Are you fed up of spending an enormous amount on flights? Well, good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting way to convert credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles, which can be used to obtain discounted or free flights to your dream destinations. With a bit of imagination and some information, you’ll fly for no cost within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of trading credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. These miles can then be used to buy discounted or even free flights. Some credit cards also permit you to use miles towards hotel stays or rental car discounts.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for successful travel hacking is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and to establish frequent flyer miles with a limited number of airlines. When it comes time to make a booking take a look at the price. If the cost is less than $300, it’s usually better to pay in cash and use your miles to pay to take a more costly flight. When the flights start getting over $500, you’ll need to review your frequent flyer accounts to determine which airline offers you the best price. All it boils down to is the number of points or miles you have in your travel account for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets of travel hacking? Your first task is to open the credit card that comes that comes with a welcome bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that provide many features and benefits. It depends on the type of airline, spending habits and the features that are most crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards excellent 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 card, you’ll need to reach the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to get the bonus. Every card has different guidelines, so make certain to verify this information. Then it’s all about building up miles and then using them to book your dream trip!
Ready to jet-set with your ideas?
After you’ve accrued the points balance, you’re ready to redeem them for some sweet travel! Different credit card companies will have different methods of redeeming your rewards, here are some examples from a few of the ones I’ve had experience with:
Take a trip through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you’re a holder of a Chase credit card, then you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In the portal, you’ll get access to nearly every airline and you can combine money and points to book your trip. You can even book entirely using points if you’ve got the balance for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t have enough points to cover the full cost, you still can buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using any credit card.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for your flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United You have the option of paying using dollars or points? But, be careful in case you don’t have enough points, you can’t combine dollars and points on the same flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re a few point short United provides the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience with extra legroom and free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to United’s, allowing customers to book using either JetBlue either dollars or points however, not both. However, JetBlue has a unique feature where you can combine your points with your relatives to earn points twice as fast. Just make sure you can verify that you are a family member before trying to hack into the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me and my travel companion Becca I’m sure you’re pretty economical and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to hit the minimum spend for the credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried as we’ve done it and are here to share some of our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able to pay for 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 when the bonus is large enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another excellent way to meet the minimum spend is to pay for a medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills in the near future, ask your relatives if you could pay them for theirs, and they can repay you.
Repay a loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan, consider repaying them using the credit card you have. Be sure to pay off the balance on your credit card completely so that 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 major expenses in the near future which you could help pay for. Just make sure you trust the person and they understand why you’re doing this.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season take into consideration buying all of your gifts with your credit card. This way you can reach the minimum spending requirement and also be ready to give gifts. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you planning to.
There are a lot of methods to get the most from the travel credit card. You can accrue points or miles to be used towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few more ideas for maximizing the rewards you earn:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, make use of you travel credit card for booking your hotel, flight, rental car, and any other travel 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 on these costs.
Make use of your credit card to pay for all your daily expenditures
Another method to reach the minimum spending requirement in order to accumulate points by making use of your credit card for daily expenses. This can include items like groceries, gas, and even your phone bill. Be sure to pay off the balance in full each month so you don’t pay interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or bonus points on certain kinds of purchases, such as dining or travel. Check out your credit card’s rewards program and take advantage of any bonus categories that match with your spending habits.
Consider the possibility of transferring your balance
If you have existing debt on a high-interest credit card, think about transferring that balance to an account with a travel credit card that has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfer. This will allow you to pay off your debt without accruing interest and simultaneously aid in achieving the minimum spend for the credit card’s bonus.
Use your points or miles prudently
When you’ve earned a significant amount of points or miles make sure you use the points or miles 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 with the airline could provide you with a greater value than using them for an gift card.
Another tip is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer rewards to different loyalty program. This will let you have a wider range of options and greater flexibility in you want to redeem your rewards. For instance, you might be capable of transferring your rewards to an airline’s frequent flyer program or reward program for hotels. This gives an access wider variety of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks which are not available through the rewards program on your credit card.
Additionally, try to find out whether your credit card has some perks that could help you save money on travel costs. Some cards offer 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 someone else each of you will be able to earn rewards using your credit card. Make sure you don’t share the costs on the same card, and be sure to track the rewards you earn separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do to maximizing your travel rewards is to know your credit card’s rewards program and to ensure you’re using this program in the most efficient way possible. Through a combination of the methods I’ve described, you’ll be able to earn rewards quickly, redeem them for travel experiences that are worth it and benefit from a wide range of travel perks.