Are you fed up of spending an enormous amount on flights? Well, good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting way to turn credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles which can be used to score discounted or cheap flights from your desired destinations. With a bit of imagination and a little bit of insider information, you’ll travel for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can then be used to buy discounted or even free flights. Some credit cards also permit you to use miles for hotel stays and car rental discounts.
How Does it Work?
The secret to success in hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and establishing frequent flyer miles for a specific group of airlines. When you are ready to make a booking take a look at the price. If the flight is less than $300, it’s best to pay in cash and save your miles for a more expensive flight. When the flights start getting higher than $500, it’s best to look into your frequent flyer accounts and determine which airline offers you the most value. All it boils down to is the amount of miles or points you have in your travel savings account for each airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to hacking travel? The first step is opening the credit card that comes with a sign-up offer. There are many great credit cards that provide a variety of benefits and features. It depends on the type of airline, your habits with spending and what features are essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards that are perfect to use for hacking 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 hit the limit of spending minimum in order to receive the bonus. Every card has different guidelines, so make certain to verify the details. Then, it’s all about racking miles and using them to plan your dream vacation!
Ready to jet-set with your goals?
Now that you’ve built up the points balance, you’re ready to cash them in for some nice getaway! Different credit card companies have different methods of redeeming your points. Here are a few examples from some of the ones I’ve had experience with:
Getaway through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you’re a holder of a Chase credit card, then you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through it, you’ll get access to nearly every airline and you can make use of a combination of points and cash to pay for your trip. You can even book entirely using points if you’ve got enough balance! Sometimes even if you do not possess enough points for the full cost, you are able to buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with the credit card of your choice.
Are you tired of paying full price for your flight tickets? Did you not know that when you book directly through United You have the option to pay with either points or dollars? Butbe aware, if you don’t have enough points you cannot combine points and dollars for one flight. If you’re just a few points short, United provides the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience , with more space and complimentary snacks. Plus, their booking process is like United’s which allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue either dollars or points however, not both. But, JetBlue has a unique feature that lets you combine your points with your relatives to earn points twice as quickly. Just make sure you can prove you’re really family before trying to hack the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel companion Becca, you’re probably pretty thrifty and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum amount required to earn credit card bonuses. However, don’t be worried as we’ve done it and are here to share our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able to pay for your rent with a credit card, do it! Make sure you pay a fee, usually around 3%. It might be worth it in the long run in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another way to reach the spending limit is to pay for the medical bills. If you do not have any medical expenses in the near future then ask your family members to pay them for theirs, and they will repay you.
Make a payment to pay off the loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan, consider paying them off with an credit card. Make sure to pay off the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t accrue additional debt.
Ask family for help
Discuss your family with them and determine if they’ve got any big expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to trust the person and they know why you’re doing this.
If you’re celebrating the holidays take into consideration buying all your gifts using the credit card you have. In this way, you’ll meet the minimum spending limit and be ready for giving gifts. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you thinking of.
There are a lot of ways to make the most from the travel credit card. accumulate miles or points that you can be used towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are some additional suggestions for maximising your rewards
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
If you’re planning a vacation, make use of you travel credit card for booking your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as other travel costs. Not only will you achieve the minimum spend to qualify for a credit card as well, but you’ll also be earning points or miles on those costs.
Make use of your credit card to pay for everyday expenditures
Another method to reach the minimum spending requirement in order to accumulate points by utilising your credit cards to pay for every day expenses. This could include items like groceries, gas or even your phone bill. Make sure you pay off the balance each month in full so you don’t accumulate interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer bonus points or miles on certain kinds of purchases, like eating out or traveling. Make sure you review your credit card’s rewards program and make use of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending habits.
Think about the possibility of transferring your balance
If you are currently in debt on a credit card, consider transferring that balance to a travel credit card with the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfers. This will allow you to pay off your debt without accruing interest, and also assist you in reaching the minimum spending requirement for the credit card’s bonus.
Utilize your miles and points prudently
If you’ve amassed a large amount of points or miles Make sure to utilize the points or miles wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and then compare the value of different redemption options. For instance you can use your points to book a flight directly with the airline might provide you with a greater value than using them to purchase an gift card.
Another tip is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer your rewards to different loyalty program. This will let you get a wider selection of options and greater freedom when it comes to making use of your rewards. For example, you may be capable of transferring your reward to an airline’s frequent flyer program or a Hotel rewards programme. This gives the benefit of a greater variety of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks which are not available through the rewards program of your credit card.
In addition, you should find out if your credit card offers any perks that can help you save money on travel costs. Many cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection, and other benefits that can be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with someone else, both of you can get rewards on your own credit card. Be aware that you cannot divide the cost with the same card and 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 it in the most effective method possible. Utilizing an array of strategies I’ve outlined that you can earn rewards quickly, redeem rewards for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad range of travel perks.