Are you tired of spending an enormous amount on flights? Good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting method to convert credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into miles which can be used to score discounted or free flights to your ideal destinations. With a little bit of imagination and some knowledge, you can fly for no cost within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. These miles can later be used to pay for cheap or free flight tickets. Some credit cards also permit you to use miles towards hotel stays or rental car deals.
How Does it Work?
The key to successful travel hacking is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and establishing frequent flyer miles on a select group of airlines. When it comes time to book a flight consider the cost. If the flight is under $300, it’s generally better to pay cash and use your miles to pay to take a more costly flight. If your flights begin to climb above $500, you’ll want to look into your frequent flyer accounts to determine which airline offers you the best deal. It all boils down to the amount of miles or points in your travel account for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to hacking travel? First step opening an account that comes with a welcome bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards that provide a variety of benefits and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, spending habits and what features are essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards that are great to hack travel
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
After you’ve been accepted for a credit or debit card, you’ll have to meet the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to receive the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so make sure to look up the details. From there, it’s all about racking up miles, and using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your goals?
After you’ve accrued the points balance, you’re ready to redeem them for some delicious vacation! Different credit card providers will have different methods for redeeming your points, but here are some examples from some of the companies I’ve worked with:
Take a trip through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you’re a holder of a Chase card, you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within it, you’ll get access to almost every airline, and you can use a combination of the points as well as cash in order to pay for your next trip. You can book your flight entirely using points if you’ve got the balance for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for total cost, you still can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using the credit card of your choice.
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 don’t have enough points you can’t combine dollars and points for flights. Don’t worry, though, if you’re only a couple of points short, United also offers the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience , with more legroom as well as free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to United’s, allowing you to book with either JetBlue dollar or points however, not both. But, JetBlue has a unique feature where you can join your points with family members to accrue points twice as quickly. Be sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack into the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me or my travel companion Becca, you’re probably pretty thrifty and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to reach the minimum amount required to earn a credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried 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 your rent with credit card, go for it! Just be prepared to be charged a fee, typically at least 3%. It could be worthwhile over the long term if the bonus is high enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another way to reach the required spending is to pay for an medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses due, ask your family members to pay for theirs and they can repay you.
Pay off the loan
If you have any loans take into consideration making payments on them with your credit card. Just make sure you pay the credit card balance 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 big expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to trust the person and they know why you’re doing this.
If it’s the holiday season, consider buying all of your gifts with cards from your credit account. So you’ll be able to reach the minimum spending requirement and also be prepared for gift giving. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you were already planning to.
There are plenty of methods to get the most out of the travel credit card and accumulate miles or points that you can use towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few more ways to maximize your rewards:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a vacation, make use of you travel credit card to book your flight, hotel, rental car, and any other travel expenses. Not only will you achieve the required amount for your credit card reward and earn points, however, you’ll also earn points or miles for the expenses.
Utilize your credit card to pay for everyday costs
Another way to hit the minimum spend in order to accumulate points by using your credit card for daily expenses. This can include things like food, gas, and even your phone bill. Be sure to pay off the balance in full each month so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Make the most of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or bonus points for specific types of purchases, including dining or travel. Make sure you review your credit card’s rewards program and take advantage of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending habits.
Consider a balance transfer
If you have existing debt on a high-interest credit card, think about transferring that balance to a travel credit card with the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfers. This will enable you to pay off your debt without accruing interest. It will also aid in achieving the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus.
Make use of your miles or points carefully
When you’ve earned a significant amount of points or miles make sure you use them wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card, and evaluate the value of different redemption options. For example you can use points to book a flight directly through the airline may provide you with a greater return than using them for a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer rewards to different loyalty program. This will let you enjoy a greater variety of options and greater flexibility in you want to redeem your rewards. For example, you may be capable of transferring your rewards to the frequent flyer program of an airline or a reward program for hotels. This can give you access to a greater selection of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks that aren’t available through the rewards program of your credit card.
Also, determine the card’s benefits. 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 very beneficial when traveling.
If you’re traveling with a companion and both of you earn rewards using your credit card. Be aware that you cannot split the cost on the same card and make sure to keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
In the end, the most important thing to do to maximizing your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program on your credit card and to ensure you’re using this program in the most effective method. By using all of the methods I’ve described in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards fast, exchange them for travel experiences that are worth it and take advantage of a broad variety of travel benefits.