Are you tired of paying an enormous amount on flights? Well, good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s a fun way to convert credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into miles that can then be used to score discounted or cheap flights from your dream destinations. With a little imagination and some know-how, you’ll be jet-setting for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about swapping credit card sign-up bonus and incentives for airline miles. These miles can later be used to pay for cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards permit you to use miles to pay for hotel stays or car rental offers.
How Does it Work?
The key to success in hacking travel is taking advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and establishing a frequent flyer mile program for a specific group of airlines. When it’s time to make a booking, evaluate the cost. If the price is less than $300, it’s best to pay cash and use your miles to pay to take a more costly flight. If your flights begin to climb above $500, you’ll want to review the frequent flyer account to determine which airline offers you the best deal. It all comes down to the amount of points or miles in your travel account for each airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets of travel hacking? Your first task is opening a credit card with a sign-up bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards with many features and benefits. It depends on the type of airline, your habits with spending and the features that are most important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit card options that can be 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 or debit card, you’ll need to hit the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to get the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so be sure to look up the details. Then it’s all about building miles and then using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your points?
After you’ve accrued the points amount, it’s time to redeem them for some sweet travel! Different credit card companies offer different ways to redeem your points, but here are some examples from a few of the ones I’ve had experience with:
Getaway with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own a Chase card, you can redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within it, you’ll have access to nearly every airline and you can combine money and points to pay for your next trip. You can even book entirely with points if you’ve the balance for it! Sometimes even if you do not possess enough points for the entire cost, you still can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using any credit card.
Are you fed up of paying full price for flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United you can choose the option of paying with dollars or points? Butbe aware in case you don’t have enough points, you cannot combine points and dollars for one flight. No worries though, if you’re only a couple of points short, United provides the option to purchase 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. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to that of United Airlines that allows you to book with either JetBlue points or dollars but not both. But, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature where you can pool your points together with your relatives to earn points twice as fast. Be sure to establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me and my travel buddy Becca I’m sure you’re pretty thrifty and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to reach the required amount to qualify for credit card bonuses. However, don’t be worried as we’ve done it and we’re here to share our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able to pay your rent using a credit card, do it! Just be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually about 3 percent. It may be worth it in the long run when the bonus is large enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another great way to hit the required spending is to cover a medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills due Ask your family members to pay their medical bills and they will pay you back.
Make a payment to 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 the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t accrue additional debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Talk to your family and see if they have any big expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to are able to trust the person and that they are aware of the reason for taking the initiative.
If it’s the holiday season, consider buying all your gifts with the credit card you have. So you’ll be able to reach the minimum spending requirement and also be prepared to give gifts. Just make sure you’re not paying more than you contemplating to.
There are a lot of ways to make the most out of using your credit or debit card for travel. earn miles or points to use towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few additional ideas for maximizing the rewards you earn:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, make use of you travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel, rental car, and any other travel expenses. Not only will you be able to meet the minimum amount of spending required to earn your credit card reward, however, you’ll also earn points or miles to cover these costs.
Make use of your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday expenditures
Another way to meet the minimum spend and earn points is by utilising your credit cards to pay daily expenditures. This could include things like gas, groceries, and even your phone bill. Be sure to pay the balance off in full every month to ensure you don’t accumulate interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or points in exchange on certain kinds of purchases, like dining or travel. Check out your rewards program on your credit card and make use of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending habits.
Consider the possibility of transferring your balance
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a high-interest credit card, consider transferring that balance to an account with a travel credit card that has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfer. This will allow you to pay off your debts without accruing interest and simultaneously assist you in reaching the minimum spend for the credit card’s bonus.
Make use of your miles or points wisely
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points make sure you use the points or miles wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and compare the worth of various redemption options. For instance you can use points to purchase a flight directly with the airline could provide you with a greater value than using them for a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer your points to other loyalty programs. This will let you get a wider selection of options and greater flexibility when redeeming your rewards. For example, you may be capable of transferring your rewards to an airline’s frequent flyer program or Hotel rewards programme. This can give you access to a larger selection of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks which are not available through the rewards program on your credit card.
In addition, you should find out whether your credit card has some perks that could reduce your travel costs. A lot of credit cards provide 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 friend, both of you can earn rewards using your credit card. Just remember that you can’t share the costs on the same card and make sure to track your rewards separately.
Overall, the key to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to know the rewards program of your credit card and make sure you’re making use of this program in the most efficient method possible. By using all of the strategies I’ve listed, you’ll be able to earn rewards fast, exchange rewards for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad variety of travel benefits.