Are you tired of spending an enormous amount on flights? Well, good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting way to turn credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles which you can use to get discounted or even complimentary flights for your desired destinations. With a little bit of imagination and some knowledge, you can fly for no cost in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of swapping credit card sign-up bonus and rewards for airline miles. The miles can be used to pay for discounted or even free flights. Some credit cards also allow you to redeem miles towards hotel stays or rental car offers.
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 building out a frequent flyer mile program on a select group of airlines. When you are ready to make a booking consider the cost. If the cost is under $300, it’s generally better to pay cash and use your miles to pay to take a more costly flight. If the prices start to rise over $500, you’ll need to review your 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 bank for each airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to hacking travel? First step opening the credit card that comes that comes with a welcome bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards that provide many features and benefits. It is all dependent on the airline, your habits with spending 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 hit the minimum spend limit in order to get the bonus. Every card has different guidelines, so make certain to verify this information. Then you can begin to rack miles and then using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your goals?
Once you’ve accumulated the points amount, it’s time to cash them in for some delicious vacation! Different credit card companies offer different ways to redeem your rewards, here are a few examples from some of the ones I’ve had experience with:
Take a trip with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own a Chase cards, you are able to use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within the portal, you’ll have access to almost every airline and you can use a combination of points and cash to book your next trip. You can even book entirely with points if you’ve 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 cash using any credit card.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for your flight tickets? Did you know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option to pay with dollars or points? Be careful, if you do not have enough points you aren’t able to combine points and dollars for the same flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re just a few point short United provides the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides passengers a relaxing and pleasant travel experience that includes extra legroom as well as free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to that of United Airlines that allows you to book with either JetBlue either dollars or points but not both. The difference is that JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature where you can pool your points together with your family members and earn points twice as quickly. Make sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack into the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
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 reach the required amount to qualify for a credit card bonus. Don’t worry, we’ve been through it and are here to share our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able pay your rent with credit card, then do it! Just be prepared to be charged a fee, typically at least 3 percent. It could be worthwhile in the end if the bonus is high enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another great way to hit the spending limit is to cover the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills coming up Ask your family members if you can pay their medical bills and they can repay you.
Repay the loan
If you have any loans you owe, think about making payments on them with your credit card. Make sure to pay the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t accrue additional debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Ask your family members to see if they have any big expenses coming up that you can contribute 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 taking the initiative.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season take into consideration buying all of your gifts with the credit card you have. So you’ll be able to reach the minimum spending requirement and also be ready for gift giving. Be sure to avoid spending more than you were already thinking of.
There are a lot of methods to get the most out of your travel credit card and earn miles or points to use towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few more ways to maximize your rewards
Make travel reservations using your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, make use of the travel credit card for booking your flight, hotel, rental car, and any other travel expenses. In addition, you’ll be able to meet the minimum spend to earn your credit card bonus as well, but you’ll also earn points or miles for the costs.
Utilize your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday costs
Another method to reach the minimum spend to earn rewards is using your credit card for every day expenses. This could be things like gas, groceries or even your phone bill. Be sure to pay the balance off in full every month to ensure you don’t accrue interest charges.
Benefit from bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or points in exchange for specific types of purchases, like dining or travel. Check out the rewards program of your credit card and avail any bonus categories that align with your spending habits.
Take into consideration the possibility of transferring your balance
If you are currently in debt on a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer that balance to a travel credit card with the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfer. This will let you pay off your debt without accruing interest, and also help you hit the minimum spend for the credit card’s bonus.
Utilize your miles and points prudently
When you’ve earned a significant amount of miles or points, be sure to use them in a responsible manner. Review the rewards program for your credit card and compare the worth of various redemption options. For example you can use points to purchase a flight directly with the airline could give you a better value than using them to purchase an gift card.
Another suggestion is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will allow you to enjoy a greater variety of options and greater flexibility when you want to redeem your rewards. For instance, you might be able to transfer your reward to an airline’s frequent flyer program or Hotel rewards programme. This gives you access to a greater variety of hotels, flights and other travel benefits that aren’t available through the rewards program of your credit card.
In addition, you should determine whether your credit card has certain benefits that will help you save money on travel expenses. Some cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that are extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
When you travel with someone else each of you will be able to get rewards on your own credit card. Be aware that you cannot split the cost on the same card and make sure to keep track of your rewards separately.
The key to making the most of your travel rewards is to know the rewards program on your credit card and ensure that you’re using it in the most effective way possible. Utilizing an array of strategies I’ve listed, you’ll be able to earn rewards quickly, redeem them for travel experiences that are worth it and benefit from a wide range of travel perks.