Are you tired of spending an enormous amount on flights? Well, 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 obtain discounted or complimentary flights for your dream destinations. With a little bit of creativity and some insider know-how, you’ll fly for no cost in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about swapping credit card sign-up bonus and incentives for airline miles. The miles can be used to buy discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards let you redeem miles for hotel stays and rental car offers.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for successful hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and to establish frequent flyer miles on a select group of airlines. When you are ready to make a booking, evaluate the cost. If the cost is less than $300, it’s usually better to pay cash and save your miles for a more expensive flight. If your flights begin to climb above $500, you’ll want to look into your frequent flyer accounts and determine which airline offers you the best deal. All it boils down to is the amount of points or miles you have you have in your travel savings account for every airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to travel hacking? The first step is opening an account with a sign-up bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that offer a variety of advantages and features. It is all dependent on the airline, your spending habits, and the features that are most important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit card options that can be excellent to hack 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 have to meet the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to qualify for the bonus. Every card has different rules, so make sure to check for this information. From there it’s all about building up miles and using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your points?
Once you’ve accumulated the points balance, you’re ready to cash them in for some delicious getaway! Different credit card companies will have different methods for redeeming your points, but here are some examples from some of the providers I’ve worked with:
Take a trip with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own an Chase card, you are able to use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through the portal, you’ll get access to nearly every airline and you can combine the points as well as cash in order to pay for your travel. You can even book completely with points if you’ve the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for total price, you can buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using the credit card of your choice.
Are you tired of paying full price 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 aren’t able to combine points and dollars on the same flight. If you’re just a few points short, United also offers the option of buying additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue provides an enjoyable and comfortable travel experience that includes extra legroom and free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is like United’s which allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue points or dollars, but not both. However, JetBlue offers a distinct feature that allows you to join your points with your family members and earn points twice as quickly. Be 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 You’re probably quite thrifty and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to reach the minimum amount required to earn a credit card bonus. But don’t fret as we’ve done it and we’re here to share some of our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able pay your rent with a credit card, do it! Make sure you be charged a fee, typically at least 3%. It could be worthwhile 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 don’t have any medical bills in the near future, ask your family members if you can pay for theirs and they can pay you back.
Pay off a loan
If you have any loans you owe, think about making payments on them with the credit card you have. Just make sure you pay the credit card balance in full so you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask family for help
Ask your family members to see if they have any major expenses in the near future that you can help pay for. Make sure that you are able to trust the person and they are aware of the reason for taking the initiative.
If you’re celebrating the holidays, consider buying all of your gifts with the credit card you have. In this way, you’ll reach the minimum spending requirement and be ready to give gifts. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you were planning to.
There are many ways to make the most of the travel credit card and earn miles or points to use towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few more ideas for maximizing your rewards
Book travel expenses with your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, make use of you travel credit card to book your hotel, flight, rental car, and any other travel-related expenses. In addition, you’ll be able to meet the minimum amount of spending required to qualify for a credit card reward and earn points, however, you’ll also earn points or miles to cover these expenditures.
Make use of your credit card to pay for all your daily expenses
Another way to hit the minimum spending requirement and earn points is by utilising your credit cards to pay for daily expenditures. This can include things like food, gas or even your phone bill. Be sure to pay off the balance in full every month to ensure you don’t pay interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide bonus points or miles on certain kinds of purchases, such as eating out or travelling. Make sure you review your credit card’s rewards program and avail any bonus categories that match with your spending habits.
Think about a balance transfer
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a credit card, think about transferring that balance onto an account with a travel credit card that has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will let you pay off the debt without accruing interest and simultaneously help you hit the minimum spend for the credit card bonus.
Use your points or miles wisely
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of points or miles, be sure to use them wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card, and evaluate the value of different redemption options. For instance using your points to book a ticket directly with the airline could provide you with a greater value than using them for a gift card.
Another option is to get an rewards card that permits you to transfer your reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will allow you to get a wider selection of options and greater freedom when it comes to redeeming your rewards. For example, you may be able to transfer your reward to the frequent flyer program of an airline or a Hotel rewards programme. This gives the benefit of a larger variety of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks which are not accessible through your credit card’s rewards program.
Also, discover whether your credit card has some perks that could reduce your travel expenses. Some cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection, and other benefits that are extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a companion and both of you earn rewards with your credit card. Be aware that you cannot divide the cost with the same card and make sure you keep track of your rewards separately.
The key to maximizing your travel rewards is to know the rewards program of your credit card and to ensure you’re using this program in the most efficient method. By using an array of strategies I’ve listed in this article, you’ll be able get rewards in a short time, use them for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide assortment of travel-related perks.