Are you tired of spending an enormous amount on flights? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking is the answer to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting way to turn credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into miles which can be used to score discounted or free flights to your ideal destinations. With a little bit of imagination and a little bit of insider information, you’ll be jet-setting for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. These miles can then be used to pay for discount or no-cost flights. Some credit cards also let you redeem miles for hotel stays and car rental deals.
How Does it Work?
The secret to successful 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 book a flight consider the cost. If the price is less than $300, it’s generally better to pay cash and save your miles to book a higher-priced flight. If your flights begin to climb over $500, you’ll need to review the frequent flyer account to find out which airline will give you the best price. It all boils down to the amount of points or miles you have in your travel account for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets of travel hacking? The first step is to open the credit card that comes with a sign-up bonus. There are many great credit cards that offer a variety of features and benefits. It is all dependent on the airline, your habits with spending and what features are important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards great 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 need to reach the limit of spending minimum in order to get the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so be sure to check for the details. From there you can begin to rack up miles, and then using them to book your dream vacation!
Ready to jet-set with your points?
Once you’ve accumulated your points balance, you’re ready to cash them in for some delicious getaway! Different credit card providers will have different methods for redeeming your rewards, here are some examples from some of the ones I’ve had experience with:
Escape with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have a Chase card, you are able to redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through it, you’ll have access to nearly every airline and you can make use of a combination of points and cash to pay for your travel. You can book your flight entirely using points if you’ve got the balance for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t have enough points to cover the full cost, you still can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with every credit card.
Are you fed up of paying full price for your flight tickets? Did you not know that when you book directly through United, you have the option of paying with dollars or points? Butbe aware that if you don’t have enough points, you aren’t able to combine dollars and points on one flight. If you’re a few points short, United also offers the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience , with more legroom as well as free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is like United’s that allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue dollar or points, but not both. But, JetBlue has a unique feature where you can combine your points with your family members and earn 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.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me or my travel companion Becca, you’re probably pretty frugal and it can be daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to reach the required amount to qualify for the credit card bonus. But don’t fret because we’ve been there and we’re here to share some of our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able to pay for your rent with credit card, go for it! Just be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually at least 3%. It might be worth it over the long term if the bonus is high enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another way to reach the required spending is to cover a medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses coming up then ask your family members to pay for theirs and they will pay you back.
Make a payment to pay off a loan
If you have any loans take into consideration making payments on them with the credit card you have. Make sure to pay off the credit card balance completely so that you don’t end up with 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. Make sure that you are able to are able to trust the person and that they are aware of the reason for doing it.
If you’re celebrating the holidays you should consider purchasing all your gifts using your credit card. This way you can meet the minimum spending limit and be ready for gift giving. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you thinking of.
There are many ways to get the most out of your travel credit card and earn miles or points to be used towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are some 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 pay for your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as other travel costs. In addition, you’ll achieve the minimum spend to qualify for a credit card as well, but you’ll also be earning points or miles for those expenditures.
Make use of your credit card to pay for all your daily expenses
Another way to meet the minimum spend and earn points is using your credit card to pay everyday expenses. This could include things like gas, groceries, and even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay the balance off in full every month to ensure you don’t accumulate interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or points in exchange for specific types of purchases, like dining or travel. 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 outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, think about transferring that balance onto a travel credit card with a 0% introductory APR for balance transfer. This will enable you to pay off your debts without accruing interest, and also help you hit the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus.
Use your points or miles wisely
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize them in a responsible manner. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and compare the worth of various redemption options. For instance you can use your points to book a flight directly with the airline could provide you with a greater value than using them to purchase a gift card.
Another option is to get an rewards card that permits you to transfer your points to other loyalty programs. This will allow you to enjoy a greater variety of choices and more flexibility when you want to redeem your rewards. For instance, you might be eligible to transfer your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a hotel rewards program. This gives you access to a wider variety of hotels, flights, and other travel perks that may not be available through the rewards program on your credit card.
Additionally, try to discover the card’s benefits. certain benefits that will help you save money on travel expenses. Many cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection, and other benefits that could be invaluable when you travel.
When you travel with a companion each of you will be able to earn rewards with your own credit card. Just remember that you can’t divide the cost with the same card and make sure to track your rewards separately.
Overall, the key to making the most of your travel rewards is to know the rewards program of your credit card and to ensure you’re using this program in the most efficient method possible. By using an array of strategies I’ve outlined, you’ll be able to earn rewards quickly, redeem rewards for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide assortment of travel-related perks.