Are you fed up of spending an enormous amount on flights? Good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting method to convert credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles, that can then be used to get discounted or even cheap flights from your ideal destinations. With a little bit of imagination and some knowledge, you can travel for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about trading credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. These miles can then be used to pay for discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards will also permit you to use miles to pay for hotel stays or car rental deals.
How Does it Work?
The secret to success in hacking travel is taking advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and building out a frequent flyer mile program with a limited number of airlines. When it comes time to book a flight consider the cost. If the price is under $300, it’s best to pay cash and save your miles for a more expensive flight. If your flights begin to climb over $500, you’ll need to review the frequent flyer account and find out which airline will give you the most value. It all boils down to the amount of miles or points in your travel bank for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to hacking travel? Your first task is to open a credit card with a sign-up offer. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that offer many benefits and features. It depends on the type of airline, your spending habits, and the features that are most crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit card options that can be excellent to use for hacking travel:
- 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 limit of spending minimum in order to receive the bonus. Each card has its own guidelines, so make certain to verify the details. From there it’s all about building up miles and then using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to set sail with your points?
After you’ve accrued your points balance, you’re ready to use them towards delicious vacation! Different credit card companies will have different methods of redeeming your points, but here are some examples from some of the providers I’ve had experience with:
Getaway through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you’re a holder of an Chase card, you can redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. In the portal, you’ll get access to virtually every airline, and you can use a combination of the points as well as cash in order to book your next trip. You can even book completely on points if you have enough balance! Sometimes, even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for entire cost, you still can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using every credit card.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option of paying with dollars or points? But, be careful in case you don’t have enough points, you cannot combine dollars and points on one flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re a few point short United provides the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience with extra legroom and free snacks. Plus, their booking process is like United’s that allows you to book with either JetBlue dollar or points, but not both. But, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature where you can join your points with family members to accrue points twice as quickly. Be sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack into the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
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 in order to meet the minimum spend for credit card bonuses. However, don’t be worried because we’ve been there and are here to share our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able to pay for your rent using credit card, go for it! Be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually about 3%. It might be worth it in the long run when the bonus is large enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another great way to hit the minimum spend is to cover a medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses in the near future, ask your family members to pay their medical bills and they’ll repay you.
Repay the loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan take into consideration repaying them using the credit card you have. Be sure to pay off the balance on your credit card in full , so that you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask family for help
Discuss your family with them and see if they have any big expenses coming up which you could help pay for. Just make sure you trust the person and they are aware of the reason for doing it.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season, consider buying all your gifts with cards from your credit account. So you’ll be able to meet the minimum spending limit and also be prepared for giving gifts. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you thinking of.
There are plenty of ways to make the most out of your travel credit card. You can earn miles or points to spend on airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are some additional ideas for maximizing your rewards
Book travel expenses with your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, make use of you travel credit card for booking your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as other travel costs. You’ll not only be able to meet the minimum spend for your credit card bonus, but you’ll also be earning points or miles on these costs.
Use your credit card to pay for your everyday expenses
Another method to reach the minimum amount of spending in order to accumulate points using your credit card for daily expenditures. This could include items like groceries, gas, and even your phone bill. Be sure to pay the balance off each month in full so you don’t accumulate interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or bonus points on certain kinds of purchases, including dining or travel. Make sure you review your credit card’s rewards program and take advantage of 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, you might want to transfer the balance to an account with a travel credit card that has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfers. This will let you pay off your debts without accruing interest. It will also aid in achieving the minimum spending requirement for the credit card bonus.
Make use of your miles or points prudently
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of points or miles, be sure to use them in a responsible manner. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and then compare the value of different redemption options. For example, using points to purchase a flight directly with the airline might offer better value than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another option is to get a rewards card that allows you to transfer reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will let you enjoy a greater variety of options and greater flexibility in redeeming your rewards. For instance, you might be able to transfer your reward to an airline’s frequent flyer program or a hotel rewards program. This can give an access larger selection of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks which are not accessible through the rewards program of your credit card.
Also, find out whether your credit card has certain benefits that will reduce your travel expenses. Some cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection and other benefits that are extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
When you travel with a companion each of you will be able to get rewards on your credit card. Make sure you don’t share the costs on the same card and make sure to track your rewards separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do to maximizing your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program of your credit card and make sure you’re making use of this program in the most efficient way possible. Through an array of methods I’ve described in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards fast, exchange rewards for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide variety of travel benefits.