Are you fed up of spending an enormous amount on flights? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s a fun way to turn credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles which can be used to score discounted or free flights to your dream destinations. With a little imagination and a little bit of insider information, you’ll be jet-setting for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about trading credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. The miles can be used to buy discounted or even free flights. Some credit cards also let you redeem miles towards hotel stays or car rental deals.
How Does it Work?
The key to success in hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and establishing frequent flyer miles with a limited number of airlines. When you are ready to make a booking take a look at the price. If the flight is less than $300, it’s usually better to pay cash and save your miles for a more expensive flight. If your flights begin to climb higher than $500, it’s best to review the frequent flyer account and see which airline can give you the best deal. It all comes down to the number of points or miles you have 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 to open a credit card with a sign-up offer. There are many great credit cards with various advantages and features. It is all dependent on the airline, your habits with spending and what features are crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit card options that can be perfect to use for hacking travel:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
After you’ve been accepted for a credit card you’ll need to hit the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to get the bonus. Every card has different rules, so make sure to check for the details. Then it’s all about building up miles and using them to plan your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your points?
Once you’ve accumulated your points amount, it’s time to use them towards nice travel! Different credit card companies offer different ways to redeem your points. Here are a few examples from some of the companies I’ve had experience with:
Take a trip through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you own a Chase card, you are able to use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through this portal you’ll get access to nearly every airline and you can combine money and points to pay for your next trip. You can even book completely with points if you’ve the balance for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t have enough points to cover the full 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 realize that when booking directly through United you can choose the option of paying with either points or dollars? But, be careful, if you don’t have enough points you cannot combine dollars and points on one flight. No worries though, if you’re a few point short United gives you 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 and free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is like United’s, allowing passengers to book flights using JetBlue either dollars or points, however, not both. The difference is that JetBlue offers a distinct feature that allows you to pool your points together with family members to accrue points twice as fast. Be sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack into the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel companion Becca You’re probably quite economical and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to hit the required amount to qualify for the credit card bonus. But don’t fret, we’ve been through it and are here to share our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able pay your rent using credit card, go for it! Just be prepared to be charged a fee, typically at least 3%. It may be worth it in the long run when the bonus is large enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the spending limit is to cover a medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses due then ask your family members if you can pay their medical bills and they can pay you back.
Make a payment to pay off a loan
If you have any loans, consider paying them off with an credit card. Just make sure you pay the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t accumulate additional debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Ask your family members to look into any major expenses in the near future which you could help pay for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to are able to trust the person and that they are aware of the reason for doing this.
If you’re celebrating the holidays, consider buying all your gifts using the credit card you have. In this way, you’ll hit that minimum spend and also be ready to give gifts. Just make sure you’re not paying more than you planning to.
There are a lot of ways to get the most of your travel credit card. accumulate miles or points that you can spend on 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 trip, use you travel credit card to book your flight, hotel, rental car, and any other travel expenses. Not only will you achieve the required amount to earn your credit card as well, however, you’ll also earn points or miles on these expenditures.
Use your credit card for everyday expenditures
Another way to hit the minimum spend in order to accumulate points using your credit card to pay everyday costs. This can include things like food, gas, and even your phone bill. Make sure you pay off the balance in full each month so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Take advantage of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or bonus points for certain types of purchases, such as eating out or traveling. Make sure you review your credit card’s rewards program and avail any bonus categories that match with your spending routines.
Think about a balance transfer
If you have existing outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, consider transferring the balance to a travel credit card with a 0% introductory APR for balance transfer. This will allow you to pay off your debts without accruing interest and simultaneously assist you in reaching the minimum spend for the credit card bonus.
Utilize your miles and points prudently
When you’ve earned a significant amount of miles or points make sure you use them in a responsible manner. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and then compare the worth of various redemption options. For example using points to purchase a flight directly through the airline may offer better return than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another option is to get rewards cards that allow you to transfer points to other loyalty programs. This allows you to have a wider range of options and greater flexibility in making use of your rewards. For example, you may be capable of transferring your reward to an airline’s frequent flyer program or a reward program for hotels. This gives an access greater range of flights, hotels, and other travel perks that may not be offered through your credit card’s rewards program.
Additionally, try to discover if your credit card offers some perks that could reduce your travel expenses. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that could be very beneficial when traveling.
When you travel with someone else each of you will be able to earn rewards using your own credit card. Just remember that you can’t divide the cost with the same card. Also, make sure to keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
In the end, the most important thing to do to making the most of your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program on your credit card and make sure you’re making use of your credit card in the most effective method possible. Utilizing an array of strategies I’ve listed that you can get rewards in a short time, use them for travel experiences that are worth it and benefit from a wide range of travel perks.