Are you tired of paying an enormous amount on flights? Well, good news! Travel hacking is the answer to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting way to turn credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles which can be used to obtain discounted or free flights to your ideal destinations. With a little bit of creativity and some insider information, you’ll fly for no cost in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about swapping credit card sign-up bonus as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can then be used to purchase discount or no-cost flights. Some credit cards also allow you to redeem miles towards hotel stays or 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 with a limited number of airlines. When it comes time to book a flight, evaluate the cost. If the cost is under $300, it’s usually better to pay in cash and save your miles for a more expensive flight. If the prices start to rise above $500, you’ll want to look into those frequent flyer accounts to determine which airline offers you the best price. It all comes down to the number of points or miles you have in your travel bank for each airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to travel hacking? First step to open a credit card that comes with a welcome bonus. There are many great credit cards with many benefits and features. It depends on the type of airline, spending habits and the features that are most important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards perfect to use for hacking travel:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
After you’ve been accepted for a credit card, you’ll have to meet the minimum spend limit in order to get the bonus. Every card has different rules, so make sure to look up this information. Then you can begin to rack miles and using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your goals?
Once you’ve accumulated your points amount, it’s time to use them towards nice getaway! Different credit card companies have different methods of redeeming your points. Here are a few examples from some of the ones I’ve worked with:
Escape with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have a Chase cards, you are able to use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In this portal you’ll have access to almost every airline and you can use a combination of money and points to book your trip. You can even book entirely on points if you have the balance for it! Sometimes even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for total price, you can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with the credit card of your choice.
Are you tired of paying full price for your flight tickets? Did you not know that when you book directly through United, you have the option of paying with either points or dollars? Be careful, if you don’t have enough points, you cannot combine points and dollars for one flight. No worries though, if you’re only a couple of points short, United provides the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience , with more legroom and free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines which allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue dollar or points, but not both. The difference is that JetBlue has a unique feature where you can join your points with your family members and earn points twice as quickly. 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 or my travel companion Becca, you’re probably pretty economical and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to reach the minimum spend for credit card bonuses. 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 pay your rent with credit card, go for it! Just be prepared to be charged a fee, typically about 3%. It may be worth it in the end when the bonus is large enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another excellent way to meet the spending limit is to cover a medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses in the near future then ask your relatives if you could pay their medical bills and they can repay you.
Pay off the loan
If you have any loans, consider repaying them using your credit card. Just make sure you pay off the balance on your credit card completely so that you don’t accumulate additional debt.
Ask family for help
Talk to your family and determine if they’ve got any large expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to have confidence in the person you are talking to and they understand why you’re doing this.
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 ready for gift giving. Be sure to avoid paying more than you already thinking of.
There are many methods to get the most from your travel credit card. You can accrue points or miles to be used towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few additional suggestions for maximising your rewards:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
When you’re planning your next vacation, make use of the travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as other travel costs. You’ll not only be able to hit the minimum spend to qualify for a credit card reward, however, you’ll also earn points or miles for these expenses.
Make use of your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday expenditures
Another method to reach the minimum spending requirement and earn points is using your credit card for every day expenditures. This could be things like food, gas and even your telephone bill. Be sure to pay off the balance in full each month so you don’t accumulate interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or points in exchange for specific types of purchases, like eating out or travelling. Make sure you review the rewards program of your credit card and avail any bonus categories that align with your spending habits.
Take into consideration a balance transfer
If you are currently in outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, consider transferring the balance to an account with a travel credit card that has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfer. This will let you pay off your debts without accruing interest, and also help you hit the minimum amount required to earn the credit card’s bonus.
Utilize your miles and points wisely
When you’ve earned a significant amount of points or miles, be sure to use them in a responsible manner. Review the rewards program for your credit card and compare the worth of various redemption options. For instance you can use your points to book a flight directly with the airline might give you a better return than using them for a gift card.
Another option is to get an rewards card that permits you to transfer your rewards to different loyalty program. This will allow you to have a wider range of choices and more flexibility when redeeming your rewards. For instance, you might be capable of transferring your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or reward program for hotels. This can give an access wider range of flights, hotels and other travel benefits that aren’t offered through your credit card’s rewards program.
Additionally, try to determine whether your credit card has any perks that can reduce your travel expenses. Many 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 and both of you earn rewards using your own credit card. Be aware that you cannot split the cost on the same card and make sure to track your rewards in a separate manner.
Overall, the key to maximizing your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program of your credit card and make sure you’re using it in the most efficient method possible. Through a combination of the strategies I’ve outlined in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards fast, exchange them for travel experiences that are worth it and benefit from a wide variety of travel benefits.