Are you tired of spending an enormous amount on flights? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s a fun way to convert credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles which can be used to obtain discounted or cheap flights from your ideal destinations. With a bit of imagination and some information, you’ll travel for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of swapping credit card sign-up bonus and incentives for airline miles. These miles can later be used to pay for discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards will also permit you to use miles for hotel stays and rental car discounts.
How Does it Work?
The key to successful hacking travel is taking advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and to establish a frequent flyer mile program on a select 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 generally better to pay in cash and save your miles to book a higher-priced flight. When the flights start getting over $500, you’ll need to check your frequent flyer accounts to see which airline can give you the best deal. It all comes down to the amount of miles or points you have in your travel savings account for every airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets of travel hacking? First step to open an account that comes with a welcome bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that offer many benefits and features. It depends on the type of airline, your spending habits, and what features are crucial 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
After you’ve been accepted for a credit card you’ll have to meet the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to qualify for the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of guidelines, so make sure to check for 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 ideas?
After you’ve accrued your points balance, you’re ready to cash them in for some sweet vacation! Different credit card providers will have different methods of redeeming your points, but here are some examples from a few of the providers I’ve had experience with:
Take a trip with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of an Chase credit card, then you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In this portal you’ll have access to nearly every airline. You can use a combination of points and cash to pay for your next trip. You can even book entirely with points if you’ve the balance for it! Sometimes even if you do not be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for total price, you can buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with every credit card.
Are you tired of paying full price for flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option to pay with either points or dollars? Be careful in case you don’t have enough points, you aren’t able to combine dollars and points on one flight. No worries though, if you’re just a few points away, United gives you the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience with extra space and complimentary snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to United’s, allowing passengers to book flights using JetBlue dollar or points however, not both. The difference is that JetBlue offers a distinct 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.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel companion Becca I’m sure you’re pretty thrifty and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum amount required to earn credit card bonuses. But don’t fret as we’ve done it and are here to share some of our tips and tricks.
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 be charged a fee, typically at least 3 percent. It could be worthwhile in the long run in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another great way to hit the minimum spend is to pay for the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills due Ask your family members if you can pay their medical bills and they’ll reimburse you.
Pay off a loan
If you have any loans take into consideration paying them off with 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 family members for assistance
Ask your family members to determine if they’ve got any large expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to are able to trust the person and that they understand why you’re taking the initiative.
If you’re celebrating the holidays take into consideration buying all your gifts using cards from your credit account. In this way, you’ll reach the minimum spending requirement and be ready to give gifts. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you thinking of.
There are many ways to get the most out of using your credit or debit card for travel and earn miles or points to use towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few more ways to maximize the rewards you earn:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, use the travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as any other travel expenses. You’ll not only be able to meet the required amount to earn your credit card, but you’ll also be earning points or miles on the expenses.
Utilize your credit card to pay for everyday expenses
Another way to meet the minimum spend in order to accumulate points by using your credit card for daily expenses. This could include things like food, gas and even your telephone bill. Just make sure to pay off the balance in full each month so you don’t pay interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or points in exchange on certain kinds of purchases, including eating out or travelling. Be sure to review the rewards program of your credit card and make use of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending habits.
Think about the possibility of transferring your balance
If you have existing outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, consider transferring the balance to a travel credit card with a 0% introductory APR for balance transfer. This will enable you to pay off your debts without accruing interest, and also assist you in reaching the minimum spending requirement for the credit card bonus.
Use your points or miles prudently
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of points or miles, be sure to use the points or miles wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card, and evaluate the benefits of different redemption options. For instance using points to purchase a flight directly through the airline may provide you with a greater value than using them to purchase a gift card.
Another option is to get an rewards card that permits you to transfer your reward points into other loyalty programmes. This allows you to enjoy a greater variety of options and greater flexibility in redeeming your rewards. For example, you may be capable of transferring your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or reward program for hotels. This can give an access wider selection of hotels, flights and other travel benefits which are not available through your credit card’s rewards program.
Additionally, try to determine the card’s benefits. certain benefits that will reduce your travel expenses. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that could be invaluable when you travel.
If you’re traveling with someone else, both of you can earn rewards with your credit card. Make sure you don’t split the cost on the same card. Also, make sure you keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
The key to making the most of your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program of your credit card and to ensure you’re using it in the most efficient way possible. By using all of the strategies I’ve outlined that you can earn rewards quickly, redeem them for travel experiences that are worth it, and enjoy a wide range of travel perks.