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 a fun way to turn credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into miles which can be used to score discounted or cheap flights from your dream destinations. With a little bit of imagination and some information, you’ll travel for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about swapping credit card sign-up bonus as well as incentives to earn airline miles. The miles can be used to pay for discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards allow you to redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or car rental discounts.
How Does it Work?
The secret to success in travel hacking is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and establishing a frequent flyer mile program for a specific group of airlines. When it’s time to book a flight take a look at the price. If the price is under $300, it’s best to pay in cash and save your miles to take a more costly flight. If the prices start to rise above $500, you’ll want to check the frequent flyer account to determine which airline offers you the best deal. All it boils down to is the number of points or miles in your travel account for each airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to travel hacking? Your first task is opening an account with a sign-up bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards that offer a variety of advantages and features. 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 perfect 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 spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to qualify for the bonus. Every card has different rules, so make sure to check for this information. From there you can begin to rack miles and using them to plan your dream trip!
Are you ready to set sail with your goals?
Now that you’ve built up your points amount, it’s time to redeem them for some delicious vacation! Different credit card providers will have different methods for redeeming your points, but here are some examples from some of the ones I’ve had experience with:
Getaway through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you own an Chase credit card, then you are able to redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within it, you’ll get access to virtually every airline and you can use a combination of the points as well as cash in order to pay for your travel. You can even book completely using points if you’ve got enough balance! Sometimes, even if you don’t possess enough points for the total 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 flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option of paying using either points or dollars? But, be careful that if you don’t have enough points you cannot combine points and dollars for one flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re just a few points short, United provides the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue provides a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience with 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. The difference is that JetBlue offers a distinct feature where you can combine your points 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 into the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re like me or my travel buddy Becca I’m sure you’re pretty economical and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to hit the minimum spend for a credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried because we’ve been there and are here to share our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able pay your rent using credit card, go for it! Make sure you pay a fee, usually around 3%. It could be worthwhile in the long run if the bonus is high enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another way to reach the minimum spend is to pay for a medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses due Ask your family members if you can pay their medical bills and they will reimburse you.
Pay off a loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan, consider paying them off with your credit card. Make sure to pay off the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Talk to your family and look into any big expenses coming up which you could help pay for. Make sure that you are able to have confidence in the person you are talking to and they are aware of the reason for doing it.
If you’re celebrating the holidays you should consider purchasing all of your gifts with the credit card you have. In this way, you’ll hit that minimum spend and also be ready for gift giving. Be sure to avoid spending more than you already thinking of.
There are plenty of ways to make the most from the travel credit card. accrue points or miles to spend on flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are some additional suggestions for maximising your rewards
Book travel expenses with your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, make use of your travel credit card to book your flight, hotel, rental car, and any other travel-related expenses. You’ll not only achieve the required amount for your credit card bonus and earn points, but you’ll also earn points or miles on those expenses.
Utilize your credit card to pay for everyday expenditures
Another way to meet the minimum spend and earn points is by making use of your credit card for daily expenditures. This could be things like food, gas or even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay off the balance in full each month so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Make the most of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or points in exchange for certain types of purchases, like eating out or traveling. Be sure to review the rewards program of your credit card and avail any bonus categories that match with your spending routines.
Take into consideration the possibility of transferring your balance
If you are currently in debt on a credit card, you might want to transfer that balance to an account with a travel credit card that has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfer. This will let you pay off your debts without accruing interest, and also assist you in reaching the minimum spend for the credit card bonus.
Use your points or miles wisely
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of points or miles Make sure to utilize them in a responsible manner. Review the rewards program for your credit card and then compare the value of different redemption options. For example 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 option is to get an rewards card that permits you to transfer rewards to different loyalty program. This will let you enjoy a greater variety of choices and more flexibility in you want to redeem your rewards. For instance, you might be eligible to transfer your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or Hotel rewards programme. This can give the benefit of a greater selection of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks which are not accessible through the rewards program on your credit card.
In addition, you should determine the card’s benefits. 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 can be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a companion, both of you can earn rewards with your own credit card. Be aware that you cannot share the costs on the same card, and be sure you keep track of your rewards separately.
Overall, the key to making the most of your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program on your credit card and to ensure you’re making use of this program in the most effective way possible. Through an array of methods I’ve described that you can earn rewards fast, exchange them for travel experiences that are worth it and benefit from a wide assortment of travel-related perks.