Are you fed up 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 sign-up bonuses and incentives into miles which you can use to obtain discounted or cheap flights from your ideal destinations. With a little bit of imagination and some information, you’ll fly for no cost in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. These miles can then be used to buy discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards let you redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or rental car discounts.
How Does it Work?
The secret to successful travel hacking is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and establishing frequent flyer miles on a select group of airlines. When it’s time to make a booking, evaluate the cost. If the cost is less than $300, it’s usually better to pay in cash and use your miles to pay to book a higher-priced flight. When the flights start getting over $500, you’ll need to look into those frequent flyer accounts and determine which airline offers you the best price. It all comes down to the amount of miles or points you have in your travel savings account for each airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to travel hacking? First step opening the credit card that comes with a sign-up bonus. There are many great credit cards that offer many benefits and features. It is all dependent on the airline, spending habits and the features that are most important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards that are excellent for travel hacking:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
Once you’ve been approved for a credit card you’ll need to hit the limit of spending minimum in order to receive the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so be sure to check for the details. From there it’s all about building up miles, and using them to book your dream trip!
Ready to jet-set with your ideas?
Now that you’ve built up your points balance, you’re ready to redeem them for some delicious travel! Different credit card companies will offer different ways to redeem your rewards, here are some examples from a few of the companies I’ve had experience with:
Getaway through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you have a Chase credit card, then you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In this portal you’ll get access to nearly every airline. You can use a combination of points and cash to book your trip. You can even book entirely on points if you have enough balance! Sometimes even if you do not have enough points to cover the total cost, you still can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using any credit card.
Are you fed up of paying full price for your flight tickets? Did you know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option of paying with dollars or points? Be careful, if you don’t have enough points you can’t combine dollars and points on flights. No worries though, if you’re only a couple of point short United also offers the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue offers a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience , with more legroom as well as free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is like United’s which allows you to book with either JetBlue points or dollars, however, not both. But, JetBlue has a unique feature that allows you to combine your points with your relatives to earn points twice as quickly. Be sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack into the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me or my travel companion Becca, you’re probably pretty economical and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to hit the required amount to qualify for credit card bonuses. Don’t worry because we’ve been there and are here to share some of 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! Just be prepared to pay a fee, usually at least 3%. It may be worth it over the long term if the bonus is high enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another great way to hit the spending limit is to cover a medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses in the near future then ask your relatives if you could pay for theirs and they will reimburse you.
Pay off a loan
If you’re a borrower, consider repaying them using your credit card. Be sure to pay off the credit card balance completely so that you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Discuss your family with them and see if they have any large 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 it.
If you’re celebrating the holidays, consider buying all your gifts with the credit card you have. In this way, you’ll meet the minimum spending limit and be ready for gift giving. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you already thinking of.
There are a lot of methods to get the most out of your travel credit card. accrue points or miles to use towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few more ideas for maximizing your rewards:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
When you’re planning your next vacation, make use of you travel credit card for booking your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as any other travel expenses. In addition, you’ll be able to hit the minimum spend to qualify for a credit card bonus, but you’ll also be earning points or miles for these expenditures.
Utilize your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday expenditures
Another way to hit the minimum amount of spending in order to accumulate points by utilising your credit cards to pay every day expenses. This could be items like groceries, gas and even your telephone bill. Make sure you pay the balance off in full each month so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Benefit from bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or points in exchange for specific types of purchases, such as eating out or traveling. Check out your credit card’s rewards program and take advantage of any bonus categories that align with your spending habits.
Consider a balance transfer
If you are currently in outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer that balance onto an account with a travel credit card that has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfers. This will enable you to pay off the debt without accruing interest and simultaneously assist you in reaching the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus.
Utilize your miles and points wisely
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points make sure you use them in a responsible manner. Review the rewards program for your credit card and then compare the worth of various redemption options. For example you can use your points to purchase a flight directly with the airline could provide you with a greater return than using them for a gift card.
Another option is to get a rewards card that allows you to transfer points to other loyalty programs. This will let you enjoy a greater variety of options and greater freedom when it comes to redeeming your rewards. For instance, you might be eligible to transfer your rewards to an airline’s frequent flyer program or a reward program for hotels. This gives an access greater variety of hotels, flights and other travel benefits that aren’t offered through the rewards program of your credit card.
Also, find out the card’s benefits. any perks that can save you money on travel-related expenses. Many cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that could be invaluable when you travel.
Finally, when you’re traveling with someone else each of you will be able to earn rewards using your own credit card. Be aware that you cannot split the cost on the same card and make sure to keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
The key to reaping the maximum benefits from your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program on your credit card and to ensure you’re making use of this program in the most effective method possible. Utilizing an array of methods I’ve described that you can get rewards in a short time, use rewards for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide variety of travel benefits.