Are you fed up of spending 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 method to turn credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles that can then be used to score discounted or cheap flights from your dream destinations. With a little creativity and some insider know-how, you’ll be jet-setting for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about trading credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. These miles can then be used to purchase discount or no-cost flights. Some credit cards also permit you to use miles for hotel stays and rental car discounts.
How Does it Work?
The key to successful travel hacking is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and to establish a frequent flyer mile program on a select group of airlines. When it comes time to make a booking consider the cost. If the cost is under $300, it’s best to pay in cash and use your miles to pay to book a higher-priced flight. If the prices start to rise over $500, you’ll need to review the frequent flyer account and see which airline can give you the best price. It all comes down to the number of points or miles in your travel account for every airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to hacking travel? First step opening a credit card that comes with a welcome bonus. There are many great credit cards that provide many advantages and features. It depends on the type of airline, your spending habits, and what features are crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit card options that can be 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 hit the minimum spend limit in order to qualify for the bonus. Every card has different rules, so make certain to verify this information. Then you can begin to rack up miles and then using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your ideas?
Once you’ve accumulated the points amount, it’s time to redeem them for some nice getaway! Different credit card companies will have different methods of redeeming your rewards, here are a few examples from some of the providers I’ve worked with:
Take a trip through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you have a Chase card, you can redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. In the portal, you’ll get access to nearly every airline and you can use a combination of money and points to book your travel. You can book your flight entirely using points if you’ve got the balance for it! Sometimes even if you do not have enough points to cover the full price, you can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using the credit card of your choice.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option of paying with either points or dollars? Be careful, if you do not have enough points you aren’t able to combine dollars and points for flights. No worries though, if you’re a few points away, United also offers the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue offers passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience with extra space and complimentary snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines, allowing passengers to book flights using JetBlue dollar or points, but not both. But, JetBlue has a unique feature that allows you to pool your points together with family members to accrue points twice as fast. Make sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re like me and my travel companion Becca I’m sure you’re pretty frugal and it can be challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to hit the required amount to qualify for a credit card bonus. But don’t fret because we’ve been there and we’re here to share some of our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able to pay your rent with credit card, go for it! Just be prepared to pay a fee, usually at least 3 percent. It could be worthwhile in the long run in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the required spending is to cover a medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses in the near future Ask your family members if you can pay their medical bills and they’ll repay you.
Pay off a loan
If you have any loans you owe, think about making payments on them with an credit card. Make sure to pay off the credit card balance in full so you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Ask your family members to look into any large expenses coming up which you could help pay for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to are able to trust the person and that they understand why you’re 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 hit that minimum spend and also be prepared to give gifts. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you thinking of.
There are plenty of ways to make the most of your travel credit card and accrue points or miles to use towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few more suggestions for maximising your rewards:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, use your travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as any other travel expenses. In addition, you’ll be able to meet the minimum spend to qualify for a credit card as well, but you’ll also be earning points or miles on the expenditures.
Utilize your credit card to pay for everyday expenditures
Another way to hit the minimum amount of spending and earn points is utilising your credit cards for everyday costs. This could include items like groceries, gas and even your telephone bill. Just make sure to pay the balance off each month in full so you don’t accumulate interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or points in exchange for specific types of purchases, including eating out or travelling. Check out your rewards program on your credit card and make use of any bonus categories that match with your spending routines.
Take into consideration a balance transfer
If you have existing debt on a credit card, consider transferring that balance to an account with a travel credit card that has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfer. This will allow you to pay off your debt without accruing interest. It will also help you hit the minimum spend for the credit card’s bonus.
Make use of your miles or points prudently
When you’ve earned a significant amount of miles or points, be sure to use them wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and compare the benefits of different redemption options. For example, using points to book a ticket directly through the airline may give you a better return than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another option is to get a rewards card that allows you to transfer your rewards to different loyalty program. This will let you have a wider range of choices and more flexibility when redeeming your rewards. For example, you may be eligible to transfer your reward to an airline’s frequent flyer program or hotel rewards program. This gives an access wider variety of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks which are not available through the rewards program on your credit card.
Additionally, try to discover the card’s benefits. certain benefits that will save you money on travel-related expenses. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that are very beneficial when traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a friend each of you will be able to get rewards on your credit card. Be aware that you cannot share the costs on the same card, and be sure to keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
Overall, the key to reaping the maximum benefits from your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program of your credit card and ensure that you’re making use of this program in the most effective method possible. Through all of the methods I’ve described, you’ll be able to get rewards in a short time, use rewards for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide range of travel perks.