Are you tired of paying an enormous amount on flights? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s a fun way to turn credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into miles that can then be used to score discounted or free flights to your dream destinations. With a bit of imagination and some information, you’ll fly for no cost in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about trading credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. These miles can later be used to buy cheap or free flight tickets. Some credit cards also let you redeem miles for hotel stays and car rental deals.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for successful hacking travel is taking advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and to establish a frequent flyer mile program for a specific group of airlines. When it comes time to make a booking, evaluate the cost. If the price is under $300, it’s usually better to pay cash and save your miles to book a higher-priced flight. When the flights start getting over $500, you’ll need to look into your frequent flyer accounts to see which airline can give you the best deal. It all comes 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 hacking travel? First step to open the credit card that comes with a sign-up offer. There are many great credit cards with various features and benefits. It depends on the type of airline, your habits with spending and what features are crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards perfect for travel hacking:
- 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 minimum spend limit in order to get the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so be sure to look up this information. From there, it’s all about racking miles and using them to plan your dream trip!
Ready to jet-set with your ideas?
Now that you’ve built up the points balance, it’s time to redeem them for some sweet travel! Different credit card companies will have different methods for redeeming your points, but here are a few examples from some of the companies I’ve worked with:
Escape through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you own an Chase credit card, then you can redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within the portal, you’ll have access to nearly every airline and you can combine the points as well as cash in order to pay for your next trip. You can book your flight entirely on points if you have the balance for it! Sometimes even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for full cost, you are able to book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using the credit card of your choice.
Are you fed up of paying full price for your flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United you can choose 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 on one flight. If you’re just a few point short United gives you the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue offers a comfortable and enjoyable travel experience that includes extra legroom and free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is like United’s, allowing customers to book using either JetBlue dollar or points, however, not both. The difference is that JetBlue has a unique feature where you can pool your points together with your family members and earn points twice as fast. Make sure to establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me and my travel companion Becca I’m sure you’re pretty frugal and it can be challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to hit the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus. But don’t fret, we’ve been through it and are here to share some of our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able to pay your rent using credit card, then do it! Just be prepared to pay a fee, usually around 3 percent. It may be worth it in the long run if the bonus is high enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another way to reach the spending limit is to cover an medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses coming up Ask your family members to pay them for theirs, and they can reimburse you.
Make a payment to pay off a loan
If you’re a borrower take into consideration making payments on them with an credit card. Just make sure you pay off the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t accumulate additional debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Discuss your family with them and determine if they’ve got any big 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 it’s the holiday season take into consideration buying all of your gifts with cards from your credit account. So you’ll be able to hit that minimum spend and also be ready for giving gifts. Be sure to avoid spending more than you were already contemplating to.
There are many ways to make the most of using your credit or debit card for travel. earn miles or points to spend on airfares or other travel-related costs. 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 to book your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as any other travel-related expenses. You’ll not only be able to hit the minimum amount of spending required to earn your credit card reward, but you’ll also earn points or miles for those costs.
Use your credit card to pay for your everyday expenditures
Another method to reach the minimum spending requirement to earn rewards is by utilising your credit cards to pay for every day expenditures. This could be things like gas, groceries and even your telephone bill. Just make sure to pay the balance off in full each month so you don’t pay interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or bonus points for specific types of purchases, such as eating out or traveling. Make sure you review your credit card’s rewards program and take advantage of any bonus categories that align with your spending routines.
Take into consideration a balance transfer
If you are currently in debt on a credit card, you might want to transfer the balance to an account with a travel credit card that has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfers. This will allow you to pay off your debt without accruing interest, and also aid in achieving the minimum spending requirement for the credit card bonus.
Use your points or miles wisely
When you’ve earned a significant amount of points or miles, be sure to use them in a responsible manner. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and compare the value of different redemption options. For instance using points to purchase a flight directly with the airline could provide you with a greater value than using them for a gift card.
Another tip is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer rewards to different loyalty program. This will allow you to enjoy a greater variety of choices and more freedom when it comes to making use of your rewards. For instance, you might be capable of transferring your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or hotel rewards program. This gives you access to a greater selection of hotels, flights, and other travel perks that aren’t offered through the rewards program on your credit card.
Additionally, try to determine whether your credit card has any perks that can help you save money on travel expenses. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that can be invaluable when you travel.
Finally, when you’re traveling with someone else each of you will be able to get rewards on your own credit card. Make sure you don’t share the costs on the same card, and be sure to track the rewards you earn separately.
The key to maximizing your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program on your credit card and ensure that you’re using this program in the most effective method possible. By using an array of methods I’ve described, you’ll be able to earn rewards quickly, redeem rewards for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad assortment of travel-related perks.