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 problems. It’s an exciting way to convert sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles, that can then be used to score discounted or free flights to your ideal destinations. With a little bit of imagination and some know-how, you’ll fly for no cost in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. The miles can be used to purchase discounted or even free flights. Some credit cards also allow you to redeem miles towards hotel stays or car rental offers.
How Does it Work?
The secret to success in hacking travel is taking advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and to establish a frequent flyer mile program on a select group of airlines. When it’s time to make a booking take a look at the price. If the flight is under $300, it’s generally better to pay in cash and use your miles to pay for a more expensive flight. When the flights start getting above $500, you’ll want to check your frequent flyer accounts to determine which airline offers you the most value. It all comes down to the number of miles or points in your travel bank for each airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets of travel hacking? First step opening an account that comes with a welcome bonus. There are many great credit cards that provide a variety of features and benefits. 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 some credit cards that are great to hack travel
- 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 limit of spending minimum in order to receive the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so make sure to check for the details. Then, it’s all about racking up miles and then using them to book your dream trip!
Ready to jet-set with your ideas?
Once you’ve accumulated your points balance, you’re ready to redeem them for some nice getaway! Different credit card companies will have different methods for redeeming your points. Here are a few examples from some of the ones I have experience with:
Getaway by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have an Chase card, you are able to redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through the portal, you’ll have access to nearly every airline. You can combine points and cash to pay for your next trip. You can book your flight entirely with points if you’ve enough balance! 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 in cash with 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 of paying with dollars or points? Butbe aware, if you don’t have enough points you aren’t able to combine points and dollars on flights. Don’t worry, though, if you’re a few points away, United provides the option of buying additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience with extra legroom and free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to that of United Airlines which allows you to book with either JetBlue points or dollars but not both. The difference is that JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that lets you join your points with your family members and earn points twice as quickly. Just make sure you can prove you’re really family before trying to hack the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re anything like me and my travel buddy Becca, you’re probably pretty frugal and it can be difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to hit the minimum spend for a credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried as we’ve done it and are here to share our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able to pay for your rent using credit card, go for it! Make sure you be charged a fee, typically around 3%. It might be worth it in the end in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another excellent way to meet the spending limit is to pay for an medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses coming up, ask your relatives if you could pay their medical bills and they’ll repay you.
Repay the loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan take into consideration paying them off with the credit card you have. Just make sure you pay off the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Discuss your family with them and look into any big expenses coming up which you could help pay for. Just make sure you trust the person and they understand 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 hit that minimum spend and also be prepared for giving gifts. Be sure to avoid spending more than you were already planning to.
There are plenty of ways to make the most of your travel credit card. You can earn miles or points to spend on flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few additional ways to maximize your rewards
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a vacation, make use of the travel credit card for booking your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as other travel costs. You’ll not only be able to meet the minimum spend for your credit card as well, but you’ll also earn points or miles on those expenses.
Utilize your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday expenses
Another way to hit the minimum amount of spending in order to accumulate points utilising your credit cards to pay for daily costs. This could include items like groceries, gas and even your telephone bill. Be sure to pay the balance off in full each month so you don’t accumulate interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or points in exchange on certain kinds of purchases, such as eating out or travelling. Make sure you review the rewards program of your credit card and take advantage of any bonus categories that align with your spending habits.
Consider a balance transfer
If you are currently in debt on a credit card, you might want to transfer the balance to a travel credit card with a 0% introductory APR for balance transfers. This will let you pay off your debts without accruing interest and simultaneously aid in achieving the minimum spending requirement for the credit card’s bonus.
Utilize your miles and points carefully
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of points or miles, be sure to use them in a responsible manner. Review the rewards program for your credit card and compare the benefits of different redemption options. For example you can use points to purchase a flight directly through the airline may give you a better return than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another option is to get rewards cards that allow you to transfer rewards to different loyalty program. This allows you to enjoy a greater variety of choices and more flexibility in you want to redeem your rewards. For instance, you might be capable of transferring your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or reward program for hotels. This gives the benefit of a greater range of flights, hotels and other travel benefits that may not be accessible through the rewards program on your credit card.
In addition, you should find out the card’s benefits. certain benefits that will save you money on travel-related expenses. Some cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that could be very beneficial when traveling.
When you travel with a companion, both of you can earn rewards using your own credit card. Make sure you don’t divide the cost with the same card and make sure you keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
Overall, the key to making the most of your rewards for travel is to be aware of your credit card’s rewards program and ensure that you’re making use of this program in the most efficient way possible. Through an array of methods I’ve described in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards quickly, redeem them for travel experiences that are worth it and take advantage of a broad range of travel perks.