Are you tired of paying 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 convert welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles which can be used to score discounted or cheap flights from your dream destinations. With a bit of imagination and a little bit of insider information, you’ll travel for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. The miles can be used to pay for discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards permit you to use miles for hotel stays and rental car discounts.
How Does it Work?
The secret to successful hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and to establish a frequent flyer mile program with a limited number of airlines. When it’s time to book a flight, evaluate the cost. If the price is under $300, it’s usually better to pay in cash and use your miles to pay for a more expensive flight. If the prices start to rise above $500, you’ll want to review those frequent flyer accounts to find out which airline will give you the best price. It all boils down to the amount of miles or points in your travel bank for each airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to travel hacking? The first step is opening a credit card that comes with a welcome bonus. There are many great credit cards with a variety of features and benefits. It all depends on your preferred airline, your spending habits, and what features are essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards excellent 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 or debit card, you’ll need to reach the limit of spending minimum in order to qualify for the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so be certain to verify this information. From there, it’s all about racking up miles, and then using them to book your dream vacation!
Ready to jet-set with your goals?
Once you’ve accumulated your points balance, you’re ready to redeem them for some nice vacation! Different credit card companies have different methods of redeeming your rewards, here are some examples from a few of the ones I have experience with:
Getaway through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you own an Chase card, you can redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through the portal, you’ll have access to virtually every airline, and you can make use of a combination of points and cash to pay for your trip. You can even book completely with points if you’ve the balance for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for entire price, you can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using every credit card.
Are you fed up of paying full price for flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option of paying using either points or dollars? Be careful in case you do not have enough points you aren’t able to combine points and dollars for one flight. If you’re just a few point short United provides the option of buying additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides a comfortable and enjoyable 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 either dollars or points however, not both. But, JetBlue has a unique feature where you can combine your points with your family members and earn points twice as fast. Be sure to establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me or my travel buddy Becca You’re probably quite economical and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to hit the minimum amount required to earn a credit card bonus. Don’t worry as we’ve done it and we’re here to share our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able pay your rent with credit card, go for it! Be prepared to pay a fee, usually around 3 percent. It may be worth it in the end if the bonus is high enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another way to reach the minimum spend is to pay for the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills due, ask your family members if you can pay their medical bills and they will pay you back.
Make a payment to pay off a loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan you owe, think about paying them off with the credit card you have. Make sure to pay off the credit card balance in full so you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Ask your family members to determine if they’ve got any large expenses coming up that you can help pay 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 this.
If you’re celebrating the holidays, consider buying all your gifts using your credit card. This way you can meet the minimum spending limit and also be ready for gift giving. Be sure to avoid paying more than you already thinking of.
There are a lot of methods to get the most out of the travel credit card. You can accumulate miles or points that you can spend on the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few more ways to maximize your rewards
Make travel reservations using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, use your travel credit card for booking your flight, hotel, rental car, and other travel costs. In addition, you’ll achieve the minimum spend to qualify for a credit card and earn points, however, you’ll also earn points or miles on those expenditures.
Use your credit card for all your daily costs
Another way to meet the minimum spending requirement and earn points is utilising your credit cards to pay every day expenses. This can include things like food, gas or even your phone bill. Be sure to pay off the balance each month in full so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or bonus points for specific types of purchases, like eating out or travelling. Check out your rewards program on your credit card and make use of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending routines.
Take into consideration a balance transfer
If you have existing outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, think about transferring that balance to the travel credit card which has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfers. This will enable you to pay off your debt without accruing interest, and also aid in achieving 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, be sure to use them wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card and compare the benefits of different redemption options. For instance, using your points to book a ticket directly with the airline might give you a better value than using them for an gift card.
Another tip is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer points to other loyalty programs. This will allow you to enjoy a greater variety of choices and more flexibility in you want to redeem your rewards. For example, you may be able to transfer your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a hotel rewards program. This will give you access to a greater variety of hotels, flights and other travel benefits that aren’t offered through the rewards program of your credit card.
Also, find out if your credit card offers any perks that can reduce your travel costs. Some cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that are extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a companion each of you will be able to earn rewards using your own credit card. Make sure you don’t divide the cost with the same card. Also, make sure to track the rewards you earn separately.
Overall, the key to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to know the rewards program on your credit card and ensure that you’re using this program in the most effective way possible. Through an array of strategies I’ve listed, you’ll be able to earn rewards quickly, redeem them for travel experiences that are worth it, and enjoy a wide variety of travel benefits.