Are you tired of spending an enormous amount on flights? Good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting method to turn credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into miles that can then be used to obtain discounted or free flights to your dream destinations. With a little creativity and some insider knowledge, you can fly for no cost in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about swapping credit card sign-up bonus and incentives for airline miles. These miles can later be used to purchase discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards let you redeem miles for hotel stays and car rental discounts.
How Does it Work?
The key to success in hacking travel is taking advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and to establish frequent flyer miles on a select group of airlines. When it’s time to book a flight take a look at the price. If the flight is under $300, it’s generally 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 check those frequent flyer accounts to find out which airline will give you the best deal. It all boils down to the number of points or miles you have in your travel bank for every airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to hacking travel? First step 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 habits with spending and the features that are most important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit card options that can be perfect to hack 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 need to reach the limit of spending minimum in order to get the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of guidelines, so make sure to look up the details. Then, it’s all about racking up miles and then using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to set sail with your goals?
After you’ve accrued your points amount, it’s time to cash them in for some delicious vacation! Different credit card companies will have different methods for redeeming your points, but here are some examples from some of the ones I have experience with:
Take a trip through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you own an Chase cards, you are able to use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In this portal you’ll get access to almost every airline, and you can combine money and points to pay for your next trip. You can even book entirely using points if you’ve got enough balance! Sometimes even if you do not have enough points to cover the total cost, you are able to buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using the credit card of your choice.
Are you fed up of paying full price for flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United You have the option of paying using dollars or points? Be careful that if you don’t have enough points, you cannot combine dollars and points for one flight. If you’re just a few points short, United gives you the option of buying additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience with extra space and complimentary snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to United’s that allows you to book with either JetBlue points or dollars however, not both. However, JetBlue offers a distinct feature that allows you to join your points with family members to accrue points twice as fast. Just make sure you can establish that you’re a real family member prior to 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 thrifty and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to hit the required amount to qualify for a credit card bonus. But don’t fret because we’ve been there and we’re here to share our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able pay your rent using credit card, go for it! Make sure you pay a fee, usually about 3 percent. It may be worth it in the end in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the minimum spend is to pay for a medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills coming up then ask your family members if you can pay them for theirs, and they’ll reimburse you.
Pay off the loan
If you have any loans take into consideration making payments on them with an credit card. Be sure to pay off the credit card balance completely so that you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask family for help
Discuss your family with them and look into any large expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Make sure that you are able to have confidence in the person you are talking to and they know why you’re taking the initiative.
If you’re celebrating the holidays, consider buying all your gifts using your credit card. 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 plenty of methods to get the most of the travel credit card and accrue points or miles to spend on the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few more suggestions for maximising the rewards you earn:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, make use of your travel credit card to book your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as any other travel-related expenses. In addition, you’ll be able to hit the minimum amount of spending required to earn your credit card reward, but you’ll also be earning points or miles for those expenditures.
Utilize your credit card to pay for everyday expenses
Another way to hit the minimum spend and earn points is making use of your credit card for everyday expenditures. This can include things like gas, groceries or even your phone bill. Be sure to pay the balance off each month in full so you don’t accumulate interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or points in exchange for specific types of purchases, including eating out or traveling. Make sure you review your credit card’s rewards program 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, think about transferring the balance to the travel credit card which has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfers. This will enable you to pay off the debt without accruing interest and simultaneously aid in achieving the minimum spend for the credit card bonus.
Make use of your miles or points carefully
If you’ve amassed a large amount of points or miles make sure you use them in a responsible manner. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and compare the value of different redemption options. For example you can use points to book a ticket directly with the airline might provide you with a greater return than using them for an gift card.
Another suggestion is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will let you enjoy a greater variety of options and greater freedom when it comes to redeeming your rewards. For example, you may be capable of transferring your reward to the frequent flyer program of an airline or a Hotel rewards programme. This will give you access to a greater range of flights, hotels as well as other travel perks which are not offered through the rewards program on your credit card.
Also, find out the card’s benefits. some perks that could save you money on travel-related expenses. Some cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that can be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
If you’re traveling with a companion, both of you can earn rewards using your credit card. Make sure you don’t share the costs on the same card. Also, make sure to keep track of your rewards separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do to making the most of your travel rewards is to know your credit card’s rewards program and make sure you’re making use of your credit card in the most effective method. Utilizing a combination of the methods I’ve described, you’ll be able to earn rewards quickly, redeem them for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide variety of travel benefits.