Are you tired of spending an enormous amount on flights? Good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s a fun way to turn credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into miles which can be used to obtain discounted or free flights to your desired destinations. With a little creativity and some 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 rewards for airline miles. These miles can then be used to pay for discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards will also allow you to redeem miles towards hotel stays or rental car offers.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for successful hacking travel is taking advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and building out frequent flyer miles with a limited number of airlines. When it comes time to book a flight, evaluate the cost. If the price is under $300, it’s usually better to pay in cash and save your miles to take a more costly flight. When the flights start getting over $500, you’ll need to review your frequent flyer accounts to see which airline can give you the best deal. All it boils down to is the amount of points or miles you have in your travel savings account for each airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to travel hacking? The first step is to open the credit card that comes that comes with a welcome bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards that offer various features and benefits. 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 to hack travel
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
After you’ve been accepted for a credit card you’ll need to hit the minimum spend limit in order to qualify for the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so be sure to look up the details. From there you can begin to rack up miles, and then using them to book your dream vacation!
Ready to jet-set 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 offer different ways to redeem your rewards, here are some examples from a few of the providers I’ve had experience with:
Take a trip by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of an Chase cards, you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through the portal, you’ll get access to nearly every airline and you can combine points and cash to pay for your trip. You can even book completely with points if you’ve the funds to pay for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for entire cost, you are able to buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using the credit card of your choice.
Are you tired 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? Butbe aware in case you do not have enough points you cannot combine points and dollars for flights. If you’re a few points away, United also offers the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue provides passengers a relaxing and pleasant travel experience that includes extra space and complimentary snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is like United’s which allows customers to book using either JetBlue dollar or points however, not both. But, JetBlue has a unique feature that allows you to pool your points together with your relatives to earn points twice as quickly. Just make sure you can verify that you are a family member before trying to hack into the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me or my travel companion Becca I’m sure you’re pretty frugal and it can be daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to reach the minimum amount required to earn credit card bonuses. However, don’t be worried because we’ve been there and we’re here to share our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able to pay your rent using credit card, go for it! Just be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually about 3 percent. It may be worth it in the end in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another great way to hit the spending limit is to cover the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills due then ask your family members to pay them for theirs, and they can pay you back.
Make a payment to pay off a loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan take into consideration repaying them using your credit card. Be sure to pay off the balance on your credit card in full , so that you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Discuss your family with them and see if they have any major expenses in the near future that you can help pay for. Make sure that you are able to trust the person and they know why you’re doing it.
If you’re celebrating the holidays take into consideration buying all your gifts using your credit card. So you’ll be able to hit that minimum spend and be ready to give gifts. Just make sure you’re not paying more than you already planning to.
There are a lot of ways to get the most out of your travel credit card and accumulate miles or points that you can use towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few more suggestions for maximising your rewards
Book travel expenses with your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, use your travel credit card to book your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as other travel costs. Not only will you be able to hit the required amount to qualify for a credit card reward as well, but you’ll also be earning points or miles to cover those expenses.
Make use of your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday expenditures
Another way to meet the minimum amount of spending to earn rewards is making use of your credit card to pay for daily costs. This could be things like gas, groceries or even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay the balance off in full each month so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer bonus points or miles for specific types of purchases, like eating out or traveling. Check out the rewards program of your credit card and make use of any bonus categories that match with your spending routines.
Think about a balance transfer
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a high-interest credit card, think about transferring that balance onto a travel credit card with the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfer. This will enable you to pay off your debts without accruing interest, and also assist you in reaching the minimum spend for the credit card bonus.
Utilize your miles and points carefully
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points, be sure to use them wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card, and evaluate the worth of various redemption options. For instance, using 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 points to other loyalty programs. This allows you to enjoy a greater variety of options and greater flexibility when making use of your rewards. For example, you may be capable of transferring your rewards to the frequent flyer program of an airline or hotel rewards program. This can give an access wider variety of hotels, flights and other travel benefits that may not be accessible through the rewards program of your credit card.
Additionally, try to determine if your credit card offers some perks that could reduce your travel expenses. Many cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that can be very beneficial when traveling.
If you’re traveling with a friend each of you will be able to get rewards on your credit card. Be aware that you cannot share the costs on the same card, and be sure to track your rewards in a separate manner.
The key to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to know the rewards program of your credit card and ensure that you’re making use of it in the most efficient method possible. Utilizing a combination of the strategies I’ve listed, you’ll be able to earn rewards quickly, redeem rewards for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide range of travel perks.