Are you tired of spending an enormous amount on flights? Good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting method to convert credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into miles that can then be used to score discounted or cheap flights from your ideal destinations. With a little creativity and some insider knowledge, you can be jet-setting for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. These miles can later be used to buy discount or no-cost flights. Some credit cards also allow you to redeem miles for hotel stays and car rental deals.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for success in travel hacking 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 it comes time to make a booking take a look at the price. If the flight is under $300, it’s best to pay cash and use your miles to pay to take a more costly flight. If the prices start to rise higher than $500, it’s best to check your frequent flyer accounts to find out which airline will give you the most value. It all comes down to the amount of points or miles you have in your travel bank for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets of travel hacking? Your first task is opening a credit card with a sign-up offer. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards with many benefits and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, your habits with spending and the features that are most essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit card options that can be excellent 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 need to hit the limit of spending minimum in order to qualify for the bonus. Every card has different rules, so be sure to look up this information. From there it’s all about building miles and using them to plan your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your points?
Now that you’ve built up the points balance, you’re ready to use them towards delicious getaway! Different credit card providers will have different methods for redeeming your points. Here are a few examples from some of the providers I’ve worked with:
Escape by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of an Chase card, you are able to redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In the portal, you’ll get access to almost every airline and you can make use of a combination of points and cash to book your next trip. You can book your flight entirely with points if you’ve the balance for it! Sometimes even if you don’t possess enough points for the full cost, you still can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with the credit card of your choice.
Are you fed up of paying full price for your flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United You have the option of paying with either points or dollars? But, be careful that if you do not have enough points you cannot combine dollars and points for the same flight. If you’re only a couple of point short United gives you the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue offers an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience , with more legroom as well as free snacks. Plus, their booking process is like United’s that allows customers to book using either JetBlue either dollars or points, but not both. However, JetBlue offers a distinct feature that lets you pool your points together with your relatives to earn points twice as quickly. Be sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack into the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel buddy Becca You’re probably quite frugal and it can be difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum amount required to earn credit card bonuses. 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 a huge one! If you’re able pay your rent with credit card, go for it! Just be prepared to be charged a fee, typically around 3 percent. It could be worthwhile in the long run in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another way to reach the minimum spend is to pay for the medical bills. If you do not have any medical expenses due, ask your family members if you can pay for theirs and they will reimburse you.
Make a payment to pay off the loan
If you have any loans take into consideration making payments on them with an credit card. Make sure to pay off the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Ask your family members to look into any big expenses coming up which you could help pay for. Just make sure you have confidence in the person you are talking to and they understand why you’re doing it.
If it’s the holiday season, consider buying all your gifts with your credit card. In this way, you’ll meet the minimum spending limit and also be ready to give gifts. Be sure to avoid spending more than you were already planning to.
There are a lot of ways to make the most from using your credit or debit card for travel and accrue points or miles to spend on airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few additional suggestions for maximising your rewards
Make travel reservations using your credit card
If you’re planning a vacation, make use of you travel credit card for booking your flight, hotel, rental car, and any other travel expenses. In addition, you’ll be able to meet the minimum spend for your credit card and earn points, but you’ll also be earning points or miles on the expenses.
Utilize your credit card to pay for everyday expenditures
Another way to meet the minimum spending requirement to earn rewards is using your credit card to pay for daily expenses. This could include things like gas, groceries, and even your phone bill. Make sure you pay off the balance in full each month so you don’t pay interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide bonus points or miles on certain kinds of purchases, including eating out or travelling. Be sure to review your credit card’s rewards program and take advantage of any bonus categories that align with your spending habits.
Consider the possibility of transferring your balance
If you are currently in debt on a credit card, you might want to transfer that balance to an account with a travel credit card that has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfers. This will enable you to pay off your debt without accruing interest and simultaneously aid in achieving the minimum spend for the credit card’s bonus.
Utilize your miles and points prudently
If you’ve amassed a large amount of miles or points, be sure to use them in a responsible manner. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and then compare the benefits of different redemption options. For instance using points to book a flight directly through the airline may give you a better value than using them to purchase the purchase of a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer points to other loyalty programs. This allows you to have a wider range of options and greater flexibility when redeeming your rewards. For instance, you might be eligible to transfer your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a Hotel rewards programme. This can give an access wider selection of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks that may not be available through the rewards program of your credit card.
In addition, you should determine the card’s benefits. any perks that can save you money on travel-related expenses. Many cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection, and other benefits that are very beneficial when traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with someone else each of you will be able to get rewards on your own credit card. Make sure you don’t divide the cost with the same card and make sure to track your rewards separately.
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 ensure that you’re making use of your credit card in the most effective way possible. Utilizing all of the methods I’ve described that you can get rewards in a short time, use them for travel experiences that are worth it and benefit from a wide variety of travel benefits.