Are you fed up of spending an enormous amount on flights? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking is the answer to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting method to turn credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into miles which you can use to score 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 trading credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. These miles can later be used to pay for discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards will also let you redeem miles for hotel stays and car rental offers.
How Does it Work?
The key to success in hacking travel is taking advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and building out a frequent flyer mile program on a select group of airlines. When it comes time to book a flight, evaluate the cost. If the flight is under $300, it’s usually better to pay cash and save your miles for a more expensive flight. When the flights start getting over $500, you’ll need to check your frequent flyer accounts and see which airline can give you the most value. It all comes down to the amount of points or miles in your travel account for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to hacking travel? The first step is opening an account with a sign-up bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards that provide many advantages 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 some credit cards excellent for travel hacking:
- 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 limit of spending minimum in order to qualify for the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of guidelines, so make sure to look up the details. From there it’s all about building up miles and then using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your ideas?
Once you’ve accumulated the points balance, you’re ready to redeem them for some delicious travel! Different credit card companies will have different methods of redeeming your points, but here are some examples from some of the ones I’ve had experience with:
Getaway through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you have a Chase card, you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within the portal, you’ll get access to almost every airline. You can make use of a combination of money and points to pay for your travel. You can book your flight entirely with points if you’ve the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you do not possess enough points for the full cost, you still can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using any credit card.
Are you fed up of paying full price for flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United, you have the option of paying with either points or dollars? But, be careful, if you don’t have enough points, you can’t combine points and dollars on one flight. 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? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides passengers a relaxing and pleasant travel experience that includes extra legroom as well as free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to that of United Airlines which allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue points or dollars but not both. But, JetBlue offers a distinct feature that allows you to join your points with your family members and earn points twice as fast. Just make sure you can establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack into the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me and my travel buddy Becca, you’re probably pretty thrifty and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the required amount to qualify for the credit card bonus. Don’t worry as we’ve done it and are here to share our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able to pay your rent with credit card, go for it! Just be prepared to pay a fee, usually at least 3 percent. It could be worthwhile in the end when the bonus is large enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another great way to hit the spending limit is to pay for the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills in the near future, ask your family members to pay them for theirs, and they can pay you back.
Pay off a loan
If you’re a borrower, consider paying them off with an credit card. Be sure to pay the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Ask your family members to look into any major expenses in the near future that you can contribute 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 it’s the holiday season take into consideration buying all your gifts using cards from your credit account. This way you can hit that minimum spend and also be ready for gift giving. Make sure that you’re not paying more than you contemplating to.
There are a lot of methods to get the most from using your credit or debit card for travel. You can earn miles or points to be used towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few additional ideas for maximizing the rewards you earn:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
If you’re planning a vacation, make use of your travel credit card to pay for your hotel, flight, rental car, and any other travel expenses. Not only will you be able to hit the minimum amount of spending required for your credit card reward, however, you’ll also earn points or miles on the expenditures.
Use your credit card to pay for your everyday expenditures
Another method to reach the minimum spend and earn points is using your credit card for everyday costs. This could include things like gas, groceries, and even your phone bill. Be sure to pay the balance off each month in full so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Benefit from bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or bonus points for certain types of purchases, including eating out or travelling. Check out the rewards program of your credit card and make use of any bonus categories that align with your spending routines.
Consider a balance transfer
If you have existing debt on a high-interest credit card, think about transferring that balance to a travel credit card with an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfers. This will enable you to pay off your debt without accruing interest, and also assist you in reaching the minimum spending requirement for the credit card bonus.
Use your points or miles wisely
When you’ve earned a significant amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize them in a responsible manner. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and compare the worth of various redemption options. For instance you can use points to purchase a flight directly with the airline might offer better value than using them to purchase an gift card.
Another suggestion is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer your reward points into other loyalty programmes. This allows you to have a wider range of choices and more flexibility when you want to redeem your rewards. For example, you may be eligible to transfer your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a Hotel rewards programme. This will give an access greater selection of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks that may not be offered through your credit card’s rewards program.
Additionally, try to discover if your credit card offers any perks that can reduce your travel costs. Some cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that can be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a companion each of you will be able to earn rewards using your own credit card. Just remember that you can’t share the costs on the same card and make sure to track your rewards separately.
Overall, the key to making the most of your travel rewards is to understand your credit card’s rewards program and to ensure you’re making use of this program in the most efficient way possible. Utilizing all of the strategies I’ve outlined, you’ll be able to earn rewards fast, exchange them for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad assortment of travel-related perks.