Are you tired of spending an enormous amount on flights? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting way to convert credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles, that can then be used to obtain discounted or complimentary flights for your ideal destinations. With a little imagination and some information, you’ll be jet-setting for free 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. The miles can be used to buy cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards will also let you redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or car rental offers.
How Does it Work?
The secret to successful hacking travel is taking advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and to establish a frequent flyer mile program for a specific group of airlines. When it comes time to make a booking take a look at the price. If the cost is less than $300, it’s best to pay cash and save your miles for a more expensive flight. If your flights begin to climb over $500, you’ll need to check your frequent flyer accounts and see which airline can give you the most value. It all comes down to the amount of miles or points you have in your travel savings account for every airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to hacking travel? The first step is to open an account that comes with a welcome bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards with many benefits and features. It depends on the type of airline, your spending habits, and what features are important 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 or debit 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 make sure to check for this information. From there it’s all about building up miles, and then using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your ideas?
Once you’ve accumulated your points balance, you’re ready to use them towards delicious travel! Different credit card companies have different methods of redeeming your rewards, here are some examples from a few of the providers I’ve worked with:
Getaway with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of a Chase cards, you are able to redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. In the portal, you’ll get 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 even book completely on points if you have the balance for it! Sometimes even if you don’t possess enough points for the total price, you can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using every credit card.
Are you fed up of paying full price for your flight tickets? Did you realize that when booking directly through United you can choose the option of paying with dollars or points? Be careful that if you do not have enough points you can’t combine dollars and points on one flight. If you’re a few point short United gives you 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 similar to United’s which allows customers to book using either JetBlue dollar or points, but not both. The difference is that JetBlue offers a distinct feature where you can join your points with family members to accrue points twice as fast. Be sure to establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re like me or my travel companion Becca, you’re probably pretty thrifty and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to reach the minimum spend for credit card bonuses. Don’t worry as we’ve done it and are here to share 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! Make sure you pay a fee, usually at least 3 percent. It might be worth it in the end when the bonus is large enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another excellent way to meet the spending limit is to cover the medical bills. If you do not have any medical expenses due Ask your family members to pay them for theirs, and they will repay you.
Pay off the loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan you owe, think about repaying them using your credit card. Just make sure you pay off the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Discuss your family with them and look into any major expenses in the near future that you can help pay for. Make sure that you are able to trust the person and they know why you’re doing it.
If it’s the holiday season you should consider purchasing all your gifts using cards from your credit account. This way you can reach the minimum spending requirement and also be ready for giving gifts. Just make sure you’re not paying more than you already thinking of.
There are many ways to get the most out of the travel credit card. accrue points or miles to be used towards 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 trip, make use of the travel credit card for booking your hotel, flight, rental car, and other travel costs. Not only will you be able to hit the minimum amount of spending required for your credit card and earn points, however, you’ll also earn points or miles to cover these expenditures.
Use your credit card to pay for your everyday costs
Another way to hit the minimum spend and earn points is by making use of your credit card for every day expenditures. This can include things like gas, groceries or even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay off the balance each month in full so you don’t pay interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or points in exchange for certain types of purchases, such as eating out or traveling. Be sure to review the rewards program of your credit card and take advantage of any bonus categories that match with your spending habits.
Think about 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 an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will allow you to pay off your debt without accruing interest, and also help you hit the minimum spending requirement for the credit card bonus.
Utilize your miles and points 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 compare the benefits of different redemption options. For instance, using points to purchase a flight directly with the airline might offer better value than using them to purchase an gift card.
Another tip is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer points to other loyalty programs. This will let you get a wider selection 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 a Hotel rewards programme. This will give the benefit of a wider range of flights, hotels as well as other travel perks which are not available through the rewards program on your credit card.
Also, determine the card’s benefits. any perks that can save you money on travel-related costs. Many cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that can be invaluable when you travel.
When you travel with a companion, both of you can get rewards on your credit card. Be aware that you cannot split the cost on the same card. Also, make sure to track your rewards separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program on your credit card and make sure you’re using your credit card in the most efficient method. By using a combination of the strategies I’ve outlined in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards quickly, redeem them for travel experiences that are worth it and benefit from a wide range of travel perks.