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 convert credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles that can then be used to score discounted or free flights to your dream 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 incentives for airline miles. These miles can later be used to pay for cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards will also permit you to use miles for hotel stays and car rental deals.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for successful hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and to establish a frequent flyer mile program with a limited number of airlines. When you are ready to make a booking consider the cost. If the flight is under $300, it’s generally better to pay cash and use your miles to pay to take a more costly flight. When the flights start getting above $500, you’ll want to review those frequent flyer accounts to see which airline can give you the best price. It all comes down to the amount of miles or points in your travel account for every airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets of travel hacking? Your first task is to open an account that comes with a welcome bonus. There are many great credit cards with many advantages and features. It is all dependent on the airline, your habits with spending and the features that are most important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards excellent for travel hacking:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
If you’ve been approved for a credit card, you’ll have to meet the limit of spending minimum in order to get the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so be sure to check for the details. From there it’s all about building up miles, and using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your ideas?
Now that you’ve built up the points balance, you’re ready to redeem them for some delicious vacation! Different credit card providers will offer different ways to redeem your rewards, here are a few examples from some of the providers I have experience with:
Take a trip with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own a Chase card, you are able to redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through the portal, you’ll get access to almost every airline and you can combine the points as well as cash in order to book your next trip. You can even book completely on points if you have enough balance! Sometimes, even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for total cost, you are able to purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with the credit card of your choice.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for your flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United, you have the option of paying using dollars or points? Be careful, if you don’t have enough points, you cannot combine dollars and points for the same flight. No worries though, if you’re just a few point short United provides the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides an enjoyable and comfortable travel experience that includes extra legroom as well as free snacks. Plus, their booking process is like United’s, allowing customers to book using either JetBlue either dollars or points, however, not both. However, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that allows you to combine your points with family members to accrue points twice as quickly. Be sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack into the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything 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 in order to meet the minimum amount required to earn a credit card bonus. But don’t fret, we’ve been through it and are 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 using credit card, go for it! Just be prepared to pay a fee, usually about 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 the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills in the near future Ask your family members if you can pay their medical bills and they’ll pay you back.
Repay a loan
If you’re a borrower, consider repaying them using your credit card. Just make sure you pay off the balance on your credit card completely so that you don’t end up with additional debt.
Ask your family members for help
Talk to your family and see if they have any major expenses in the near future which you could help pay for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to are able to trust the person and that they know why you’re taking the initiative.
If you’re celebrating the holidays 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 be ready for gift giving. Just make sure you’re not paying more than you planning to.
There are many methods to get the most of your travel credit card. accumulate miles or points that you can use towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few more ways to maximize your rewards
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
When you’re planning your next vacation, make use of you travel credit card for booking your hotel, flight, rental car, and other travel costs. You’ll not only be able to meet the minimum spend to qualify for a credit card reward, but you’ll also earn points or miles for those expenses.
Make use of your credit card to pay for all your daily expenditures
Another method to reach the minimum spend in order to accumulate points by using your credit card to pay for everyday expenditures. This can include things like gas, groceries and even your telephone bill. Be sure to pay off the balance in full each month so you don’t pay interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide bonus points or miles for specific types of purchases, such as dining or travel. Check out the rewards program of your credit card and avail any bonus categories that match with your spending habits.
Consider a balance transfer
If you’re in the middle of a outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, think about transferring that balance onto an account with a travel credit card that has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfers. This will enable you to pay off your debts without accruing interest and simultaneously assist you in reaching the minimum amount required to earn the credit card’s bonus.
Make use of your miles or points wisely
When you’ve earned a significant amount of miles or points make sure you use them in a responsible manner. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and then compare the worth of various redemption options. For example using points to book a ticket directly with the airline could offer better value than using them to purchase the purchase of a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer your rewards to different loyalty program. This allows you to enjoy a greater variety of options and greater freedom when it comes to redeeming your rewards. For instance, you might be able to transfer your rewards to the frequent flyer program of an airline or hotel rewards program. This gives an access wider range of flights, hotels as well as other travel perks that aren’t available through your credit card’s rewards program.
Additionally, try to find out if your credit card offers certain benefits that will help you save money on travel expenses. Many cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that can be invaluable when you travel.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a friend and both of you earn rewards with your credit card. Just remember that you can’t share the costs on the same card. Also, make sure you keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
Overall, the key to making the most of your rewards for travel is to be aware of your credit card’s rewards program and ensure that you’re making use of this program in the most efficient way possible. Utilizing a combination of the strategies I’ve listed in this article, you’ll be able get rewards in a short time, use rewards for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide range of travel perks.