Are you tired of paying an enormous amount on flights? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s a fun way to convert sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles which can be used to obtain discounted or complimentary flights for your ideal destinations. With a little bit of creativity and some insider knowledge, you can fly for no cost in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about trading credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can later be used to buy discount or no-cost flights. Some credit cards also permit you to use miles towards hotel stays or car rental deals.
How Does it Work?
The key to successful travel hacking is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and establishing frequent flyer miles on a select group of airlines. When you are ready to book a flight consider the cost. If the cost 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 higher than $500, it’s best to review your frequent flyer accounts and find out which airline will give you the best price. It all comes down to the amount of miles or points in your travel bank for each airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets of travel hacking? First step to open the credit card that comes with a sign-up bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards with many advantages and features. It is all dependent on the airline, your habits with spending and the features that are most essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards excellent to hack travel
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
If you’ve been approved for a credit or debit card, you’ll need to reach the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to get the bonus. Every card has different rules, so be certain to verify the details. Then, it’s all about racking up miles and using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to set sail with your goals?
Now that you’ve built up the points balance, it’s time to redeem them for some delicious vacation! Different credit card companies have different methods for redeeming your rewards, here are some examples from some of the companies I’ve worked with:
Take a trip by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of a Chase cards, you are able to use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within this portal you’ll have access to almost every airline, and you can combine money and points to pay for your next trip. You can book your flight entirely using points if you’ve got the balance for it! Sometimes even if you don’t possess enough points for the full price, you can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using the credit card of your choice.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for your flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United You have the option of paying with either points or dollars? Be careful, if you don’t have enough points, you can’t combine points and dollars for one flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re a few points away, United also offers the option of buying additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue offers a comfortable and enjoyable travel experience that includes extra legroom and free snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to United’s, allowing you to book with either JetBlue either dollars or points but not both. The difference is that JetBlue offers a distinct feature where you can join your points with your relatives to earn points twice as quickly. Be sure to establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack into the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re like me and my travel buddy Becca, you’re probably pretty economical and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to hit the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried as we’ve done 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 credit card, go for it! Be prepared to be charged a fee, typically about 3 percent. It may be worth it in the long run when the bonus is large enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another way to reach the required spending is to pay for an medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses due then ask your family members if you can pay their medical bills and they can repay you.
Make a payment to pay off a loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan take into consideration making payments on them with your credit card. Just make sure you pay the credit card balance completely so that you don’t accrue additional debt.
Ask family for help
Discuss your family with them and see if they have any big expenses coming up which you could help pay for. Make sure that you are able to have confidence in the person you are talking to and they are aware of the reason for doing it.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season, consider buying all your gifts using your credit card. In this way, you’ll meet the minimum spending limit and also be ready for giving gifts. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you were already contemplating to.
There are a lot of ways to get the most from the travel credit card and accrue points or miles to use towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few more ways to maximize your rewards:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, use your travel credit card for booking your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as any other travel-related expenses. Not only will you be able to meet the minimum spend to earn your credit card bonus and earn points, but you’ll also be earning points or miles to cover these expenditures.
Make use of your credit card to pay for everyday expenditures
Another method to reach the minimum amount of spending in order to accumulate points making use of your credit card for everyday expenditures. This could be things like gas, groceries, and even your phone bill. Make sure you pay off the balance in full every month to ensure you don’t accrue interest charges.
Benefit from bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or bonus points for certain types of purchases, such as dining or travel. Be sure to review your credit card’s rewards program and avail any bonus categories that match with your spending routines.
Take into consideration the possibility of transferring your balance
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a credit card, think about transferring that balance to a travel credit card with the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfer. This will enable you to pay off your debts without accruing interest. It will also help you hit the minimum spending requirement for the credit card’s bonus.
Utilize your miles and points carefully
If you’ve amassed a large amount of miles or points, be sure to use the points or miles wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and compare the benefits of different redemption options. For example, using your points to book a flight directly with the airline might offer better return than using them for an gift card.
Another suggestion is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer your reward points into other loyalty programmes. This allows you to enjoy a greater variety of choices and more flexibility when you want to redeem your rewards. For example, you may be eligible to transfer your reward to an airline’s frequent flyer program or a Hotel rewards programme. This can give the benefit of a greater selection of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks that aren’t available through the rewards program on your credit card.
Additionally, try to find out if your credit card offers any perks that can help you save money on travel 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 each of you will be able to earn rewards using your own credit card. Just remember that you can’t share the costs on the same card, and be sure you keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
In the end, the most important thing to do to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to understand your credit card’s rewards program and ensure that you’re using this program in the most efficient way possible. Through a combination of the methods I’ve described that you can earn rewards quickly, redeem them for travel experiences that are worth it, and enjoy a wide assortment of travel-related perks.