Are you fed up of spending an enormous amount on flights? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting method to convert credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles, which can be used to score discounted or free flights to your dream destinations. With a little bit of imagination and some knowledge, you can be jet-setting for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. These miles can then be used to pay for discounted or even free flights. Some credit cards also allow you to redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or rental car offers.
How Does it Work?
The key to success in hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and to establish frequent flyer miles on a select group of airlines. When it comes time to make a booking, evaluate the cost. If the price is under $300, it’s best to pay in cash and save your miles to book a higher-priced flight. If the prices start to rise above $500, you’ll want to look into the frequent flyer account and 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.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to travel hacking? Your first task is to open the credit card that comes with a sign-up bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards with many benefits and features. It depends on the type of airline, spending habits and the features that are most important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards that are perfect to hack travel
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
If you’ve been approved for a credit card, you’ll have to meet the minimum spend limit in order to get the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so be sure to check for the details. Then you can begin to rack miles and using them to plan your dream vacation!
Ready to jet-set with your ideas?
After you’ve accrued your points amount, it’s time to cash them in for some delicious travel! Different credit card companies have different methods for redeeming your rewards, here are some examples from a few of the companies I’ve had experience with:
Take a trip through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you have an Chase credit card, then you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within this portal you’ll have access to almost every airline, and you can use a combination of the points as well as cash in order to book your travel. You can book your flight entirely 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 fed up of paying the full cost for flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United, you have the option to pay with either points or dollars? But, be careful that if you don’t have enough points you cannot combine dollars and points on one flight. No worries though, if you’re only a couple of points away, United also offers the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers an enjoyable and comfortable travel experience that includes extra legroom as well as free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to United’s that allows you to book with either JetBlue dollar or points however, not both. The difference is that JetBlue has a unique feature where you can combine your points with family members to accrue points twice as fast. Just make sure you can 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 like me and my travel buddy Becca I’m sure you’re pretty frugal and it can be challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum amount required to earn credit card bonuses. But don’t fret as we’ve done it and we’re here to share our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able pay your rent using a credit card, do it! Be prepared to be charged a fee, typically at least 3%. It may be worth it over the long term in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another great way to hit the spending limit is to cover an medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills coming up, ask your family members to pay for theirs and they’ll pay you back.
Make a payment to pay off the loan
If you’re a borrower you owe, think about repaying them using your credit card. Make sure to pay off the balance on your credit card in full , so that you don’t accrue additional debt.
Ask your family members for help
Talk to your family and see if they have any major expenses in the near future that you can help pay for. Just make sure you are able to trust the person and that they know why you’re doing it.
If it’s the holiday season take into consideration buying all of your gifts with the credit card you have. This way you can meet the minimum spending limit and also be ready for gift giving. Make sure that you’re not paying more than you already thinking of.
There are a lot of methods to get the most from your travel credit card. accrue points or miles to spend on airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are some additional ways to maximize your rewards:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, make use of the travel credit card for booking your hotel, flight, rental car, and other travel costs. Not only will you achieve the minimum amount of spending required to qualify for a credit card reward, but you’ll also earn points or miles for those expenses.
Use your credit card to pay for your everyday expenditures
Another way to meet the minimum spending requirement to earn rewards is utilising your credit cards to pay for every day expenditures. This could include things like gas, groceries or even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay off the balance in full each month so you don’t pay interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide bonus points or miles for specific types of purchases, including eating out or traveling. Check out the rewards program of your credit card and take advantage of any bonus categories that match with your spending routines.
Take into consideration a balance transfer
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a credit card, consider transferring that balance onto a travel credit card with a 0% introductory APR for balance transfer. This will let you pay off your debts without accruing interest. It will also aid in achieving the minimum spend for the credit card’s bonus.
Use your points or miles carefully
When you’ve earned a significant amount of points or miles Make sure to utilize the points or miles wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and then compare the value of different redemption options. For instance using points to book a flight directly with the airline could provide you with a greater value than using them to purchase the purchase of a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer your reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will allow you to have a wider range of choices and more freedom when it comes to you want to redeem your rewards. For instance, you might be eligible to transfer your reward to an airline’s frequent flyer program or hotel rewards program. This can give the benefit of a wider range of flights, hotels as well as other travel perks that aren’t available through the rewards program on your credit card.
Additionally, try to determine whether your credit card has any perks that can help you save money on travel costs. Some cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that could be invaluable when you travel.
If you’re traveling with someone else, both of you can get rewards on your own credit card. Just remember that you can’t divide the cost with the same card. Also, make sure to keep track of your rewards separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do to reaping the maximum benefits from your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program on your credit card and ensure that you’re making use of it in the most effective method. Through an array of methods I’ve described that you can earn rewards quickly, redeem them for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad range of travel perks.