Are you tired of paying an enormous amount on flights? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting way to convert sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles that can then be used to obtain discounted or complimentary flights for your desired destinations. With a bit of imagination and some knowledge, you can fly for no cost within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about swapping credit card sign-up bonus and incentives for airline miles. The miles can be used to pay for discount or no-cost flights. Some credit cards also let you redeem miles for hotel stays and car rental deals.
How Does it Work?
The key to successful travel hacking is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and to establish frequent flyer miles 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 cash and use your miles to pay for a more expensive flight. If the prices start to rise above $500, you’ll want to look into those frequent flyer accounts and see which airline can give you the best price. All it boils down to is the number of points or miles you have in your travel savings account for each airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets of travel hacking? Your first task is opening an account with a sign-up offer. There are plenty of great credit cards that offer many features and benefits. It all depends on your preferred airline, your habits with spending and the features that are most important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards excellent for travel hacking:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
If you’ve been approved for a credit card, you’ll have to meet the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to get the bonus. Every card has different rules, so be sure to check for the details. Then you can begin to rack up miles and using them to plan your dream vacation!
Ready to jet-set with your goals?
Once you’ve accumulated the points amount, it’s time to use them towards nice getaway! Different credit card companies have different methods of redeeming your points. Here are some examples from a few of the companies I have experience with:
Getaway with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of an Chase cards, you are able to redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within this portal you’ll have access to nearly every airline and you can use a combination of points and cash to pay for your next trip. You can even book completely on points if you have enough balance! Sometimes even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for total cost, you still can buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using every credit card.
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 dollars or points? Be careful, if you don’t have enough points you cannot combine points and dollars for flights. Don’t worry, though, if you’re just a few points short, United gives you the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience , with more legroom as well as free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to United’s, allowing you to book with either JetBlue either dollars or points, however, not both. But, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that lets you join your points with family members to accrue points twice as quickly. Be sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me or my travel buddy Becca, you’re probably pretty economical and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to reach the required amount to qualify for the credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried as we’ve done it and are here to share our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able to pay your rent with credit card, then do it! Make sure you pay a fee, usually about 3 percent. It could be worthwhile in the end when the bonus is large enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another excellent way to meet the minimum spend is to cover an medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills coming up then ask your family members if you can pay them for theirs, and they will repay you.
Pay off a loan
If you’re a borrower you owe, think about making payments on them with your credit card. Be sure to pay the credit card balance completely so that you don’t accumulate additional debt.
Ask family for help
Ask your family members to determine if they’ve got any large expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Be sure to be sure that you’re 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 you should consider purchasing all your gifts with cards from your credit account. So you’ll be able to reach the minimum spending requirement and also be ready to give gifts. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you were already planning to.
There are many methods to get the most out of using your credit or debit card for travel. accumulate miles or points that you can be used towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few more suggestions for maximising your rewards:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, make use of your travel credit card for booking your flight, hotel, rental car, and any other travel-related expenses. You’ll not only be able to meet the minimum spend to qualify for a credit card bonus and earn points, however, you’ll also earn points or miles to cover the expenditures.
Use your credit card for everyday expenses
Another way to meet the minimum spending requirement in order to accumulate points using your credit card for everyday expenditures. This could be things like food, gas or even your phone bill. Make sure you pay off the balance in full each month so you don’t pay interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or bonus points for certain types of purchases, like eating out or travelling. Be sure to review your credit card’s rewards program and take advantage of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending routines.
Think about a balance transfer
If you are currently in debt on a credit card, consider transferring that balance onto a travel credit card with a 0% introductory APR for balance transfer. This will let you pay off your debt without accruing interest, and also assist you in reaching the minimum amount required to earn the credit card’s bonus.
Make use of your miles or points carefully
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize them in a responsible manner. Review the rewards program for your credit card, and evaluate the benefits of different redemption options. For instance, using points to purchase a flight directly with the airline might provide you with a greater return than using them for an gift card.
Another tip is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer your points to other loyalty programs. This allows you to enjoy a greater variety of options and greater flexibility in redeeming your rewards. For example, you may be eligible to transfer your rewards to the frequent flyer program of an airline or reward program for hotels. This gives you access to a greater selection of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks that may not be available through the rewards program of your credit card.
Also, determine whether your credit card has any perks that can help you save money on travel costs. Some cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that are extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
If you’re traveling with someone else each of you will be able to get rewards on your credit card. Make sure you don’t divide the cost with the same card and make sure to track your rewards in a separate manner.
The key to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to know the rewards program on your credit card and to ensure you’re making use of your credit card in the most effective way possible. By using a combination of the strategies I’ve listed in this article, you’ll be able get rewards in a short time, use them for travel experiences that are worth it and take advantage of a broad assortment of travel-related perks.