Are you tired of spending an enormous amount on flights? Well, good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting way to turn credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles which can be used to obtain discounted or complimentary flights for your dream destinations. With a bit of imagination and some information, you’ll travel for free 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. These miles can later be used to purchase discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards will also permit you to use miles to pay for hotel stays or car rental discounts.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for successful hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and to establish a frequent flyer mile program on a select group of airlines. When it comes time to make a booking take a look at the price. If the flight is less than $300, it’s generally better to pay in cash and save your miles for a more expensive flight. When the flights start getting above $500, you’ll want to review your frequent flyer accounts to determine which airline offers you the most value. All it boils down to is the amount of points or miles in your travel account for each airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to travel hacking? First step to open an account with a sign-up bonus. There are many great credit cards that offer various benefits and features. It is all dependent on the airline, spending habits and what features are important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards great to hack 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 receive the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of guidelines, so make sure to look up this information. Then, it’s all about racking miles and then using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your goals?
Once you’ve accumulated your points amount, it’s time to use them towards nice travel! Different credit card companies will have different methods for redeeming your points. Here are some examples from a few of the companies I have experience with:
Getaway with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have a Chase cards, you are able to use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In it, you’ll have access to virtually every airline and you can combine the points as well as cash in order to book your next trip. You can even book entirely on points if you have the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you don’t have enough points to cover the total cost, you are able to purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using any credit card.
Are you fed up of paying full price for your flight tickets? Did you realize that when booking directly through United you can choose the option of paying using either points or dollars? Be careful in case you do not have enough points you aren’t able to combine dollars and points for the same flight. No worries though, if you’re just a few point short United also offers the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides a comfortable and enjoyable 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 either dollars or points, but not both. However, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that allows you to join your points with family members to accrue points twice as fast. Be sure to prove you’re really family 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 daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to reach the minimum spend for the credit card bonus. Don’t worry, we’ve been through it and we’re 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 for your rent using a credit card, do it! Just be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually around 3%. It might 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 spending limit is to pay for an medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills coming up then ask your family members to pay their medical bills and they’ll reimburse you.
Make a payment to pay off a loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan you owe, think about making payments on them with an credit card. Make sure to pay off the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Discuss your family with them and determine if they’ve got any large expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to are able to trust the person and that they know why you’re taking the initiative.
If you’re celebrating the holidays you should consider purchasing all of your gifts with your credit card. So you’ll be able to hit that minimum spend and be ready for giving gifts. Make sure that you’re not paying more than you thinking of.
There are many ways to get the most out of the travel credit card. accrue points or miles to use towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are some additional ideas for maximizing the rewards you earn:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a vacation, make use of your travel credit card to book your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as any other travel expenses. Not only will you achieve the minimum spend to earn your credit card, but you’ll also earn points or miles for these expenses.
Make use of your credit card to pay for everyday expenses
Another way to hit the minimum spend in order to accumulate points making use of your credit card for everyday costs. This can include items like groceries, gas or even your phone bill. Be sure to pay off the balance in full each month so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Benefit from bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or points in exchange for certain types of purchases, including eating out or travelling. Make sure you review your rewards program on your credit card and make use of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending routines.
Take into consideration a balance transfer
If you are currently in debt on a credit card, consider transferring that balance onto an account with a travel credit card that has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfer. This will allow you to pay off the debt without accruing interest, and also help you hit the minimum spending requirement for the credit card’s bonus.
Utilize your miles and points prudently
If you’ve amassed a large amount of miles or points, be sure to use them in a responsible manner. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and then compare the value of different redemption options. For instance, using your points to purchase a flight directly with the airline might offer better value than using them for a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer rewards to different loyalty program. This allows you to get a wider selection of choices and more flexibility in redeeming your rewards. For example, you may be capable of transferring your reward to the frequent flyer program of an airline or a reward program for hotels. This can give an access greater selection of hotels, flights, and other travel perks that aren’t available through your credit card’s rewards program.
In addition, you should find out if your credit card offers some perks that could help you save money on travel expenses. Some cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection, and other benefits that are extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with someone else each of you will be able to earn rewards using your credit card. Be aware that you cannot split the cost on the same card. Also, make sure to track your rewards separately.
Overall, the key to reaping the maximum benefits from your rewards for travel is to be aware of your credit card’s rewards program and to ensure you’re making use of it in the most effective method possible. Through all of the strategies I’ve listed that you can earn rewards quickly, redeem them for travel experiences that are worth it and take advantage of a broad assortment of travel-related perks.