Are you tired of paying an enormous amount on flights? Good news! Travel hacking is the answer to your travel-related problems. It’s a fun way to convert credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles that can then be used to score discounted or complimentary flights for your dream destinations. With a little bit of imagination and some information, you’ll fly for no cost within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of swapping credit card sign-up bonus and incentives for airline miles. The miles can be used to purchase cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards will also permit you to use miles for hotel stays and car rental offers.
How Does it Work?
The secret to success in hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and to establish a frequent flyer mile program with a limited number of airlines. When it’s time to make a booking take a look at the price. If the cost is less than $300, it’s best to pay in cash and save your miles to take a more costly flight. If the prices start to rise higher than $500, it’s best to review those frequent flyer accounts to see which airline can give you the most value. It all comes down to the number of points or miles you have in your travel bank for each airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets of travel hacking? Your first task is to open an account with a sign-up bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that provide various advantages and features. It is all dependent on the airline, your habits with spending and the features that are most important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit card options that can be excellent for travel hacking:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
If you’ve been approved for a credit card you’ll need to hit the minimum spend limit in order to get the bonus. Each card has its own guidelines, so make sure to look up this information. 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 goals?
Now that you’ve built up the points amount, it’s time to redeem them for some delicious getaway! Different credit card companies will offer different ways to redeem your rewards, here are a few examples from some of the providers I’ve had experience with:
Getaway by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have a Chase cards, you are able to redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. In this portal you’ll get access to almost every airline and you can make use of a combination of the points as well as cash in order to pay for your trip. You can even book entirely with points if you’ve the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you do not possess enough points for the full cost, you are able to book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using 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 either points or dollars? Butbe aware in case you don’t have enough points you aren’t able to combine points and dollars for flights. Don’t worry, though, if you’re a few point short United gives you the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue offers passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience with extra legroom as well as free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is like United’s which allows you to book with either JetBlue points or dollars, but not both. But, JetBlue offers a distinct feature that allows you to combine your points with your family members and earn points twice as quickly. Make sure to establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel buddy Becca, you’re probably pretty frugal and it can be difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to reach the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus. But don’t fret as we’ve done it and are here to share some of our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able to pay your rent with a credit card, do it! Make sure you pay a fee, usually at least 3 percent. It could be worthwhile in the end when the bonus is large enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another way to reach the required spending is to cover a 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 repay you.
Make a payment to pay off the loan
If you have any loans you owe, think about making payments on them with the credit card you have. Be sure to pay off the balance on your credit card in full so you don’t accumulate additional debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Ask your family members to look into any large expenses coming up which you could help pay for. Just make sure you trust the person and 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 the credit card you have. So you’ll be able to meet the minimum spending limit and be ready for gift giving. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you already thinking of.
There are many methods to get the most of your travel credit card. accrue points or miles to use towards flights or other travel-related expenses. 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 the travel credit card to book your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as any other travel-related expenses. You’ll not only be able to hit the minimum amount of spending required to earn your credit card, but you’ll also earn points or miles to cover these expenditures.
Make use of your credit card to pay for everyday expenses
Another method to reach the minimum amount of spending to earn rewards is utilising your credit cards to pay for everyday expenses. This could be things like gas, groceries and even your telephone bill. Be sure to pay off the balance each month in full so you don’t accumulate interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer bonus points or miles for specific types of purchases, such as eating out or traveling. Make sure you review the rewards program of your credit card and avail any bonus categories that align with your spending routines.
Consider the possibility of transferring your balance
If you have existing debt on a credit card, you might want to transfer the balance to a travel credit card with a 0% introductory APR for balance transfers. This will let you pay off the debt without accruing interest. It will also help you hit the minimum amount required to earn the credit card’s bonus.
Use your points or miles wisely
If you’ve amassed a large amount of points or miles, be sure to use the points or miles wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and compare the worth of various redemption options. For example using your points to purchase a flight directly with the airline might offer better return than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another tip is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer points to other loyalty programs. This allows you to enjoy a greater variety of options and greater freedom when it comes to you want to redeem your rewards. For example, you may be able to transfer your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or hotel rewards program. This will give you access to a greater range of flights, hotels as well as other travel perks that may not be available through the rewards program of your credit card.
In addition, you should find out if your credit card offers any perks that can save you money on travel-related expenses. Many cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection and other benefits that can be very beneficial when traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a companion each of you will be able to get rewards on your credit card. Just remember that you can’t share the costs on the same card and make sure to track your rewards separately.
Overall, the key to making the most of your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program on your credit card and to ensure you’re making use of this program in the most efficient way possible. By using an array of methods I’ve described in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards quickly, redeem rewards for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide range of travel perks.