Are you tired of spending an enormous amount on flights? Well, good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting way to turn credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles, which you can use to obtain discounted or cheap flights from your ideal destinations. With a bit of creativity and some insider information, you’ll fly for no cost in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of swapping credit card sign-up bonus and incentives for airline miles. These miles can later be used to purchase discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards allow you to redeem miles for hotel stays and rental car offers.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for successful hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and establishing a frequent flyer mile program with a limited number of airlines. When you are ready to make a booking consider the cost. If the price is under $300, it’s generally better to pay in cash and save your miles to book a higher-priced flight. If the prices start to rise over $500, you’ll need to check your frequent flyer accounts to see which airline can give you the best deal. It all comes down to the number of points or miles in your travel bank for each airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to hacking travel? Your first task is to open the credit card that comes with a sign-up bonus. There are many great credit cards with a variety of advantages and features. It is all dependent on the airline, your habits with spending and what features are crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards that are great to use for hacking travel:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
After you’ve been accepted for a credit card, you’ll need to hit the limit of spending minimum in order to get the bonus. Each card has its own guidelines, so make certain to verify the details. From there it’s all about building miles and using them to plan your dream trip!
Ready to jet-set with your points?
Once you’ve accumulated the points amount, it’s time to use them towards nice getaway! Different credit card companies offer different ways to redeem your points, but here are a few examples from some of the providers I’ve worked with:
Escape by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own an Chase credit card, then you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In this portal you’ll get access to virtually every airline, and you can make use of a combination of points and cash to pay for your next trip. You can even book entirely with points if you’ve the balance for it! Sometimes even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for total price, you can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using the credit card of your choice.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for your flight tickets? Did you realize that when booking directly through United, you have the option of paying with either points or dollars? Butbe aware in case you do not have enough points you can’t combine dollars and points on one flight. No worries though, if you’re just a few points short, United provides the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience with extra legroom as well as free snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to United’s, allowing you to book with either JetBlue dollar or points however, not both. But, JetBlue has a unique feature that allows you to join your points with family members to accrue points twice as quickly. Just make sure you can verify that you are a family member before trying to hack into the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me and my travel buddy Becca You’re probably quite economical and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to hit the required amount to qualify for credit card bonuses. But don’t fret, we’ve been through it 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 pay your rent with a credit card, do it! Just be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually about 3 percent. It could be worthwhile in the end when the bonus is large enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another way to reach the spending limit is to pay for a medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses coming up Ask your family members to pay for theirs and they can pay you back.
Pay off a loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan you owe, think about making payments on them with your credit card. Be sure to pay off the credit card balance in full so you don’t accrue additional debt.
Ask family for help
Ask your family members to look into any large expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to trust the person and they understand why you’re doing this.
If you’re celebrating the holidays you should consider purchasing all your gifts with your credit card. So you’ll be able to meet the minimum spending limit and also be ready for gift giving. Be sure to avoid spending more than you thinking of.
There are a lot of ways to get the most from the travel credit card and accrue points or miles to use towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few more suggestions for maximising the rewards you earn:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, make use of your travel credit card to pay for your hotel, flight, rental car, and any other travel-related expenses. In addition, you’ll be able to hit the required amount to qualify for a credit card bonus as well, but you’ll also earn points or miles on these costs.
Make use of your credit card to pay for everyday costs
Another way to meet the minimum spend and earn points is utilising your credit cards for every day expenditures. This can include things like food, gas, and even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay the balance off each month in full so you don’t accumulate interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer bonus points or miles for certain types of purchases, such as dining or travel. Make sure you review the rewards program of your credit card and avail any bonus categories that match with your spending routines.
Think about the possibility of transferring your balance
If you have existing debt on a credit card, you might want to transfer that balance to a travel credit card with an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will enable you to pay off your debt without accruing interest and simultaneously aid in achieving the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus.
Make use of your miles or points carefully
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points make sure you use them wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card, and evaluate the worth of various redemption options. For instance you can use points to purchase a flight directly with the airline could offer better value than using them for a gift card.
Another tip is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer reward points into other loyalty programmes. This allows you to enjoy a greater variety of options and greater freedom when it comes to you want to redeem your rewards. For instance, you might be eligible to transfer your reward to the frequent flyer program of an airline or reward program for hotels. This will give you access to a greater variety of hotels, flights and other travel benefits that aren’t accessible through the rewards program of your credit card.
Also, determine whether your credit card has some perks that could reduce your travel costs. Some cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that can be very beneficial when traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with someone else and both of you earn rewards with your own credit card. Just remember that you can’t share the costs on the same card and make sure to keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
Overall, the key to reaping the maximum benefits from your rewards for travel is to be aware of your credit card’s rewards program and to ensure you’re using it in the most efficient method possible. Utilizing an array of strategies I’ve outlined, you’ll be able to earn rewards quickly, redeem them for travel experiences that are worth it and benefit from a wide variety of travel benefits.