’t have enough points, you cannot combine dollars and points for one flight. No worries though, if you’re just a few points away, United provides the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides a comfortable and enjoyable travel experience that includes extra legroom and free snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to United’s that allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue either dollars or points, however, not both. However, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that lets you combine your points with your relatives to earn points twice as fast. Be sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel companion Becca I’m sure you’re pretty thrifty and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to hit the required amount to qualify for the credit card bonus. But don’t fret as we’ve done it and we’re 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 pay a cost, which is usually at least 3 percent. It might be worth it in the long run in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another way to reach the minimum spend is to cover a medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses in the near future Ask your family members if you can pay their medical bills and they’ll repay you.
Repay a loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan you owe, think about making payments on them with your credit card. Be sure to pay off the balance on your credit card completely so that you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask family for help
Discuss your family with them and see if they have any big expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to have confidence in the person you are talking to and they understand why you’re doing this.
If it’s the holiday season, consider buying all your gifts using your credit card. This way you can meet the minimum spending limit and also be ready for giving gifts. Make sure that you’re not paying more than you already contemplating to.
There are many methods to get the most from using your credit or debit card for travel and accrue points or miles to be used towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few more suggestions for maximising your rewards
Book travel expenses with your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a vacation, make use of you travel credit card for booking your hotel, flight, rental car, and any other travel-related expenses. Not only will you achieve the minimum amount of spending required to qualify for a credit card bonus as well, but you’ll also earn points or miles on those expenses.
Make use of your credit card to pay for all your daily expenses
Another way to hit the minimum spend to earn rewards is by making use of your credit card to pay for daily expenses. This could include things like gas, groceries or even your phone bill. Be sure to pay the balance off in full each month so you don’t accumulate interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or points in exchange for specific types of purchases, such as dining or travel. Be sure to review your credit card’s rewards program and make use of any bonus categories that match with your spending habits.
Take into consideration a balance transfer
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer that balance to a travel credit card with a 0% introductory APR for balance transfers. This will let you pay off your debts without accruing interest, and also aid in achieving the minimum amount required to earn the credit card’s bonus.
Make use of your miles or points prudently
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of points or miles Make sure to utilize them wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card, and evaluate the value of different redemption options. For example you can use your points to purchase a flight directly with the airline might offer better value than using them to purchase a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer your reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will allow you to get a wider selection of options and greater flexibility in 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 hotel rewards program. This can give you access to a larger variety of hotels, flights and other travel benefits that may not be accessible through the rewards program on your credit card.
Also, discover the card’s benefits. some perks that could reduce your travel costs. Many cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection and other benefits that could be invaluable when you travel.
When you travel with a friend each of you will be able to earn rewards using your credit card. Make sure you don’t share the costs on the same card. Also, make sure you keep track of your rewards separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do to maximizing your travel rewards is to know the rewards program on your credit card and make sure you’re making use of it in the most efficient way possible. By using an array of strategies I’ve listed in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards quickly, redeem rewards for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad range of travel perks.