Are you tired of spending an enormous amount on flights? Good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting way to convert credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into miles which can be used to get discounted or even cheap flights from your dream destinations. With a bit of creativity and some insider information, you’ll fly for no cost within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about trading credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. The miles can be used to purchase cheap or free flight tickets. Some credit cards also permit you to use miles for hotel stays and car rental offers.
How Does it Work?
The key to success in hacking travel is taking advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and establishing frequent flyer miles with a limited number of airlines. When you are ready to make a booking consider the cost. If the flight is under $300, it’s best to pay cash and use your miles to pay to book a higher-priced flight. If your flights begin to climb over $500, you’ll need to check the frequent flyer account to find out which airline will give you the most value. It all comes down to the number of points or miles you have in your travel account for each airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to hacking travel? First step to open a credit card with a sign-up offer. There are many great credit cards with various benefits and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, your spending habits, and what features are crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards that are excellent 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 or debit card, you’ll need to hit the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to get the bonus. Each card has its own guidelines, so make certain to verify the details. Then you can begin to rack up miles, and then using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to set sail with your ideas?
After you’ve accrued the points amount, it’s time to cash them in for some sweet getaway! Different credit card companies offer different ways to redeem your points, but here are some examples from some of the ones I’ve had experience with:
Getaway through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you have a Chase card, you can redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through this portal you’ll have access to almost every airline and you can make use of a combination of the points as well as cash in order to book your next trip. You can even book completely with points if you’ve the funds to pay for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t possess enough points for the entire cost, you still can buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using the credit card of your choice.
Are you fed up of paying full price for your flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United You have the option of paying using either points or dollars? Butbe aware that if you do not have enough points you aren’t able to combine dollars and points for the same flight. No worries though, if you’re only a couple of points away, United also offers the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue provides passengers a relaxing and pleasant travel experience that includes extra legroom as well as free snacks. Plus, their booking process is like United’s that allows customers to book using either JetBlue dollar or points but not both. However, JetBlue offers a distinct feature that lets you combine your points with family members to accrue points twice as fast. Be sure to establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack 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 daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to reach the minimum spend for the credit card bonus. Don’t worry because we’ve been there and are here to share our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able to pay for your rent using credit card, go for it! Be prepared to be charged a fee, typically around 3%. It may be worth it in the end if the bonus is high enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the required spending is to cover a medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills due, ask your family members to pay for theirs and they will pay you back.
Make a payment to pay off the loan
If you have any loans you owe, think about paying them off with the credit card you have. Just make sure you pay off the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t end up with additional debt.
Ask family for help
Ask your family members to look into any major expenses in the near future which you could help pay for. Make sure that you are able to have confidence in the person you are talking to and they know why you’re doing this.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season you should consider purchasing all your gifts using cards from your credit account. So you’ll be able to hit that minimum spend and also be ready to give gifts. Be sure to avoid paying more than you contemplating to.
There are many ways to get the most of the travel credit card. You can accumulate miles or points that you can spend on flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few more ideas for maximizing your rewards
Pay for travel expenses 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. Not only will you achieve the required amount to qualify for a credit card, but you’ll also be earning points or miles on those costs.
Use your credit card for all your daily expenses
Another method to reach the minimum amount of spending and earn points is making use of your credit card for daily expenses. This could include items like groceries, gas or even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay the balance off in full each month so you don’t accumulate interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or points in exchange on certain kinds of purchases, like dining or travel. Be sure to review your credit card’s rewards program and avail any bonus categories that align with your spending routines.
Think about the possibility of transferring your balance
If you have existing debt on a credit card, think about transferring the balance to the travel credit card which has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfer. This will enable you to pay off the debt without accruing interest, and also aid in achieving the minimum spend for the credit card’s bonus.
Make use of your miles or points prudently
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize the points or miles wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card, and evaluate the value of different redemption options. For example you can use your points to purchase a flight directly through the airline may give you a better value than using them to purchase an gift card.
Another option is to get an rewards card that permits you to transfer points to other loyalty programs. This allows you to get a wider selection of options and greater flexibility in making use of your rewards. For example, you may be capable of transferring your rewards to the frequent flyer program of an airline or Hotel rewards programme. This will give you access to a greater range of flights, hotels, and other travel perks that may not be accessible through the rewards program of your credit card.
Also, discover whether your credit card has certain benefits that will 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 extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a companion and both of you earn rewards using your own credit card. Just remember that you can’t split the cost on the same card. Also, make sure you keep track of your rewards separately.
The key to maximizing your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program on your credit card and ensure that you’re making use of your credit card in the most efficient method. Through a combination of the methods I’ve described, you’ll be able to earn rewards quickly, redeem them for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide assortment of travel-related perks.