Are you tired of spending an enormous amount on flights? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel problems. It’s a fun way to convert credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles, that can then be used to get discounted or even cheap flights from your ideal destinations. With a bit of imagination and a little bit of insider know-how, you’ll travel for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all 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. Some credit cards also allow you to redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or car rental discounts.
How Does it Work?
The key to successful hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and to establish frequent flyer miles for a specific group of airlines. When it comes time to make a booking take a look at the price. If the price is under $300, it’s best to pay in cash and save your miles for a more expensive flight. If your flights begin to climb higher than $500, it’s best to look into the frequent flyer account to determine which airline offers you the best price. All it boils down to is the amount of points or miles you have you have in your travel savings account for every airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to travel hacking? Your first task is to open a credit card with a sign-up bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that provide many benefits and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, spending habits and the features that are most essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards that are excellent for travel hacking:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
Once you’ve been approved for a credit card, you’ll need to reach the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to get the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so make sure to look up this information. Then you can begin to rack up miles, and using them to plan your dream vacation!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your points?
After you’ve accrued the points amount, it’s time to cash them in for some sweet vacation! Different credit card companies will have different methods for redeeming your rewards, here are some examples from some of the companies I’ve worked with:
Escape with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of an Chase credit card, then you are able to redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within it, you’ll have access to virtually every airline, and you can use a combination of the points as well as cash in order to pay for your trip. You can even book entirely using points if you’ve got the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you do not possess enough points for the full cost, you still can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using the credit card of your choice.
Are you fed up of paying full price for your flight tickets? Did you know that when you book directly through United You have the option to pay with either points or dollars? But, be careful, if you do not have enough points you cannot combine points and dollars on one flight. No worries though, if you’re a few point short United also offers the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue provides an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience , with more legroom as well as free snacks. Plus, their booking process is like United’s, allowing you to book with either JetBlue points or dollars, but not both. The difference is that JetBlue has a unique feature where you can pool your points together with your family members and earn points twice as fast. Just make sure you can establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack into the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel companion Becca, you’re probably pretty economical and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to reach the minimum amount required to earn credit card bonuses. Don’t worry because we’ve been there and are here to share some of our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able to pay for your rent using a credit card, do it! Just be prepared to pay a fee, usually around 3 percent. It could be worthwhile in the end if the bonus is high enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another excellent way to meet the required spending is to pay for an medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills due then ask your relatives if you could pay them for theirs, and they will pay you back.
Make a payment to pay off a loan
If you have any loans, consider making payments on them with the credit card you have. Be sure to pay off the balance on your credit card in full so you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Discuss your family with them and determine if they’ve got any big expenses coming up which you could help pay for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to trust the person and they understand why you’re doing it.
If you’re celebrating the holidays you should consider purchasing all of your gifts with cards from your credit account. In this way, you’ll meet the minimum spending limit and also be ready to give gifts. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you thinking of.
There are plenty of ways to get the most from the travel credit card. earn miles or points to use towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are some additional suggestions for maximising the rewards you earn:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, make use of you travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as any other travel-related expenses. Not only will you be able to hit the minimum amount of spending required for your credit card bonus, but you’ll also be earning points or miles to cover those expenses.
Utilize your credit card to pay for everyday expenses
Another method to reach the minimum amount of spending in order to accumulate points making use of your credit card to pay daily expenditures. This could be things like food, gas and even your telephone bill. Be sure to pay off the balance in full each month so you don’t accumulate interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or bonus points for certain types of purchases, such as dining or travel. Make sure you review the rewards program of your credit card and avail the bonus categories that are in line with your spending routines.
Think about the possibility of transferring your balance
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a high-interest credit card, consider transferring the balance to a travel credit card with a 0% introductory APR for balance transfers. This will allow you to pay off your debts without accruing interest. It will also aid in achieving the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus.
Utilize your miles and points carefully
If you’ve amassed a large amount of points or miles, be sure to use them in a responsible manner. Review the rewards program for your credit card, and evaluate the benefits of different redemption options. For example using points to book a flight directly through the airline may offer better value than using them to purchase the purchase of 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 have a wider range of options and greater freedom when it comes to making use of your rewards. For example, you may be able to transfer your reward to the frequent flyer program of an airline or a hotel rewards program. This will give the benefit of a larger variety of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks that aren’t available through the rewards program of your credit card.
In addition, you should find out whether your credit card has some perks that could save you money on travel-related costs. Some cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that could be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a companion and both of you earn rewards with your credit card. Make sure you don’t share the costs 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 ensure that you’re using it in the most efficient method possible. By using all of the strategies I’ve listed in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards quickly, redeem them for travel experiences that are worth it, and enjoy a wide range of travel perks.