Are you fed up of spending an enormous amount on flights? Well, good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting way to convert 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 creativity and some insider knowledge, you can fly for no cost within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. These miles can later be used to purchase discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards allow you to redeem miles towards hotel stays or car rental offers.
How Does it Work?
The secret to successful hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and to establish frequent flyer miles for a specific group of airlines. When it’s time to book a flight take a look at the price. If the price is less than $300, it’s generally better to pay cash and save your miles for a more expensive flight. When the flights start getting above $500, you’ll want to look into your frequent flyer accounts and determine which airline offers you the best deal. It all comes down to the number of points or miles in your travel bank for each airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to travel hacking? Your first task is to open an account with a sign-up offer. 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 the features that are most essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards excellent to hack 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 limit of spending minimum in order to qualify for the bonus. Every card has different rules, so make sure to look up the details. From there it’s all about building up miles and then using them to book your dream trip!
Ready to jet-set with your ideas?
After you’ve accrued your points balance, it’s time to cash them in for some sweet getaway! Different credit card providers will have different methods of redeeming your rewards, here are some examples from some of the ones I have experience with:
Getaway by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have a Chase credit card, then you are able to redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through it, you’ll have access to virtually every airline, and you can use a combination of points and cash to pay for your trip. You can book your flight entirely using points if you’ve got the balance for it! Sometimes even if you do not possess enough points for the total cost, you still can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using every credit card.
Are you tired of paying full price for flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United you can choose the option of paying using either points or dollars? But, be careful, if you don’t have enough points you cannot combine dollars and points on flights. Don’t worry, though, if you’re just 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 an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience with extra legroom as well as free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is like United’s that allows customers to book using either JetBlue dollar or points, however, not both. However, JetBlue has a unique feature that allows you to join your points with your family members and earn points twice as quickly. Make sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re like me or my travel companion Becca You’re probably quite frugal and it can be difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to hit the minimum amount required to earn the 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 an important one! If you’re able to pay your rent with credit card, then do it! Make sure you pay a fee, usually around 3%. It might be worth it in the end in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another way to reach the spending limit is to cover a medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills in the near future then ask your relatives if you could pay their medical bills and they will reimburse you.
Repay the loan
If you have any loans you owe, think about repaying them using your credit card. Be sure to pay the credit card balance in full so you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask family for help
Discuss your family with them and see if they have any large expenses coming up which you could help pay for. Make sure that you are able to trust the person and they understand why you’re doing it.
If you’re celebrating the holidays you should consider purchasing all of your gifts with the credit card you have. This way you can hit that minimum spend and also be ready for giving gifts. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you contemplating to.
There are many methods to get the most of using your credit or debit card for travel. accumulate miles or points that you can be used towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few more ideas for maximizing the rewards you earn:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, use the travel credit card for booking your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as any other travel-related expenses. In addition, you’ll be able to meet the required amount to earn your credit card as well, but you’ll also be earning points or miles for the expenses.
Use your credit card to pay for your everyday expenditures
Another method to reach the minimum amount of spending to earn rewards is by making use of your credit card to pay everyday expenses. This could be items like groceries, gas and even your telephone bill. Make sure you pay off the balance in full each month so you don’t pay interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide bonus points or miles for specific types of purchases, like eating out or traveling. Be sure to review your credit card’s rewards program and take advantage of any bonus categories that align with your spending habits.
Take into consideration the possibility of transferring your balance
If you’re in the middle of a outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer that balance to the travel credit card which has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfers. This will let you pay off your debts without accruing interest, and also help you hit the minimum spending requirement for the credit card bonus.
Make use of your miles or points carefully
If you’ve amassed a large amount of miles or points, be sure to use the points or miles wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and then compare the value of different redemption options. For instance, using your points to book a ticket directly with the airline could offer better return than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer your rewards to different loyalty program. This will allow you to have a wider range of options and greater flexibility in 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 program. This will give the benefit of a wider selection of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks which are not offered through the rewards program on your credit card.
Also, discover if your credit card offers certain benefits that will save you money on travel-related expenses. Some cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that can be very beneficial when traveling.
If you’re traveling with a companion, both of you can earn rewards with your own credit card. Just remember that you can’t share the costs on the same card and make sure to keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do to making the most of your rewards for travel is to be aware of your credit card’s rewards program and make sure you’re using this program in the most efficient method. Through an array of methods I’ve described in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards fast, exchange rewards for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad assortment of travel-related perks.