Are you fed up of spending an enormous amount on flights? Good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting method to turn credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles which you can use to obtain discounted or cheap flights from your dream destinations. With a bit of imagination and some information, you’ll fly for no cost in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of swapping credit card sign-up bonus and incentives for airline miles. The miles can be used to purchase cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards will also let you redeem miles for hotel stays and car rental offers.
How Does it Work?
The secret to success in hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and establishing a frequent flyer mile program for a specific group of airlines. When it’s time to book a flight consider the cost. If the cost is under $300, it’s generally better to pay in cash and save your miles for a more expensive flight. If your flights begin to climb over $500, you’ll need to check those frequent flyer accounts to determine which airline offers you the best price. It all comes down to the number of miles or points you have in your travel savings account for every airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets of travel hacking? The first step is opening an account that comes with a welcome bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that provide various benefits and features. It depends on the type of airline, your habits with spending and what features are essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit card options that can be great to use for hacking travel:
- 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 minimum spend limit in order to qualify for the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so make sure to look up this information. From there, it’s all about racking up miles and using them to book your dream trip!
Ready to jet-set with your goals?
Once you’ve accumulated your points balance, it’s time to redeem them for some sweet getaway! Different credit card companies have different methods of redeeming your rewards, here are a few examples from some of the providers I’ve worked with:
Take a trip by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of a Chase credit card, then you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through the portal, you’ll have access to almost every airline and you can make use of a combination of points and cash to pay for your travel. You can even book entirely using points if you’ve got the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you do not have enough points to cover the entire cost, you still can 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 full price for your flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option to pay with either points or dollars? But, be careful that if you don’t have enough points, you can’t combine points and dollars on the same flight. If you’re a few points short, United gives you the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience , with more legroom and free snacks. Plus, their booking process is like United’s, allowing customers to book using either JetBlue either dollars or points however, not both. However, JetBlue has a unique feature where you can combine your points with your family members and earn points twice as quickly. Just make sure you can verify that you are a family member before trying to hack into the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me and my travel buddy Becca You’re probably quite economical and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to hit the minimum spend for a credit card bonus. Don’t worry as we’ve done it and we’re here to share our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able to pay for your rent using credit card, then do it! Make sure you pay a fee, usually at least 3%. It may be worth it over the long term in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another great way to hit the required spending is to cover the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills in the near future Ask your family members to pay for theirs and they will reimburse you.
Repay the loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan, consider paying them off with your credit card. Be 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 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 doing it.
If you’re celebrating the holidays you should consider purchasing all your gifts using your credit card. This way you can hit that minimum spend and be ready to give gifts. Be sure to avoid paying more than you thinking of.
There are many ways to get the most from using your credit or debit card for travel and accrue points or miles to use towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few more ways to maximize your rewards:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
If you’re planning a vacation, make use of the travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as any other travel expenses. You’ll not only be able to meet the minimum spend for your credit card as well, but you’ll also earn points or miles on those expenses.
Make use of your credit card to pay for everyday expenses
Another way to meet the minimum spending requirement in order to accumulate points by utilising your credit cards for everyday expenditures. This could include items like groceries, gas, and even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay the balance off each month in full so you don’t pay interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or bonus points for specific types of purchases, including 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 the possibility of transferring your balance
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a credit card, consider transferring the balance to an account with a travel credit card that has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfer. This will let you pay off your debt without accruing interest. It will also help you hit the minimum spend for the credit card bonus.
Utilize your miles and points wisely
If you’ve amassed a large amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize the points or miles wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and then compare the benefits of different redemption options. For instance you can use your points to book a flight directly with the airline could provide you with a greater value than using them for an gift card.
Another suggestion is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will let you enjoy a greater variety of options and greater flexibility in making use of your rewards. For instance, you might be capable of transferring your rewards to an airline’s frequent flyer program or a hotel rewards program. This gives you access to a greater variety of hotels, flights, and other travel perks which are not offered through your credit card’s rewards program.
Also, find out the card’s benefits. some perks that could reduce your travel costs. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that can be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
If 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 the rewards you earn separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do to making the most of your travel rewards is to know the rewards program of your credit card and ensure that you’re using it in the most effective method. By using an array of methods I’ve described that you can get rewards in a short time, use rewards for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide variety of travel benefits.