Are you tired of spending an enormous amount on flights? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting way to turn credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles, that can then be used to get discounted or even cheap flights from your ideal destinations. With a little bit of imagination and some information, 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 and rewards for airline miles. These miles can later be used to purchase cheap or free flight tickets. Some credit cards also let you redeem miles for hotel stays and car rental offers.
How Does it Work?
The secret to success in travel hacking is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and to establish frequent flyer miles on a select group of airlines. When it comes time to book a flight take a look at the price. If the price is under $300, it’s usually better to pay cash and save your miles for a more expensive flight. If your flights begin to climb over $500, you’ll need to review the frequent flyer account to determine which airline offers you the most value. It all comes down to the number of points or miles you have you have in your travel savings account for each airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to hacking travel? First step to open an account with a sign-up bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards that offer many benefits and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, your habits with spending and what features are important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards that are 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 hit the minimum spend limit in order to get the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so be sure to check for the details. From there it’s all about building miles and using them to plan your dream trip!
Are you ready to set sail with your ideas?
After you’ve accrued the points balance, it’s time to use them towards sweet travel! Different credit card companies will have different methods of redeeming your points, but here are a few examples from some of the ones I have experience with:
Getaway by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own a Chase credit card, then you can redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. In the portal, you’ll have access to nearly every airline and you can make use of a combination of money and points to book your trip. You can even book entirely using points if you’ve got the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you do not be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for entire cost, you are able to book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with the credit card of your choice.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for your 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 in case you don’t have enough points you aren’t able to combine dollars and points on the same flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re just a few points short, United provides the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience with extra space and complimentary snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to United’s that allows you to book with either JetBlue points or dollars however, not both. However, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that lets you join your points with family members to accrue points twice as quickly. Make sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack into the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re like me and my travel companion Becca You’re probably quite economical and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to reach the minimum amount required to earn 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 an important one! If you’re able to pay your rent with a credit card, do it! Be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually at least 3 percent. It could be worthwhile in the end when the bonus is large enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the spending limit is to cover the medical bills. If you do not have any medical expenses coming up Ask your family members to pay them for theirs, and they can reimburse you.
Repay a loan
If you’re a borrower take into consideration making payments on them with the credit card you have. Be sure to pay the credit card balance completely so that you don’t end up with additional debt.
Ask family for help
Discuss your family with them and look into any big expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Make sure that you are able to trust the person and they are aware of the reason for taking the initiative.
If it’s the holiday season take into consideration buying all your gifts with cards from your credit account. This way you can reach the minimum spending requirement and also be ready for gift giving. Be sure to avoid spending more than you were contemplating to.
There are a lot of ways to get the most of using your credit or debit card for travel. You can earn miles or points to spend on the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few additional suggestions for maximising the rewards you earn:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, make use of you travel credit card for booking your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as any other travel expenses. Not only will you be able to hit the minimum spend to qualify for a credit card reward and earn points, but you’ll also be earning points or miles on these costs.
Make use of your credit card to pay for everyday expenses
Another method to reach the minimum spending requirement and earn points is by making use of your credit card to pay everyday expenses. This could include things like food, gas, and even your phone bill. Be sure to pay the balance off in full each month so you don’t pay interest.
Make the most of 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 the rewards program of your credit card and take advantage 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 debt on a credit card, you might want to transfer the balance to an account with a travel credit card that has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfers. This will allow you to pay off your debt without accruing interest, and also assist you in reaching the minimum amount required to earn the credit card’s bonus.
Use your points or miles prudently
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points make sure you use them in a responsible manner. Examine the rewards program of your credit card, and evaluate the benefits of different redemption options. For instance you can use points to book a ticket directly with the airline could offer better return than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another tip is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer your rewards to different loyalty program. This allows you to get a wider selection of options and greater 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 hotel rewards program. This will give the benefit of a larger variety of hotels, flights and other travel benefits which are not accessible through the rewards program of your credit card.
Also, determine the card’s benefits. any perks that can save you money on travel-related costs. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that are invaluable when you travel.
If you’re traveling with someone else each of you will be able to get rewards on your credit card. Make sure you don’t split the cost on the same card. Also, make sure you keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to know the rewards program of your credit card and ensure that you’re making use of it in the most efficient method possible. By using all of the strategies I’ve listed in this article, you’ll be able get rewards in a short time, use them for travel experiences that are worth it and benefit from a wide variety of travel benefits.