Are you tired of paying an enormous amount on flights? Well, good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s a fun way to convert bonus and sign-up incentives into miles which you can use to score discounted or complimentary flights for your desired destinations. With a little creativity and some insider information, you’ll fly for no cost in no time.
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. Some credit cards also let you redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or rental car deals.
How Does it Work?
The secret to successful hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and to establish frequent flyer miles for a specific group of airlines. When it’s time to make a booking, evaluate the cost. If the cost is under $300, it’s best to pay cash and save your miles to book a higher-priced flight. If the prices start to rise higher than $500, it’s best to review those frequent flyer accounts and determine which airline offers you the most value. It all boils down to the number of points or miles you have in your travel account for every airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to hacking travel? First step to open an account that comes with a welcome bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that offer a variety of benefits and features. It is all dependent on the airline, your spending habits, and the features that are most crucial 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
Once you’ve been approved for a credit card you’ll need to hit the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to receive the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so be certain to verify this information. Then it’s all about building up miles and then using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your goals?
Now that you’ve built up your points amount, it’s time to redeem them for some sweet vacation! Different credit card providers will have different methods for redeeming your points. Here are some examples from a few of the companies I’ve had experience with:
Take a trip with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have a Chase credit card, then you are able to redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through it, you’ll get access to almost every airline, and you can combine points and cash to pay for your next trip. You can even book completely on points if you have the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you do not be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for total price, you can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using every 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 with dollars or points? But, be careful that if you don’t have enough points, you cannot combine dollars and points for one flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re only a couple of points short, United gives you the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers passengers a relaxing and pleasant travel experience that includes extra legroom as well as free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is like United’s that allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue points or dollars however, not both. The difference is that JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature where you can join 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 anything like me and my travel companion Becca I’m sure you’re pretty thrifty and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to reach the minimum amount required to earn a credit card bonus. Don’t worry because we’ve been there 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 a credit card, do it! Just be prepared to pay a fee, usually at least 3 percent. It might be worth it in the end in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the minimum spend is to pay for an medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses in the near future then ask your relatives if you could pay them for theirs, and they can reimburse you.
Pay off a loan
If you’re a borrower, consider repaying them using an credit card. Make sure to pay the credit card balance in full so you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Discuss your family with them and look into any large expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to trust the person and they know why you’re doing this.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season, consider 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. Just make sure you’re not paying more than you already contemplating to.
There are plenty of methods to get the most of the travel credit card and accrue points or miles to spend on airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are some additional ideas for maximizing your rewards:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
If you’re planning a vacation, make use of the travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as any other travel-related expenses. In addition, you’ll achieve the minimum amount of spending required to qualify for a credit card reward, but you’ll also earn points or miles on the costs.
Make use of your credit card to pay for all your daily expenses
Another way to meet the minimum spend to earn rewards is utilising your credit cards to pay everyday expenses. This could be items like groceries, gas, and even your phone bill. Make sure you pay the balance off in full every month to ensure you don’t pay interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer bonus points or miles on certain kinds of purchases, such as eating out or travelling. Be sure to review the rewards program of your credit card and take advantage of any bonus categories that align with your spending routines.
Think about a balance transfer
If you have existing debt on a high-interest credit card, think about transferring that balance to the travel credit card which has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfer. This will allow you to pay off your debts without accruing interest. It will also assist you in reaching the minimum spend for the credit card’s bonus.
Make use of your miles or points prudently
When you’ve earned a significant amount of points or miles, be sure to use them wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and compare the value of different redemption options. For example you can use your points to book a ticket directly with the airline might give you a better return than using them for an gift card.
Another suggestion is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer your points to other loyalty programs. This allows you to get a wider selection of choices and more flexibility when you want to redeem your rewards. For example, you may be able to transfer your reward to the frequent flyer program of an airline or Hotel rewards programme. This can give you access to a greater selection of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks which are not accessible through the rewards program on your credit card.
Also, determine whether your credit card has certain benefits that will reduce your travel costs. Some cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that can be invaluable when you travel.
Finally, when you’re traveling with someone else 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 be sure to track your rewards separately.
The key to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to know your credit card’s rewards program and ensure that you’re making use of it in the most efficient method. Utilizing all of the strategies I’ve outlined in this article, you’ll be able get rewards in a short time, use them for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide assortment of travel-related perks.