Are you fed up of spending an enormous amount on flights? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting method to convert credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles, which can be used to score discounted or cheap flights from your dream destinations. With a bit of imagination and a little bit of insider information, you’ll travel for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. The miles can be used to purchase discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards will also allow you to redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or rental car offers.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for success in hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and building out a frequent flyer mile program for a specific group of airlines. When it’s time to make a booking consider the cost. If the cost is under $300, it’s best to pay cash and use your miles to pay to take a more costly flight. If your flights begin to climb over $500, you’ll need to look into those frequent flyer accounts to find out which airline will give you the best price. All it boils down to is the number of points or miles you have in your travel bank for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to travel hacking? The first step is to open an account with a sign-up bonus. There are many great credit cards that provide various features and benefits. It is all dependent on the airline, spending habits and the features that are most essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit card options that can be perfect 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 need to reach the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to qualify for the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so make sure to look up this information. Then, it’s all about racking up miles and using them to plan your dream trip!
Are you ready to set sail with your ideas?
Now that you’ve built up your points amount, it’s time to use them towards sweet vacation! Different credit card companies have different methods of redeeming your points, but here are a few examples from some of the ones I’ve had experience with:
Escape by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own a Chase cards, you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through it, you’ll have access to nearly every airline. You can make use of a combination of money and points to book your travel. You can even book completely on points if you have the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you don’t have enough points to cover the 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 fed up of paying the full cost for your flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United you can choose the option to pay with either points or dollars? Be careful, if you don’t have enough points you cannot combine points and dollars on flights. Don’t worry, though, if you’re just a few point short United also offers the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue provides a comfortable and enjoyable travel experience that includes extra space and complimentary snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines that allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue either dollars or points, but not both. The difference is that JetBlue has a unique feature that allows you to pool your points together with family members to accrue points twice as quickly. Be sure to establish that you’re a real family member prior to 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 daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to hit the required amount to qualify for a credit card bonus. But don’t fret as we’ve done 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 pay your rent using credit card, go for it! Be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually around 3 percent. It could be worthwhile over the long term when the bonus is large enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the required spending is to pay for the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills coming up Ask your relatives if you could pay them for theirs, and they will reimburse you.
Pay off the loan
If you’re a borrower you owe, think about making payments on them with an credit card. Be sure to pay the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Ask your family members to look into any major expenses in the near future that you can help pay for. Just make sure you have confidence in the person you are talking to and they know why you’re doing it.
If it’s the holiday season take into consideration buying all your gifts using cards from your credit account. In this way, you’ll meet the minimum spending limit and also be prepared for gift giving. Just make sure you’re not paying more than you thinking of.
There are many methods to get the most of the travel credit card and accumulate miles or points that you can be used towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few more suggestions for maximising the rewards you earn:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, use your travel credit card for booking your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as other travel costs. You’ll not only be able to meet the minimum spend to qualify for a credit card, but you’ll also be earning points or miles on the expenses.
Utilize your credit card to pay for everyday expenditures
Another way to hit the minimum spending requirement in order to accumulate points by using your credit card to pay for every day costs. This could be things like food, gas and even your telephone bill. Just make sure to pay the balance off each month in full so you don’t accumulate interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or points in exchange on certain kinds of purchases, such as eating out or traveling. Check out the rewards program of your credit card and avail the bonus categories that are in line with your spending habits.
Take into consideration a balance transfer
If you are currently in outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer that balance to the travel credit card which has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfers. This will let you pay off your debt without accruing interest. It will also aid in achieving the minimum spend for the credit card bonus.
Utilize your miles and points wisely
When you’ve earned a significant amount of points or miles make sure you use them wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card and then compare the worth of various redemption options. For instance, using your points to book a ticket directly with the airline could give you a better value than using them to purchase an gift card.
Another tip is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer your reward points into other loyalty programmes. This allows you to get a wider selection of choices and more freedom when it comes to you want to redeem your rewards. For example, you may be able to transfer your rewards to an airline’s frequent flyer program or a Hotel rewards programme. This can give the benefit of a larger variety of hotels, flights, and other travel perks which are not available through your credit card’s rewards program.
Additionally, try to find out if your credit card offers any perks that can reduce your travel expenses. Many cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that are very beneficial when traveling.
If you’re traveling with someone else and both of you get rewards on your credit card. Make sure you don’t split the cost on the same card. Also, make sure you keep track of your rewards separately.
Overall, the key to reaping the maximum benefits from your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program of your credit card and to ensure you’re making use of it in the most efficient method possible. Utilizing an array of strategies I’ve outlined in this article, you’ll be able get rewards in a short time, use them for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide variety of travel benefits.