Are you fed up of spending an enormous amount on flights? Good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting way to convert sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles, which you can use to get discounted or even cheap flights from your dream destinations. With a little creativity and some insider know-how, you’ll fly for no cost in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. The miles can be used to purchase discounted or even free flights. Some credit cards also let you redeem miles towards hotel stays or car rental discounts.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for success in hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and to establish frequent flyer miles on a select group of airlines. When you are ready to book a flight take a look at the price. If the flight is less than $300, it’s generally better to pay cash and save your miles to take a more costly flight. When the flights start getting higher than $500, it’s best to check your frequent flyer accounts to see which airline can give you the best deal. It all boils down to the amount of miles or points in your travel bank for each airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to travel hacking? Your first task is opening the credit card that comes with a sign-up bonus. There are many great credit cards that offer various benefits and features. It is all dependent on the airline, spending habits and the features that are most crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards that are great to use for hacking travel:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
Once you’ve been approved for a credit or debit card, you’ll need to reach the limit of spending minimum in order to qualify for the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so make certain to verify this information. Then you can begin to rack miles and then using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your goals?
After you’ve accrued your points balance, it’s time to cash them in for some sweet travel! Different credit card providers will have different methods of redeeming your points, but here are some examples from some of the providers I have experience with:
Take a trip with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of an Chase cards, you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through it, you’ll have access to nearly every airline, and you can use a combination of points and cash to pay for your 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 are able to purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with the credit card of your choice.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for your flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United, you have the option of paying using dollars or points? Butbe aware in case you do not have enough points you aren’t able to combine dollars and points for one flight. If you’re a few points away, United also offers the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers an enjoyable and comfortable travel experience that includes extra legroom and free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to that of United Airlines, allowing you to book with either JetBlue either dollars or points, however, not both. However, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that lets you pool your points together with family members to accrue points twice as fast. Make sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re like me and my travel buddy Becca, you’re probably pretty economical and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum amount required to earn a credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried, we’ve been through 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 your rent using a credit card, do it! Just be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually about 3 percent. It might be worth it in the long run in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the required spending is to pay for the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills coming up then ask your relatives if you could pay them for theirs, and they’ll reimburse you.
Pay off the loan
If you have any loans you owe, think about paying them off with the credit card you have. Make sure to pay the credit card balance in full so you don’t accrue additional debt.
Ask your family members for help
Talk to your family 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 are aware of the reason for doing it.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season you should consider purchasing all of your gifts with cards from your credit account. So you’ll be able to reach the minimum spending requirement and be ready for giving gifts. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you already thinking of.
There are a lot of ways to get the most out of your travel credit card. You can earn miles or points to use towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few more ideas for maximizing your rewards
Make travel reservations using your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, use the travel credit card to pay for your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as other travel costs. In addition, you’ll achieve the required amount to earn your credit card reward, but you’ll also be earning points or miles on the expenditures.
Make use of your credit card to pay for all your daily costs
Another way to hit the minimum spending requirement and earn points is by making use of your credit card for daily expenditures. This can include things like gas, groceries, and even your phone bill. Be sure to pay off the balance in full every month to ensure you don’t accumulate interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or points in exchange on certain kinds of purchases, like dining or travel. Be sure to review your credit card’s rewards program and take advantage of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending routines.
Consider the possibility of transferring your balance
If you are currently in debt on a high-interest credit card, think about transferring that balance to the travel credit card which has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will let you pay off your debts without accruing interest. It will also assist you in reaching the minimum amount required to earn the credit card’s bonus.
Use your points or miles carefully
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of points or miles, be sure to use them wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card, and evaluate the value of different redemption options. For example, using points to book a flight directly through the airline may provide you with a greater return than using them for a gift card.
Another tip is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer your points to other loyalty programs. This will allow you to get a wider selection of options and greater freedom when it comes to redeeming your rewards. For instance, you might be able to transfer your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a Hotel rewards programme. This gives an access larger range of flights, hotels, and other travel perks which are not offered through the rewards program of your credit card.
Additionally, try to determine whether your credit card has certain benefits that will reduce your travel costs. Many cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection and other benefits that are invaluable when you travel.
Finally, when you’re traveling with someone else, both of you can earn rewards with your own credit card. Be aware that you cannot divide the cost with the same card. Also, make sure to track your rewards separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to know your credit card’s rewards program and make sure you’re using this program in the most effective method. Through a combination of the strategies I’ve listed in this article, you’ll be able get rewards in a short time, use them for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide range of travel perks.