Are you tired of spending an enormous amount on flights? Well, good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel problems. It’s a fun way to convert bonus and sign-up incentives into miles which you can use to get discounted or even complimentary flights for your ideal destinations. With a bit of imagination and some know-how, you’ll fly for no cost in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of swapping credit card sign-up bonus as well as incentives to earn airline miles. The miles can be used to pay for cheap or free flight tickets. Some credit cards also allow you to redeem miles towards hotel stays or car rental offers.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for success in hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and establishing a frequent flyer mile program on a select group of airlines. When you are ready to book a flight, evaluate the cost. If the cost is under $300, it’s usually better to pay cash and use your miles to pay to take a more costly flight. When the flights start getting above $500, you’ll want to review the frequent flyer account and see which airline can give you the best deal. It all boils down to the amount of points or miles in your travel bank for each airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets of travel hacking? The first step is to open the credit card that comes with a sign-up offer. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that provide many features and benefits. It depends on the type of airline, your spending habits, and the features that are most crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards that are great for travel hacking:
- 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 receive the bonus. Every card has different guidelines, so make certain to verify the details. From there, it’s all about racking up miles and using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to set sail with your points?
Once you’ve accumulated the points amount, it’s time to redeem them for some delicious travel! Different credit card providers will have different methods for redeeming your points. Here are some examples from a few of the companies I’ve worked with:
Getaway by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of a Chase cards, you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through it, you’ll have access to virtually every airline and you can combine money and points to book your trip. You can book your flight entirely on points if you have the balance for it! Sometimes even if you do not have enough points to cover the total price, you can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with any credit card.
Are you fed up of paying full price for flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United you can choose the option to pay with either points or dollars? Butbe aware that if you don’t have enough points you aren’t able to combine dollars and points for flights. No worries though, if you’re just a few points short, United provides the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience with extra space and complimentary snacks. Additionally, their booking process is like United’s, allowing passengers to book flights using JetBlue dollar or points, but not both. But, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature where you can pool your points together with your family members and earn 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 anything like me and my travel buddy Becca I’m sure you’re pretty economical and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to hit the required amount to qualify for a credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried 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 big one! If you’re able to pay your rent using a credit card, do it! Be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually about 3%. It could be worthwhile over the long term when the bonus is large enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another excellent way to meet the spending limit is to cover the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills in the near future Ask your family members if you can pay their medical bills and they will pay you back.
Make a payment to pay off a loan
If you have any loans you owe, think about making payments on them with the credit card you have. Make sure to pay the credit card balance completely so that you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Talk to your family and look into any large expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Make sure that you are 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 of your gifts with cards from your credit account. So you’ll be able to reach the minimum spending requirement and also be prepared to give gifts. Be sure to avoid paying more than you already thinking of.
There are a lot of ways to make the most from using your credit or debit card for travel. You can earn miles or points to use towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few more suggestions for maximising your rewards:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, use you travel credit card to book your hotel, flight, rental car, and any other travel-related expenses. In addition, you’ll be able to hit the required amount to qualify for a credit card reward and earn points, however, you’ll also earn points or miles on these costs.
Use your credit card for all your daily expenditures
Another method to reach the minimum spending requirement in order to accumulate points by using your credit card for every day expenses. This could include things like gas, groceries or even your phone bill. Be sure to pay the balance off each month in full so you don’t pay interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide bonus points or miles on certain kinds of purchases, such as eating out or traveling. Make sure you review the rewards program of your credit card and avail any bonus categories that align with your spending routines.
Take into consideration a balance transfer
If you have existing debt on a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer the balance to the travel credit card which has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfers. This will enable you to pay off the debt without accruing interest and simultaneously help you hit the minimum spending requirement for the credit card’s bonus.
Use your points or miles wisely
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points, be sure to use them wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card and compare the value of different redemption options. For instance using points to book a ticket directly through the airline may give you a better value than using them to purchase a gift card.
Another tip is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer your reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will let you get a wider selection of choices and more flexibility in redeeming your rewards. For instance, you might be capable of transferring your rewards to the frequent flyer program of an airline or a Hotel rewards programme. This can give you access to a greater selection of hotels, flights and other travel benefits that aren’t available through the rewards program of your credit card.
Additionally, try to find out if your credit card offers any perks that can reduce your travel costs. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection, and other benefits that are invaluable when you travel.
When you travel with someone else each of you will be able to earn rewards with your own credit card. Just remember that you can’t divide the cost with the same card and make sure to track your rewards separately.
Overall, the key to reaping the maximum benefits from your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program on your credit card and ensure that you’re making use of this program in the most efficient way possible. Utilizing all of the strategies I’ve outlined that you can earn rewards fast, exchange them for travel experiences that are worth it and take advantage of a broad range of travel perks.