Are you fed up of spending an enormous amount on flights? Well, good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting way to turn credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into miles which can be used to score discounted or free flights to your desired destinations. With a bit of imagination and some information, you’ll fly for no cost in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about swapping credit card sign-up bonus and incentives for airline miles. These miles can later be used to buy discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards let you redeem miles for hotel stays and car rental offers.
How Does it Work?
The secret to successful travel hacking is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and establishing frequent flyer miles with a limited number of airlines. When it comes time to make a booking take a look at the price. If the price is less than $300, it’s best to pay in cash and use your miles to pay to book a higher-priced flight. If your flights begin to climb over $500, you’ll need to review those frequent flyer accounts to find out which airline will give you the best deal. It all comes down to the amount of points or miles in your travel account for each airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to hacking travel? The first step is opening the credit card that comes with a sign-up bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that provide various advantages and features. It depends on the type of 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 excellent to use for hacking travel:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
If you’ve been approved for a credit or debit card, you’ll need to reach the minimum spend limit in order to get the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so be sure to check for this information. From there, it’s all about racking up miles and using them to plan your dream trip!
Are you ready to set sail with your ideas?
Once you’ve accumulated your points balance, it’s time to use them towards sweet getaway! Different credit card companies have different methods for redeeming your points, but here are some examples from some of the providers I’ve had experience with:
Escape through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you own an Chase cards, you are able to use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within the portal, you’ll have access to almost every airline and you can use a combination of money and points to book your trip. You can even book entirely with points if you’ve the balance for it! Sometimes even if you do not be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for total cost, you are able to purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with the credit card of your choice.
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 with dollars or points? But, be careful, if you don’t have enough points you can’t combine points and dollars for the same flight. No worries though, if you’re just a few points away, United gives you the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience , with more space and complimentary snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to that of United Airlines that allows customers to book using either JetBlue either dollars or points, however, not both. But, JetBlue offers a distinct feature that lets you pool your points together with family members to accrue points twice as quickly. Just make sure you can establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack into the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel buddy Becca You’re probably quite thrifty and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to hit the required amount to qualify for a credit card bonus. But don’t fret, we’ve been through it and we’re here to share our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able to pay for your rent using a credit card, do it! Just be prepared to be charged a fee, typically at least 3%. It could be worthwhile in the long run if the bonus is high enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another excellent way to meet the required spending is to cover a medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills coming up then ask your family members if you can pay them for theirs, and they will reimburse you.
Pay off a loan
If you have any loans you owe, think about repaying them using your credit card. Just make sure you pay off the balance on your credit card in full , so that you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Discuss your family with them and see if they have any major expenses in the near future which you could help pay for. Just make sure you trust the person and they know why you’re taking the initiative.
If it’s the holiday season, consider buying all of your gifts with the credit card you have. This way you can meet the minimum spending limit and be ready for gift giving. Just make sure you’re not paying more than you already planning to.
There are a lot of ways to make the most out of using your credit or debit card for travel and accumulate miles or points that you can use towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few additional suggestions for maximising your rewards:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
If you’re planning a vacation, make use of your travel credit card to book your flight, hotel, rental car, and other travel costs. Not only will you be able to hit the minimum spend to qualify for a credit card, however, you’ll also earn points or miles on those expenditures.
Use your credit card for all your daily expenses
Another way to hit the minimum amount of spending and earn points is using your credit card for every day expenses. This could be things like food, gas and even your telephone bill. Just make sure to pay off the balance in full every month to ensure you don’t accumulate interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer bonus points or miles for specific types of purchases, including eating out or travelling. Make sure you review your rewards program on your credit card and take advantage of any bonus categories that match with your spending routines.
Take into consideration the possibility of transferring your balance
If you are currently in outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer that balance onto 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 simultaneously assist you in reaching the minimum spending requirement for the credit card’s bonus.
Make use of your miles or points prudently
When you’ve earned a significant amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize them wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card, and evaluate the value of different redemption options. For example, using points to book a flight directly with the airline might give you a better return than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer your rewards to different loyalty program. This allows you to get a wider selection of options and greater freedom when it comes to redeeming your rewards. For example, you may be capable of transferring your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or Hotel rewards programme. This will give the benefit of a greater selection of hotels, flights, and other travel perks that aren’t available through your credit card’s rewards program.
Also, discover whether your credit card has any perks that can save you money on travel-related costs. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that can be very beneficial when traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with someone else each of you will be able to earn rewards with your credit card. Make sure you don’t share the costs on the same card, and be sure to track your rewards separately.
The key to maximizing your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program of your credit card and make sure you’re making use of this program in the most efficient method possible. Utilizing a combination of the methods I’ve described, you’ll be able to get rewards in a short time, use them for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad assortment of travel-related perks.