Are you fed up of spending an enormous amount on flights? Good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting method to convert credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles, that can then be used to obtain discounted or cheap flights from your dream destinations. With a bit of imagination and a little bit of insider knowledge, you can fly for no cost within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about swapping credit card sign-up bonus and incentives for airline miles. These miles can then be used to buy cheap or free flight tickets. Some credit cards also allow you to redeem miles for hotel stays and car rental deals.
How Does it Work?
The key to successful hacking travel is taking advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and establishing a frequent flyer mile program for a specific group of airlines. When it comes time to book a flight take a look at the price. If the flight is less than $300, it’s best to pay cash and use your miles to pay to take a more costly flight. If your flights begin to climb higher than $500, it’s best to look into those frequent flyer accounts and find out which airline will give you the best price. All it boils down to is the number of points or miles in your travel account for each airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to travel hacking? The first step is opening an account with a sign-up bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards that provide various features and benefits. It depends on the type of airline, spending habits and the features that are most essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards great 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 reach 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 using them to plan your dream trip!
Are you ready to set sail with your ideas?
Now that you’ve built up the points balance, it’s time to use them towards delicious vacation! Different credit card providers will offer different ways to redeem your points, but here are some examples from some of the providers I have experience with:
Getaway by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have an Chase credit card, then you are able to redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within this portal you’ll have access to virtually every airline. You can use a combination of the points as well as cash in order to book your next trip. You can even book entirely using points if you’ve got enough balance! Sometimes even if you don’t possess enough points for the entire cost, you are able to buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using any credit card.
Are you fed up of paying full price for your flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option of paying using either points or dollars? But, be careful, if you don’t have enough points, you aren’t able to combine points and dollars on the same flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re a few points short, United gives you the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue offers a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience , with more legroom and free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is like United’s, allowing you to book with either JetBlue points or dollars but not both. But, JetBlue has a unique feature that allows you to join your points with your relatives to earn points twice as fast. Just make sure you can prove you’re really family before trying to hack into the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel companion Becca, you’re probably pretty economical and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to hit the required amount to qualify for credit card bonuses. However, don’t be worried as we’ve done it and are here to share 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 credit card, then do it! Be prepared to pay a fee, usually about 3 percent. It might be worth it over the long term when the bonus is large enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another excellent way to meet the minimum spend is to cover the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills coming up Ask your relatives if you could pay for theirs and they can reimburse you.
Pay off the loan
If you’re a borrower you owe, think about repaying them using your credit card. Be sure to pay off the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Ask your family members to see if they have any major expenses in the near future that you can contribute for. Just make sure you have confidence in the person you are talking to and they know why you’re doing it.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season you should consider purchasing all your gifts using your credit card. So you’ll be able to meet the minimum spending limit and also be ready for giving gifts. Be sure to avoid spending more than you thinking of.
There are plenty of ways to make the most from using your credit or debit card for travel. You can earn miles or points to spend on airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are some additional ideas for maximizing the rewards you earn:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
If you’re planning a vacation, make use of your travel credit card to pay for your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as any other travel expenses. In addition, you’ll be able to hit the minimum spend for your credit card and earn points, but you’ll also be earning points or miles to cover these expenses.
Utilize your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday expenditures
Another way to hit the minimum amount of spending to earn rewards is using your credit card to pay for daily expenses. This could be things like gas, groceries, and even your phone bill. Make sure you pay off the balance each month in full so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Benefit from bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or points in exchange on certain kinds of purchases, like dining or travel. Make sure you review the rewards program of your credit card and take advantage of the bonus categories that are in line 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, consider transferring the balance to a travel credit card with an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will enable you to pay off the debt without accruing interest and simultaneously help you hit the minimum spend for the credit card’s bonus.
Make use of your miles or points carefully
When you’ve earned a significant amount of points or miles make sure you use them in a responsible manner. Examine the rewards program of your credit card, and evaluate the value of different redemption options. For example you can use points to purchase a flight directly through the airline may offer better value than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer reward points into other loyalty programmes. This allows you to have a wider range of choices and more flexibility when redeeming your rewards. For example, you may be eligible to transfer your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a Hotel rewards programme. This gives an access wider selection of hotels, flights and other travel benefits that may not be offered through the rewards program of your credit card.
In addition, you should find out the card’s benefits. some perks that could help you save money on travel expenses. Some cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that are very beneficial when traveling.
When you travel 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 and make sure you keep track of your rewards separately.
The key to maximizing your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program on your credit card and to ensure you’re using it in the most efficient way possible. Through all of the methods I’ve described in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards quickly, redeem rewards for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide range of travel perks.