Are you tired of paying an enormous amount on flights? Good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting method to turn credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles which can be used to obtain discounted or cheap flights from your desired destinations. With a little imagination and some knowledge, you can fly for no cost within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about trading credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. The miles can be used to pay for discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards will also let you redeem miles towards hotel stays or car rental discounts.
How Does it Work?
The secret to successful hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and establishing 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 generally better to pay in cash and save your miles for a more expensive flight. When the flights start getting over $500, you’ll need to review the frequent flyer account to see which airline can give you the most value. All it boils down to is the number of miles or points in your travel bank for every airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to hacking travel? Your first task is opening a credit card that comes with a welcome bonus. There are many great credit cards that provide various features and benefits. It depends on the type of airline, your habits with spending and the features that are most essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards that are excellent for travel hacking:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
If you’ve been approved for a credit card you’ll have to meet the limit of spending minimum in order to receive the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so make sure to look up the details. Then you can begin to rack up miles and then using them to book your dream vacation!
Ready to jet-set with your points?
Now that you’ve built up your points amount, it’s time to use them towards delicious vacation! Different credit card providers will offer different ways to redeem your points. Here are a few examples from some of the ones I’ve worked with:
Getaway through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you own an Chase card, you can redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. In this portal you’ll get access to virtually every airline and you can use a combination of money and points to pay for your next trip. You can even book entirely using points if you’ve got the balance for it! Sometimes even if you do not be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for full cost, you are able to book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using every credit card.
Are you tired of paying full price for your flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option of paying with either points or dollars? But, be careful that if you do not have enough points you aren’t able to combine dollars and points for the same flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re only a couple of point short United provides the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience , with more legroom as well as free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to that of United Airlines that allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue points or dollars, however, not both. However, JetBlue offers a distinct feature where you can combine your points with your relatives to earn points twice as quickly. Be sure to establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack into the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re anything like me and my travel companion Becca I’m sure you’re pretty economical and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to reach the minimum spend for the credit card bonus. Don’t worry, we’ve been through it and are here to share some of our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able pay your rent using a credit card, do it! Make sure you pay a fee, usually at least 3 percent. It could be worthwhile in the long run when the bonus is large enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another way to reach the minimum spend is to cover a medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills in the near future Ask your family members if you can pay their medical bills and they’ll reimburse you.
Pay off a loan
If you have any loans, consider making payments on them with your credit card. Just make sure you pay off the balance on your credit card completely so that you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Ask your family members to look into any large expenses coming up which you could help pay for. Just make sure you trust the person and they understand why you’re taking the initiative.
If you’re celebrating the holidays, consider buying all your gifts with your credit card. This way you can hit that minimum spend and be ready for gift giving. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you were already contemplating to.
There are a lot of ways to make the most from your travel credit card. You can earn miles or points to use towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few more ways to maximize your rewards:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a vacation, make use of the travel credit card for booking your flight, hotel, rental car, and any other travel expenses. You’ll not only be able to hit the required amount to qualify for a credit card bonus and earn points, but you’ll also be earning points or miles for those expenses.
Utilize your credit card to pay for all your daily costs
Another way to hit the minimum spending requirement to earn rewards is by utilising your credit cards for everyday expenditures. This can include items like groceries, gas, and even your phone bill. Make sure you pay the balance off each month in full so you don’t pay interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer bonus points or miles for certain types of purchases, including eating out or travelling. Check out your credit card’s rewards program and take advantage of any bonus categories that align with your spending habits.
Consider a balance transfer
If you are currently in debt on a credit card, consider transferring that balance onto the travel credit card which has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will allow you to pay off your debt without accruing interest, and also aid in achieving the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus.
Utilize your miles and points carefully
When you’ve earned a significant amount of points or miles, be sure to use them wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card, and evaluate the worth of various redemption options. For example, using your points to purchase a flight directly through the airline may provide you with a greater return than using them for an gift card.
Another tip is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will allow you to enjoy a greater variety of options and greater flexibility when you want to redeem your rewards. For example, you may be able to transfer your rewards to an airline’s frequent flyer program or a reward program for hotels. This can give the benefit of a greater range of flights, hotels and other travel benefits that aren’t available through the rewards program of your credit card.
In addition, you should determine the card’s benefits. certain benefits that will save you money on travel-related costs. Many cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection and other benefits that can be invaluable when you travel.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a companion and both of you earn rewards using your credit card. Make sure you don’t split the cost on the same card. Also, make sure to keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
Overall, the key to making the most of your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program of your credit card and to ensure you’re using your credit card in the most efficient way possible. Utilizing an array of strategies I’ve outlined, you’ll be able to earn rewards fast, exchange rewards for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad assortment of travel-related perks.