Are you tired of spending an enormous amount on flights? Well, good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s a fun way to turn credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into miles which you can use to obtain discounted or free flights to your ideal destinations. With a little bit of imagination and some information, you’ll be jet-setting for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. These miles can then be used to buy cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards let you redeem miles for hotel stays and rental car offers.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for success in hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and building out a frequent flyer mile program with a limited number of airlines. When you are ready to book a flight consider the cost. If the flight is less than $300, it’s best to pay cash and use your miles to pay to book a higher-priced flight. When the flights start getting above $500, you’ll want to look into your frequent flyer accounts to find out which airline will give you the best deal. It all boils down to the number of miles or points you have in your travel savings account for each airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to hacking travel? The first step is to open an account that comes with a welcome bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards that provide a variety of features and benefits. It is all dependent on the airline, spending habits and what features are essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards that are excellent 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 limit of spending minimum in order to receive the bonus. Every card has different rules, so be certain to verify this information. From there, it’s all about racking up miles, and then using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your ideas?
Now that you’ve built up your points balance, it’s time to cash them in for some sweet travel! Different credit card providers will have different methods for redeeming your points. Here are some examples from some of the providers I’ve worked with:
Getaway by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have a Chase cards, you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within it, you’ll have access to almost every airline and you can use a combination of points and cash to book your travel. You can even book entirely using points if you’ve got the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you do not be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for full cost, you still can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using every credit card.
Are you tired of paying full price for your flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United, you have the option to pay with dollars or points? Be careful that if you do not have enough points you cannot combine dollars and points on the same flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re just a few points short, United also offers the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience with extra legroom as well as free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to United’s which allows customers to book using either JetBlue either dollars or points however, not both. However, JetBlue has a unique feature that lets you pool your points together with your relatives to earn points twice as quickly. Make sure to establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me or my travel companion Becca You’re probably quite thrifty and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to reach the required amount to qualify for credit card bonuses. Don’t worry, we’ve been through it and we’re here to share our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able to pay your rent with credit card, then do it! Make sure you pay a cost, which is usually about 3%. It may be worth it in the end when the bonus is large enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another great way to hit the required spending is to pay for the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills in the near future then ask your relatives if you could pay them for theirs, and they will reimburse you.
Make a payment to pay off a loan
If you have any loans take into consideration repaying them using the credit card you have. Make sure to pay off the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Discuss your family with them and see if they have any large expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Make sure that you are able to trust the person 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 the credit card you have. In this way, you’ll reach the minimum spending requirement and also be prepared to give gifts. Just make sure you’re not paying more than you already thinking of.
There are many ways to make the most of your travel credit card and accumulate miles or points that you can be used towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are some additional ways to maximize your rewards
Book travel expenses with your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, make use of the travel credit card for booking your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as any other travel expenses. Not only will you be able to hit the minimum amount of spending required for your credit card as well, but you’ll also be earning points or miles for those expenses.
Use your credit card for everyday expenditures
Another method to reach the minimum spend to earn rewards is making use of your credit card to pay for everyday expenses. This could include things like gas, groceries or even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay off the balance each month in full so you don’t accumulate interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer bonus points or miles for certain types of purchases, such as eating out or travelling. Check out the rewards program of your credit card and avail any bonus categories that match with your spending habits.
Take into consideration the possibility of transferring your balance
If you have existing outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, consider transferring that balance to an account with a travel credit card that has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfers. This will let you pay off the debt without accruing interest. It will also aid in achieving the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus.
Make use of your miles or points carefully
If you’ve amassed a large amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize them in a responsible manner. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and compare the worth of various redemption options. For instance, using points to book a ticket directly through the airline may offer better value than using them for a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will let you enjoy a greater variety of options and greater flexibility in redeeming your rewards. For example, you may be eligible to transfer your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a hotel rewards program. This will give the benefit of a wider variety of hotels, flights, and other travel perks which are not offered through the rewards program of your credit card.
In addition, you should discover the card’s benefits. certain benefits that will help you save money on travel expenses. Many cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection, and other benefits that are invaluable when you travel.
When you travel with someone else and both of you earn rewards using your credit card. Make sure you don’t divide the cost with the same card, and be sure to track the rewards you earn separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to understand your credit card’s rewards program and make sure you’re using this program in the most efficient method possible. By using all of the strategies I’ve outlined that you can earn rewards fast, exchange them for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide variety of travel benefits.