Are you tired of spending an enormous amount on flights? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting way to turn credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles, which can be used to obtain discounted or complimentary flights for your dream destinations. With a little imagination and a little bit of insider know-how, you’ll travel for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. These miles can later be used to pay for discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards permit you to use miles towards hotel stays or rental car discounts.
How Does it Work?
The key to successful hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and establishing a frequent flyer mile program for a specific group of airlines. When you are ready to book a flight, evaluate the cost. If the flight is under $300, it’s usually better to pay in cash and save your miles to take a more costly flight. When the flights start getting higher than $500, it’s best to review the frequent flyer account to see which airline can give you the most value. It all comes down to the number of points or miles you have in your travel account for every airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to travel hacking? The first step is to open an account with a sign-up bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that provide a variety of benefits and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, spending habits and what features are crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards that are perfect to use for hacking travel:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
After you’ve been accepted for a credit card, you’ll need to reach the minimum spend limit in order to qualify for the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so be sure to check for this information. From there you can begin to rack miles and using them to plan your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your points?
Once you’ve accumulated the points balance, you’re ready to redeem them for some nice vacation! Different credit card companies will offer different ways to redeem your points, but here are some examples from a few of the companies I’ve worked with:
Escape by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own an Chase cards, you are able to use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In the portal, you’ll have access to almost every airline, and you can combine the points as well as cash in order to pay for your trip. You can even book completely on points if you have the funds to pay for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for entire cost, you still can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with any credit card.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for your flight tickets? Did you know that when you book directly through United, you have the option of paying with either points or dollars? Be careful in case you don’t have enough points, you aren’t able to combine points and dollars for the same flight. No worries though, if you’re a few point short United also offers the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue offers passengers a relaxing and pleasant travel experience that includes extra space and complimentary snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to that of United Airlines which allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue points or dollars, but not both. But, JetBlue has a unique feature where you can join your points with family members to accrue 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 anything like me and my travel buddy Becca You’re probably quite frugal and it can be challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum spend for the 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! Be prepared to pay a fee, usually at least 3 percent. It might be worth it in the long run if the bonus is high enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another great way to hit the required spending is to cover the medical bills. If you do not have any medical expenses due, ask your relatives if you could pay them for theirs, and they will repay you.
Repay the loan
If you’re a borrower take into consideration making payments on them with an credit card. Be sure to pay off the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask family for help
Discuss your family with them and look into any major expenses in the near future which you could help pay for. Just make sure you have confidence in the person you are talking to and they understand why you’re doing this.
If you’re celebrating the holidays you should consider purchasing all of your gifts with your credit card. This way you can reach the minimum spending requirement and also be prepared to give gifts. Be sure to avoid spending more than you already thinking of.
There are a lot of methods to get the most from your travel credit card. accumulate miles or points that you can spend on flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few additional suggestions for maximising your rewards:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a vacation, make use of you travel credit card to book your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as any other travel-related expenses. Not only will you achieve the required amount to qualify for a credit card as well, however, you’ll also earn points or miles for those costs.
Use your credit card to pay for your everyday expenses
Another way to hit the minimum spend and earn points is making use of your credit card to pay everyday expenditures. This could include things like gas, groceries or even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay off the balance in full every month to ensure you don’t accumulate interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer bonus points or miles on certain kinds of purchases, including dining or travel. Check out the rewards program of your credit card and avail any bonus categories that match with your spending habits.
Take into consideration a balance transfer
If you are currently in outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, consider transferring that balance onto an account with a travel credit card that has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfer. This will let you pay off the debt without accruing interest, and also aid in achieving the minimum amount required to earn the credit card’s bonus.
Use your points or miles wisely
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points, be sure to use the points or miles wisely. 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 value 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 will let you enjoy a greater variety of options and greater flexibility when redeeming your rewards. For instance, you might be capable of transferring your rewards to an airline’s frequent flyer program or a hotel rewards program. This gives the benefit of a wider variety of hotels, flights, and other travel perks that aren’t accessible through the rewards program of your credit card.
Additionally, try to discover whether your credit card has some perks that could help you save money on travel expenses. Many cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that could be invaluable when you travel.
Finally, when you’re traveling with someone else, both of you can earn rewards with your own credit card. Be aware that you cannot split the cost on the same card and make sure you keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
Overall, the key to maximizing your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program on your credit card and ensure that you’re making use of it in the most efficient method possible. Utilizing all of the strategies I’ve listed, you’ll be able to earn rewards fast, exchange them for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide variety of travel benefits.