Are you tired of spending an enormous amount on flights? Well, good news! Travel hacking is the answer to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting way to turn credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles that can then be used to get discounted or even complimentary flights for your desired destinations. With a bit of imagination and a little bit of insider 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 incentives for airline miles. These miles can then be used to pay for discounted or even free flights. Some credit cards also allow you to redeem miles for hotel stays and rental car discounts.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for success in hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and to establish frequent flyer miles for a specific group of airlines. When it comes time to book a flight, evaluate the cost. If the cost is less than $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 review those frequent flyer accounts and see which airline can give you the best deal. It all boils down to the number of points or miles in your travel bank for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets of travel hacking? The first step is opening the credit card that comes with a sign-up offer. There are plenty of great credit cards that provide many benefits and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, spending habits and what features are 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
After you’ve been accepted for a credit 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 certain to verify this information. From there you can begin to rack miles and using them to plan your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your points?
Now that you’ve built up the points amount, it’s time to use them towards delicious travel! Different credit card companies have different methods of redeeming your points. Here are a few examples from some of the companies I’ve worked with:
Escape with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of a Chase cards, you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In this portal you’ll have access to almost every airline. You can combine points and cash to book your trip. You can book your flight entirely on points if you have enough balance! Sometimes even if you don’t have enough points to cover the full cost, you still can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using any credit card.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option to pay with dollars or points? But, be careful that if you don’t have enough points you can’t combine dollars and points for flights. No worries though, if you’re just a few points away, United gives you the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience with extra legroom as well as free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is like United’s that allows customers to book using either JetBlue dollar or points, however, not both. However, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature where you can pool your points together with family members to accrue points twice as fast. Be sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me or my travel companion Becca You’re probably quite thrifty and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum amount required to earn a credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried, we’ve been through it and are here to share some of our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able to pay your rent using credit card, then do it! Be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually around 3 percent. It could be worthwhile in the long run when the bonus is large enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another great way to hit the spending limit is to cover an medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses coming up, ask your relatives if you could pay for theirs and they will reimburse you.
Make a payment to pay off a loan
If you have any loans you owe, think about making payments on them with your credit card. Make sure to pay off the balance on your credit card completely so that you don’t end up with more 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 contribute for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to have confidence in the person you are talking to and they understand why you’re doing this.
If you’re celebrating the holidays take into consideration buying all your gifts using the credit card you have. This way you can meet the minimum spending limit and also be prepared for gift giving. Be sure to avoid spending more than you were contemplating to.
There are many ways to get the most of the travel credit card. earn miles or points to use towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few more ideas for maximizing your rewards:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, use you travel credit card to book your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as any other travel-related expenses. You’ll not only be able to meet the minimum spend to qualify for a credit card bonus as well, but you’ll also earn points or miles to cover these costs.
Use your credit card for all your daily costs
Another way to meet the minimum spend and earn points is by making use of your credit card to pay every day expenditures. This could include things like food, gas or even your phone bill. Make sure you pay off the balance each month in full so you don’t pay interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or bonus points on certain kinds of purchases, like dining or travel. Check out your credit card’s rewards program and take advantage of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending routines.
Consider the possibility of transferring your balance
If you have existing debt on a credit card, consider transferring the balance to the travel credit card which has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfer. This will let you pay off your debts without accruing interest. It will also assist you in reaching the minimum spend for the credit card bonus.
Use your points or miles prudently
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of points or miles, be sure to use them wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and compare the benefits of different redemption options. For instance using points to purchase a flight directly with the airline might offer better value than using them to purchase an gift card.
Another option is to get rewards cards that allow you to transfer your points to other loyalty programs. This allows you to have a wider range of choices and more flexibility in redeeming your rewards. For instance, you might be eligible to transfer your reward to an airline’s frequent flyer program or a Hotel rewards programme. This will give the benefit of a wider range of flights, hotels as well as other travel perks that aren’t accessible through your credit card’s rewards program.
Also, discover the card’s benefits. certain benefits that will help you save money on travel costs. Some cards offer travel insurance, 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 with your credit card. Make sure you don’t share the costs on the same card, and be sure to keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
Overall, the key to reaping the maximum benefits from your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program on your credit card and ensure that you’re making use of this program in the most effective way possible. By using all of the methods I’ve described that you can earn rewards quickly, redeem them for travel experiences that are worth it, and enjoy a wide range of travel perks.