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 convert credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles, which can be used to get discounted or even cheap flights from your dream destinations. With a bit of imagination and some know-how, you’ll fly for no cost in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about trading credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. These miles can later be used to purchase cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards will also allow you to redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or rental car discounts.
How Does it Work?
The secret to successful hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and building out frequent flyer miles on a select group of airlines. When you are ready to make a booking consider the cost. If the price is less than $300, it’s generally better to pay in cash and save your miles to take a more costly flight. When the flights start getting over $500, you’ll need to review those frequent flyer accounts and determine which airline offers you the best price. It all boils down to the number of points or miles you have in your travel account for each airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets of travel hacking? The first step is to open the credit card that comes that comes with a welcome bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards that provide a variety of features and benefits. It depends on the type of airline, spending habits and what features are essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards that are great for travel hacking:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
If you’ve been approved for a credit or debit card, you’ll have to meet the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to qualify for the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so be sure to look up the details. From there you can begin to rack up miles, and using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your ideas?
Once you’ve accumulated your points balance, you’re ready to cash them in for some nice vacation! Different credit card providers will offer different ways to redeem your points, but here are some examples from some of the companies I have experience with:
Getaway with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of an Chase card, you can redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within it, you’ll have access to nearly every airline. You can make use of a combination of money and points to book your trip. You can book your flight entirely on points if you have enough balance! Sometimes even if you do not possess enough points for the entire price, you can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with the credit card of your choice.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for your flight tickets? Did you not know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option of paying using dollars or points? But, be careful that if you don’t have enough points you cannot combine points and dollars on one flight. No worries though, if you’re only a couple of points away, United provides the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides passengers a relaxing and pleasant travel experience that includes extra legroom and free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to United’s that allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue points or dollars, but not both. However, JetBlue offers a distinct feature that allows you to join your points with your relatives to earn points twice as quickly. Make sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack into the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me or my travel buddy Becca I’m sure you’re pretty economical and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to hit the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried because we’ve been there and we’re here to share 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 credit card, go for it! Just be prepared to be charged a fee, typically around 3%. It could be worthwhile in the end when the bonus is large enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another way to reach the spending limit is to pay for an medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses in the near future, ask your family members to pay them for theirs, and they’ll pay you back.
Repay the loan
If you’re a borrower, consider repaying them using the credit card you have. Make sure to pay the credit card balance completely so that you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask family for help
Discuss your family with them and determine if they’ve got any major expenses in the near future which you could help pay for. Just make sure you are able to trust the person and that they know why you’re doing this.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season you should consider purchasing all of your gifts with cards from your credit account. So you’ll be able to hit that minimum spend and also be ready to give gifts. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you were already contemplating to.
There are a lot of methods to get the most of the travel credit card. accumulate miles or points that you can be used towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few additional ways to maximize the rewards you earn:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
If you’re planning a vacation, make use of your travel credit card for booking your hotel, flight, rental car, and other travel costs. In addition, you’ll be able to hit the required amount to earn your credit card reward, but you’ll also earn points or miles on the expenses.
Make use of your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday expenditures
Another way to meet the minimum amount of spending in order to accumulate points by making use of your credit card to pay for daily expenditures. This could be items like groceries, gas or even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay off the balance in full every month to ensure you don’t pay interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or bonus points for certain types of purchases, such as eating out or travelling. Check out your rewards program on your credit card and avail any bonus categories that align with your spending routines.
Think about a balance transfer
If you are currently in debt on a high-interest credit card, consider transferring that balance to a travel credit card with an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will enable you to pay off your debt without accruing interest and simultaneously assist you in reaching the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus.
Use your points or miles carefully
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of points or miles make sure you 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 instance you can use points to purchase a flight directly with the airline might provide you with a greater return than using them for an gift card.
Another suggestion is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer your points to other loyalty programs. This will allow you to get a wider selection of choices and more flexibility when making use of your rewards. For instance, you might be capable of transferring your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a reward program for hotels. This gives the benefit of a greater range of flights, hotels and other travel benefits which are not available through your credit card’s rewards program.
Additionally, try to determine the card’s benefits. certain benefits that will reduce your travel costs. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that are very beneficial when traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with someone else, both of you can earn rewards using your own credit card. Just remember that you can’t share the costs on the same card, and be sure to track your rewards in a separate manner.
In the end, the most important thing to do to maximizing your travel rewards is to know your credit card’s rewards program and ensure that you’re making use of it in the most effective method possible. Utilizing all of the methods I’ve described that you can earn rewards quickly, redeem them for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad assortment of travel-related perks.