Are you tired of spending an enormous amount on flights? Well, good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting way to turn credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles which can be used to score discounted or free flights to your desired destinations. With a little bit of imagination and a little bit of insider know-how, you’ll fly for no cost within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of swapping credit card sign-up bonus and rewards for airline miles. These miles can then be used to pay for discounted or even free flights. Some credit cards also permit you to use miles for hotel stays and car rental deals.
How Does it Work?
The key to successful hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and establishing a frequent flyer mile program with a limited number 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 cash and save your miles to book a higher-priced flight. If your flights begin to climb over $500, you’ll need to look into the frequent flyer account and see which airline can give you the best deal. All it boils down to is the amount of miles or points in your travel account for every airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets of travel hacking? Your first task is opening a credit card with a sign-up bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards that provide various benefits and features. It is all dependent on the airline, your spending habits, and what features are important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit card options that can be great to use for hacking travel:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
If you’ve been approved for a credit card you’ll have to meet the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to get the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of guidelines, so make certain to verify the details. Then it’s all about building miles and using them to plan your dream vacation!
Ready to jet-set with your ideas?
Once you’ve accumulated the points balance, you’re ready to cash them in for some sweet vacation! Different credit card companies will offer different ways to redeem your points, but here are a few examples from some of the ones I’ve had experience with:
Getaway by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own a Chase credit card, then you are able to redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within this portal you’ll have access to almost every airline and you can make use of a combination of 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 do not have enough points to cover the full price, you can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using any credit card.
Are you tired of paying full price for your flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United You have the option of paying with dollars or points? But, be careful that if you do not have enough points you aren’t able to combine dollars and points for one flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re just a few point short United also offers the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? 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 United’s that allows customers to book using either JetBlue dollar or points but not both. However, JetBlue offers a distinct feature that lets you pool your points together with your family members and earn points twice as quickly. Be sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel buddy Becca You’re probably quite frugal and it can be challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to reach the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried as we’ve done it and are here to share our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able to pay for your rent using credit card, then do it! Be prepared to be charged a fee, typically at least 3 percent. It could be worthwhile over the long term when the bonus is large enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another way to reach the required spending is to cover the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills due then ask your family members to pay their medical bills and they’ll repay you.
Make a payment to pay off a loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan you owe, think about making payments on them with your credit card. Just make sure you pay the credit card balance in full so you don’t end up with 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. Make sure that you are able to are able to trust the person and that they know why you’re doing it.
If it’s the holiday season, consider buying all your gifts using your credit card. So you’ll be able to reach the minimum spending requirement and also be ready to give gifts. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you already thinking of.
There are many ways to get the most of your travel credit card and earn miles or points to use towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are some additional ideas for maximizing your rewards:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, use you travel credit card for booking your flight, hotel, rental car, and any other travel-related expenses. Not only will you be able to meet the minimum spend for your credit card reward as well, but you’ll also be earning points or miles to cover the costs.
Make use of your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday expenditures
Another way to meet the minimum spend to earn rewards is utilising your credit cards to pay for every day expenditures. This could include things like food, gas, and even your phone bill. Make sure you pay off the balance in full each month so you don’t accumulate interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or bonus points for certain types of purchases, including dining or travel. Make sure you review your rewards program on your credit card and avail any bonus categories that match with your spending routines.
Take into consideration a balance transfer
If you have existing outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, think about transferring the balance to the travel credit card which has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will let you pay off your debt without accruing interest, and also assist you in reaching the minimum spend for the credit card bonus.
Make use of your miles or points wisely
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 benefits of different redemption options. For instance you can use points to book a flight directly through the airline may give you a better return than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another option is to get an rewards card that permits you to transfer your rewards to different loyalty program. This allows you to get a wider selection of options and greater flexibility when making use of your rewards. For example, you may be eligible to transfer your rewards to the frequent flyer program of an airline or a Hotel rewards programme. This will give you access to a larger variety of hotels, flights and other travel benefits which are not offered through the rewards program on your credit card.
In addition, you should determine if your credit card offers any perks that can reduce your travel expenses. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that could be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
If you’re traveling with a companion, both of you can earn rewards with your credit card. Be aware that you cannot divide the cost with the same card, and be sure to track your rewards separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do 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 your credit card in the most effective method possible. By using a combination of the strategies I’ve listed that you can get rewards in a short time, use them for travel experiences that are worth it, and enjoy a wide assortment of travel-related perks.