Are you tired of spending an enormous amount on flights? Good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s a fun way to turn credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into miles that can then be used to obtain discounted or cheap flights from your dream destinations. With a bit of creativity and some insider know-how, you’ll be jet-setting for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of trading credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. These miles can later be used to buy discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards will also permit you to use miles towards hotel stays or rental car deals.
How Does it Work?
The secret to success in hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and to establish frequent flyer miles on a select group of airlines. When it comes time to make a booking take a look at the price. If the cost is less than $300, it’s usually better to pay in cash and use your miles to pay for a more expensive flight. If your flights begin to climb above $500, you’ll want to review your frequent flyer accounts to see which airline can give you the best deal. It all comes down to the amount of points or miles you have in your travel bank for each airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets of travel hacking? The first step is to open the credit card that comes with a sign-up bonus. There are many great credit cards that provide various benefits and features. It depends on the type of airline, spending habits and the features that are most 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
After you’ve been accepted for a credit card you’ll have to meet the limit of spending minimum in order to receive the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so be sure to check for the details. From there you can begin to rack up miles, and using them to plan your dream vacation!
Ready to jet-set with your goals?
After you’ve accrued your points amount, it’s time to use them towards nice getaway! Different credit card providers will offer different ways to redeem your points. Here are a few examples from some of the providers I’ve had experience with:
Take a trip with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of an Chase cards, you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In the portal, you’ll get access to virtually every airline. You can combine money and points to book your travel. You can book your flight entirely with points if you’ve the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you don’t have enough points to cover the full cost, you are able to purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using any credit card.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for your flight tickets? Did you realize that when booking directly through United you can choose the option to pay with dollars or points? But, be careful in case you don’t have enough points, you aren’t able to combine points and dollars for one flight. If you’re only a couple of points away, United also offers the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience with extra space and complimentary snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines, allowing passengers to book flights using JetBlue dollar or points, however, not both. However, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that lets you combine your points with family members to accrue points twice as fast. Just make sure you can 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 anything like me and my travel buddy Becca You’re probably quite thrifty and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to reach the minimum amount required to earn credit card bonuses. Don’t worry, we’ve been through it and we’re here to share some of our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able to pay for your rent with a credit card, do it! Make sure you pay a fee, usually at least 3 percent. It could be worthwhile over the long term if the bonus is high enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another way to reach the required spending is to cover a medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses coming up then ask your family members if you can pay for theirs and they will reimburse you.
Repay a loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan you owe, think about repaying them using an 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
Ask your family members to look into any major expenses in the near future that you can contribute for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to have confidence in the person you are talking to and they are aware of the reason for doing this.
If you’re celebrating the holidays you should consider purchasing all your gifts using the credit card you have. So you’ll be able to meet the minimum spending limit and also be ready to give gifts. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you were already planning to.
There are many ways to get the most from your travel credit card. You can accrue points or miles to be used towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are some additional ways to maximize your rewards
Make travel reservations using your credit card
When you’re planning your next vacation, make use of you travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as any other travel expenses. Not only will you achieve the minimum spend to earn your credit card bonus and earn points, but you’ll also be earning points or miles to cover these expenditures.
Use your credit card for everyday expenditures
Another way to hit the minimum spending requirement in order to accumulate points utilising your credit cards for daily costs. This can include things like food, gas, and even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay the balance off each month in full so you don’t pay interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer bonus points or miles for certain types of purchases, such as eating out or travelling. Check out your credit card’s rewards program and make use of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending habits.
Consider the possibility of transferring your balance
If you are currently in debt on a high-interest credit card, consider transferring that balance onto the travel credit card which has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfer. This will allow you to pay off your debt without accruing interest, and also assist you in reaching the minimum amount required to earn the credit card’s bonus.
Make use of your miles or points prudently
When you’ve earned a significant amount of points or miles Make sure to utilize the points or miles wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card, and evaluate the worth of various redemption options. For instance using 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 rewards to different loyalty program. This will allow you to have a wider range of choices and more flexibility in you want to redeem your rewards. For example, you may be able to transfer your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a hotel rewards program. This will give an access greater selection of hotels, flights and other travel benefits which are not available through the rewards program on your credit card.
Additionally, try to find out if your credit card offers certain benefits that will help you save money on travel costs. Some cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection and other benefits that can be invaluable when you travel.
When you travel with someone else, both of you can earn rewards with your credit card. Make sure you don’t split the cost on the same card. Also, make sure to keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
Overall, the key to maximizing your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program on your credit card and ensure that you’re making use of it in the most effective method. Through all of the strategies I’ve listed that you can get rewards in a short time, use them for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide range of travel perks.