Are you tired of spending an enormous amount on flights? Good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s a fun way to convert credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles, which you can use to get discounted or even complimentary flights for your ideal destinations. With a little creativity and some insider information, you’ll fly for no cost within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. These miles can later be used to pay for cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards will also let you redeem miles for hotel stays and rental car deals.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for success in travel hacking is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and to establish frequent flyer miles for a specific group of airlines. When it comes time to book a flight take a look at the price. If the flight is under $300, it’s usually better to pay cash and save your miles to book a higher-priced flight. When the flights start getting above $500, you’ll want to review the frequent flyer account to determine which airline offers you the best price. All it boils down to is the amount of points or miles you have you have in your travel savings account for each airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to hacking travel? The first step is to open an account with a sign-up bonus. There are many great credit cards that offer various benefits and features. It depends on the type of airline, your habits with spending and the features that are most essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit card options that can be excellent to use for hacking travel:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
Once you’ve been approved for a credit card, you’ll need to hit the minimum spend limit in order to receive the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of guidelines, so make sure to check for this information. Then it’s all about building miles and then using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your goals?
After you’ve accrued the points balance, you’re ready to redeem them for some sweet vacation! Different credit card providers will have different methods of redeeming your points. Here are some examples from a few of the ones I have experience with:
Take a trip through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you have an Chase credit card, then you can redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. In this portal you’ll get access to nearly every airline. You can use a combination of points and cash to pay for your travel. You can even book completely with points if you’ve the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you do not possess enough points for the entire cost, you still can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using any credit card.
Are you tired of paying full price for flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United, you have the option of paying using dollars or points? Butbe aware in case you don’t have enough points you can’t combine dollars and points on flights. No worries though, if you’re a few points short, United gives you the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue offers a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience , with more legroom and free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to that of United Airlines which allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue points or dollars, but not both. The difference is that JetBlue offers a distinct feature where you can join your points with family members to accrue points twice as fast. Be sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack into the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me and my travel buddy Becca You’re probably quite frugal and it can be challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to reach the required amount to qualify for the credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried because we’ve been there and are here to share some of our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able to pay your rent with credit card, then do it! Make sure you pay a fee, usually about 3%. It may be worth it in the long run in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another way to reach the minimum spend is to cover a medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses due, ask your relatives if you could pay them for theirs, and they can reimburse you.
Make a payment to pay off a loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan, consider repaying them using an credit card. Just make sure you pay the credit card balance in full so you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Discuss your family with them and see if they have any big expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Make sure that you are able to trust the person and they are aware of the reason for doing it.
If it’s the holiday season you should consider purchasing all your gifts using cards from your credit account. In this way, you’ll meet the minimum spending limit and be ready for giving gifts. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you planning to.
There are many methods to get the most out of your travel credit card and accumulate miles or points that you can use towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. 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 you travel credit card for booking your hotel, flight, rental car, and any other travel-related expenses. Not only will you be able to meet the minimum spend for your credit card reward, but you’ll also be earning points or miles for those expenditures.
Utilize your credit card to pay for everyday expenditures
Another method to reach the minimum spending requirement in order to accumulate points making use of your credit card to pay every day expenditures. This can include things like food, gas and even your telephone bill. Be sure to pay the balance off in full each month so you don’t accumulate interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer bonus points or miles on certain kinds of purchases, including eating out or traveling. Make sure you review your credit card’s rewards program and avail the bonus categories that are in line with your spending routines.
Think about the possibility of transferring your balance
If you’re in the middle of a outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, consider transferring that balance to an account with a travel credit card that has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfers. This will enable you to pay off your debt without accruing interest. It will also help you hit the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus.
Utilize your miles and points carefully
When you’ve earned a significant amount of miles or points make sure you use the points or miles wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card, and evaluate the benefits of different redemption options. For instance, using points to book a ticket directly with the airline could provide you with a greater return than using them for a gift card.
Another option is to get a rewards card that allows you to transfer reward points into other loyalty programmes. This allows you to get a wider selection of options and greater freedom when it comes to making use of your rewards. For instance, you might be able to transfer your reward to an airline’s frequent flyer program or a Hotel rewards programme. This will give an access wider selection of hotels, flights and other travel benefits that may not be accessible through the rewards program of your credit card.
Additionally, try to discover if your credit card offers any perks that can help you save money on travel expenses. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that could be invaluable when you travel.
If you’re traveling with a friend each of you will be able to earn rewards with your own credit card. Be aware that you cannot split the cost on the same card. Also, make sure to keep track of your rewards separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do to maximizing your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program on your credit card and make sure you’re using it in the most efficient way possible. By using an array of methods I’ve described in this article, you’ll be able get rewards in a short time, use them for travel experiences that are worth it and benefit from a wide variety of travel benefits.