Are you fed up of spending an enormous amount on flights? Well, good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting way to convert bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles, which can be used to score discounted or complimentary flights for your ideal destinations. With a bit of imagination and a little bit of insider knowledge, you can fly for no cost in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about trading credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. These miles can then be used to purchase discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards will also let you redeem miles for hotel stays and car rental offers.
How Does it Work?
The secret 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 it’s time to book a flight, evaluate the cost. If the price is less than $300, it’s generally better to pay cash and use your miles to pay to book a higher-priced flight. If your flights begin to climb higher than $500, it’s best to look into those frequent flyer accounts to determine which airline offers you the best price. It all boils down to the amount of points or miles you have in your travel savings account for every airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to travel hacking? Your first task is opening a credit card that comes with a welcome bonus. There are many great credit cards that offer a variety of features and benefits. It is all dependent on the airline, 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 use for hacking 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 receive the bonus. Each card has its own guidelines, so make sure to check for this information. From there, it’s all about racking up miles, and using them to plan your dream vacation!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your goals?
Once you’ve accumulated the points balance, it’s time to cash them in for some sweet vacation! Different credit card companies have different methods of redeeming your points. Here are some examples from a few of the ones I have experience with:
Escape through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you own an Chase credit card, then you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within this portal you’ll have access to almost every airline and you can combine the points as well as cash in order to book your trip. You can even book completely using points if you’ve got enough balance! Sometimes even if you do not have enough points to cover the entire cost, you are able to book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using any credit card.
Are you fed up of paying full price for flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United You have the option of paying with dollars or points? But, be careful that if you don’t have enough points, you aren’t able to combine dollars and points on flights. If you’re just a few point short United provides the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience with extra space and complimentary snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to United’s, allowing customers to book using either JetBlue points or dollars however, not both. The difference is that JetBlue offers a distinct feature that lets you pool your points together with family members to accrue points twice as fast. Be sure to establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack into the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me or my travel companion Becca, you’re probably pretty economical and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to reach the required amount to qualify for credit card bonuses. However, don’t be worried, we’ve been through it and are here to share some of our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able pay your rent with a credit card, do it! Just be prepared to be charged a fee, typically around 3%. It could be worthwhile over the long term in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another way to reach the required spending is to cover an medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses in the near future Ask your family members to pay them for theirs, and they’ll pay you back.
Pay off the loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan take into consideration repaying them using the credit card you have. Be sure to pay off the balance on your credit card in full , so that you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask family for help
Discuss your family with them and see if they have any major expenses in the near future that you can contribute for. Be sure to be sure that you’re 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 your gifts using cards from your credit account. This way you can meet the minimum spending limit and be ready for giving gifts. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you planning to.
There are plenty of methods to get the most of your travel credit card. earn miles or points to spend on airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few more ways to maximize your rewards:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, make use of your travel credit card for booking your hotel, flight, rental car, and other travel costs. Not only will you be able to hit the minimum amount of spending required to qualify for a credit card and earn points, but you’ll also earn points or miles to cover the costs.
Use your credit card to pay for your everyday costs
Another way to hit the minimum amount of spending to earn rewards is by making use of your credit card to pay for everyday expenditures. This could include items like groceries, gas, and even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay the balance off in full each month so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Make the most of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide bonus points or miles for certain types of purchases, like eating out or travelling. Check out your credit card’s rewards program and avail the bonus categories that are in line with your spending habits.
Consider a balance transfer
If you are currently in debt on a high-interest credit card, consider transferring the balance to an account with a travel credit card that has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will enable you to pay off the debt without accruing interest, and also help you hit the minimum spend for the credit card’s bonus.
Use your points or miles carefully
When you’ve earned a significant amount of points or miles make sure you use them wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and then compare the value of different redemption options. For example, using points to book a ticket directly with the airline could give you a better return than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another tip is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer your reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will allow you to have a wider range of options and greater flexibility when redeeming your rewards. For instance, you might be able to transfer your rewards to an airline’s frequent flyer program or a reward program for hotels. This will give the benefit of a greater range of flights, hotels and other travel benefits which are not accessible through your credit card’s rewards program.
Also, find out the card’s benefits. any perks that can reduce your travel costs. Many cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection, and other benefits that could be invaluable when you travel.
When you travel with someone else 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 you keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do to maximizing your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program on your credit card and make sure you’re making use of it in the most effective method. By using all of the strategies I’ve listed that you can get rewards in a short time, use them for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad assortment of travel-related perks.