Are you fed up of spending an enormous amount on flights? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting way to convert welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles, which you can use to score discounted or complimentary flights for your ideal destinations. With a bit of imagination and some know-how, you’ll travel for free 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. These miles can then be used to purchase discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards will also let you redeem 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 a frequent flyer mile program with a limited number 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 use your miles to pay to take a more costly flight. When the flights start getting over $500, you’ll need to review your frequent flyer accounts to determine which airline offers you the best deal. It all comes down to the number of points or miles you have you have in your travel savings account for every airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to travel hacking? First step to open an account that comes with a welcome bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that offer many features and benefits. It all depends on your preferred airline, your spending habits, and the features that are most important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards that are 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 or debit card, you’ll need to reach the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to get the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so be sure to look up the details. From there it’s all about building up miles, and then using them to book your dream trip!
Ready to jet-set with your points?
Once you’ve accumulated your points amount, it’s time to cash them in for some delicious vacation! Different credit card providers will have different methods of redeeming your points, but here are some examples from a few of the providers I’ve worked with:
Getaway with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have a Chase credit card, then you are able to use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within this portal you’ll get access to virtually every airline, and you can use a combination of money and points to pay for your travel. You can even book completely using points if you’ve got enough balance! Sometimes even if you don’t have enough points to cover the full price, you can buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using any credit card.
Are you fed up of paying full price for your flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United You have the option of paying with dollars or points? But, be careful, if you do not have enough points you can’t combine dollars and points on one flight. If you’re only a couple of points short, United gives you the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers a comfortable and enjoyable travel experience that includes extra legroom as well as free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to United’s which allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue dollar or points, however, not both. But, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that lets you pool your points together with your relatives to earn points twice as fast. Be sure to establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me or my travel companion Becca You’re probably quite economical and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to hit the required amount to qualify for credit card bonuses. Don’t worry, we’ve been through it and are 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 with credit card, then do it! Be prepared to be charged a fee, typically about 3%. It might be worth it in the end when the bonus is large enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another way to reach the spending limit is to cover a medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills in the near future, ask your relatives if you could pay their medical bills and they will reimburse you.
Make a payment to pay off the loan
If you have any loans, consider making payments on them with an credit card. Make sure to pay off the credit card balance in full so you don’t end up with additional debt.
Ask your family members for help
Ask your family members to determine if they’ve got any major expenses in the near future that you can 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 it.
If you’re celebrating the holidays take into consideration buying all your gifts using the credit card you have. In this way, you’ll meet the minimum spending limit and also be prepared to give gifts. Be sure to avoid spending more than you already planning to.
There are many ways to make the most out of your travel credit card and earn miles or points to use towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few additional ideas for maximizing your rewards
Make travel reservations using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, make use of your travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as any other travel-related expenses. Not only will you be able to meet the minimum spend for your credit card as well, but you’ll also be earning points or miles to cover those expenses.
Utilize your credit card to pay for all your daily expenditures
Another way to meet the minimum spend to earn rewards is utilising your credit cards for everyday costs. This can include items like groceries, gas, and even your phone bill. Make sure you pay the balance off each month in full so you don’t pay interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide bonus points or miles on certain kinds of purchases, including eating out or travelling. Be sure to review the rewards program of your credit card and avail the bonus categories that are in line with your spending habits.
Take into consideration the possibility of transferring your balance
If you’re in the middle of a outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer that balance onto the travel credit card which has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will enable you to pay off the debt without accruing interest and simultaneously help you hit the minimum amount required to earn the credit card’s bonus.
Use your points or miles prudently
When you’ve earned a significant amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize them wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card, and evaluate the worth of various redemption options. For instance, using your points to book a ticket directly through the airline may offer better return than using them for a gift card.
Another tip is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer your points to other loyalty programs. This allows you to get a wider selection of options and greater freedom when it comes to you want to redeem your rewards. For instance, you might be able to transfer your rewards to an airline’s frequent flyer program or Hotel rewards programme. This gives you access to a greater variety of hotels, flights, and other travel perks that aren’t accessible through the rewards program on your credit card.
In addition, you should find out the card’s benefits. any perks that can help you save money on travel expenses. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection and other benefits that are invaluable when you travel.
When you travel with someone else, both of you can earn rewards using your own credit card. Make sure you don’t divide the cost with the same card, and be sure you keep track of your rewards separately.
The key to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to know the rewards program of your credit card and make sure you’re using this program in the most efficient way possible. Through a combination of the strategies I’ve outlined that you can earn rewards quickly, redeem rewards for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad range of travel perks.