Are you fed up of spending an enormous amount on flights? Well, good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s a fun way to convert welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles, which can be used to score discounted or complimentary flights for your dream destinations. With a little bit of creativity and some insider know-how, you’ll travel for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about swapping credit card sign-up bonus and incentives for airline miles. The miles can be used to buy discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards permit you to use miles towards hotel stays or rental car discounts.
How Does it Work?
The secret to successful hacking travel is taking advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and building out frequent flyer miles for a specific group of airlines. When you are ready to book a flight, evaluate the cost. 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 look into the frequent flyer account to find out which airline will give you the best price. All it boils down to is the number of miles or points in your travel account for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets of travel hacking? The first step is to open an account that comes with a welcome bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards with various features and benefits. It depends on the type of airline, your spending habits, and what features are crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards that are great 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 need to reach the limit of spending minimum in order to get the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so make certain to verify the details. Then you can begin to rack up miles, and using them to plan your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your ideas?
Now that you’ve built up the points balance, it’s time to redeem them for some sweet travel! Different credit card companies offer different ways to redeem your points. Here are a few examples from some of the companies I’ve worked with:
Getaway with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own a Chase cards, you are able to redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through it, you’ll have access to almost every airline and you can make use of a combination of points and cash to pay for your next trip. You can even book entirely using points if you’ve got the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you don’t possess enough points for the total price, you can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with any credit card.
Are you tired of paying full price for flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United You have the option of paying with either points or dollars? Be careful that if you do not have enough points you can’t combine points and dollars for one flight. No worries though, if you’re only a couple of point short United gives you the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience with extra space and complimentary snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to United’s which allows customers to book using either JetBlue dollar or points however, not both. However, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that lets you pool your points together with your relatives to earn points twice as quickly. Just make sure you can 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, you’re probably pretty thrifty and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to hit the minimum amount required to earn a credit card bonus. Don’t worry 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 to pay for your rent with a credit card, do it! Be prepared to be charged a fee, typically about 3%. It might be worth it in the long run when the bonus is large enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the minimum spend is to pay for a medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses in the near future Ask your family members to pay them for theirs, and they can reimburse you.
Pay off the loan
If you’re a borrower you owe, think about repaying them using your credit card. Just make sure you pay the credit card balance in full so you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Talk to your family and look into any big expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to are able to trust the person and that they know why you’re doing it.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season you should consider purchasing all your gifts with the credit card you have. In this way, you’ll reach the minimum spending requirement and be ready to give gifts. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you already thinking of.
There are plenty of methods to get the most of the travel credit card and earn miles or points to spend on airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are some additional ideas for maximizing the rewards you earn:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a vacation, make use of the travel credit card to book your hotel, flight, rental car, and other travel costs. Not only will you be able to hit the required amount for your credit card bonus, but you’ll also earn points or miles to cover those expenses.
Use your credit card to pay for your everyday expenses
Another method to reach the minimum amount of spending and earn points is utilising your credit cards for everyday expenditures. This can include things like food, gas and even your telephone bill. Be sure to pay off the balance in full every month to ensure you don’t accumulate interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide bonus points or miles for certain types of purchases, such as eating out or traveling. Be sure to review your rewards program on your credit card and make use of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending habits.
Take into consideration the possibility of transferring your balance
If you have existing outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, think about transferring the balance to the travel credit card which has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will enable you to pay off the debt without accruing interest. It will also help you hit the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus.
Utilize your miles and points prudently
If you’ve amassed a large amount of points or miles make sure you use them wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card and compare the value of different redemption options. For instance, using your points to purchase a flight directly with the airline might offer better value than using them for a gift card.
Another option is to get rewards cards that allow you to transfer rewards to different loyalty program. This will allow you to get a wider selection of choices and more 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 Hotel rewards programme. This can give the benefit of a greater variety of hotels, flights, and other travel perks that may not be offered through the rewards program of your credit card.
In addition, you should discover whether your credit card has some perks that could save you money on travel-related costs. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that could be invaluable when you travel.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a companion and both of you get rewards on your credit card. Just remember that you can’t share the costs on the same card. Also, 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 on your credit card and make sure you’re using your credit card in the most efficient method possible. Through an array of strategies I’ve listed in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards quickly, redeem them for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad range of travel perks.