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 convert welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles, that can then be used to obtain discounted or free flights to your dream destinations. With a little imagination and some knowledge, you can fly for no cost in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about swapping credit card sign-up bonus as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can later be used to pay for cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards permit you to use miles for hotel stays and car rental 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 on a select group of airlines. When you are ready to make a booking consider the cost. If the flight is less than $300, it’s generally better to pay in cash and save your miles for a more expensive flight. If your flights begin to climb above $500, you’ll want to check those frequent flyer accounts to determine which airline offers you the best deal. It all comes down to the number of points or miles in your travel account for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to travel hacking? The first step is opening a credit card with a sign-up bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards that provide a variety of benefits and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, your habits with spending and what features are essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards excellent for travel hacking:
- 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 minimum spend limit in order to get the bonus. Every card has different guidelines, so make certain to verify this information. From there, it’s all about racking up miles, and then using them to book your dream trip!
Ready to jet-set with your goals?
Now that you’ve built up the points balance, it’s time to use them towards sweet travel! Different credit card providers will have different methods for redeeming your rewards, here are some examples from some of the companies I’ve had experience with:
Escape by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own an Chase card, you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In it, you’ll have access to nearly every airline. You can use a combination of the points as well as cash in order to book your next trip. You can even book entirely on points if you have enough balance! Sometimes, even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for full cost, you are able to purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using the credit card of your choice.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for your flight tickets? Did you realize that when booking directly through United, you have the option of paying using dollars or points? Be careful, if you don’t have enough points you aren’t able to combine points and dollars for one flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re only a couple of points short, United also offers the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers a comfortable and enjoyable travel experience that includes extra legroom as well as free snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines that allows you to book with either JetBlue either dollars or points but not both. However, JetBlue offers a distinct feature that lets you join your points with family members to accrue points twice as quickly. Be sure to establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me and my travel companion Becca You’re probably quite frugal and it can be challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to reach the required amount to qualify for credit card bonuses. 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 to pay your rent with credit card, then do it! Be prepared to pay a fee, usually about 3%. It might be worth it over the long term if the bonus is high enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another great way to hit the required spending is to pay for the medical bills. If you do not have any medical expenses in the near future Ask your relatives if you could pay their medical bills and they can pay you back.
Repay the loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan, consider making payments on them with your credit card. Make sure to pay off the balance on your credit card in full , so that you don’t accrue additional debt.
Ask family for help
Talk to your family and determine if they’ve got any big expenses coming up which you could help pay for. Make sure that you are able to trust the person and they understand why you’re taking the initiative.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season you should consider purchasing all your gifts with cards from your credit account. So you’ll be able to reach the minimum spending requirement and also be prepared for gift giving. Be sure to avoid paying more than you thinking of.
There are many ways to make the most from the travel credit card. accumulate miles or points that you can be used towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few more ideas for maximizing your rewards
Book travel expenses with your credit card
When you’re planning your next vacation, make use of the travel credit card to book your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as any other travel-related expenses. Not only will you achieve the required amount to qualify for a credit card bonus and earn points, but you’ll also earn points or miles to cover those expenditures.
Utilize your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday costs
Another way to meet the minimum spending requirement and earn points is making use of your credit card for every day expenses. This could include items like groceries, gas, and even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay off the balance in full every month to ensure you don’t accrue interest charges.
Take advantage of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or bonus points for specific types of purchases, including eating out or traveling. Check out the rewards program of your credit card and avail any bonus categories that align with your spending habits.
Take into consideration the possibility of transferring your balance
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a credit card, you might want to transfer that balance to the travel credit card which has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfer. This will allow you to pay off your debt without accruing interest and simultaneously aid in achieving the minimum spend for the credit card bonus.
Make use of your miles or points wisely
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of points or miles, be sure to use them in a responsible manner. Review the rewards program for 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 could give you a better value than using them to purchase the purchase of a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer your reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will let you enjoy a greater variety of options and greater flexibility when making use of your rewards. For example, you may be capable of transferring your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or Hotel rewards programme. This will give the benefit of a wider range of flights, hotels, and other travel perks that aren’t accessible through the rewards program on your credit card.
Additionally, try to find out whether your credit card has some perks that could reduce your travel expenses. Some cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection and other benefits that could be invaluable when you travel.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a companion, both of you can get rewards on your own credit card. Be aware that you cannot share the costs on the same card and make sure to track your rewards in a separate manner.
The key to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to understand your credit card’s rewards program and make sure you’re making use of it in the most efficient method. Through a combination of the methods I’ve described in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards quickly, redeem them for travel experiences that are worth it and take advantage of a broad range of travel perks.