Are you tired of spending an enormous amount on flights? Well, good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting method to convert credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles, which you can use to obtain discounted or complimentary flights for your desired destinations. With a little bit of creativity and some insider know-how, you’ll fly for no cost within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about swapping credit card sign-up bonus and incentives for airline miles. These miles can then be used to purchase discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards will also permit you to use miles to pay for hotel stays or car rental offers.
How Does it Work?
The key to successful hacking travel is taking advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and building out frequent flyer miles on a select group of airlines. When it’s time to make a booking, evaluate the cost. If the cost is less than $300, it’s usually better to pay cash and use your miles to pay to take a more costly flight. If your flights begin to climb above $500, you’ll want to review your frequent flyer accounts and see which airline can give you the best price. It all comes down to the number of points or miles you have in your travel bank for every airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to hacking travel? Your first task is opening the credit card that comes with a sign-up offer. There are plenty of great credit cards that provide various benefits and features. It is all dependent on the airline, your habits with spending and what features are crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit card options that can be perfect for travel hacking:
- 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 hit the limit of spending minimum in order to qualify for the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so make sure to check for the details. From there, it’s all about racking up miles, and using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to set sail with your ideas?
After you’ve accrued the points balance, you’re ready to cash them in for some delicious vacation! Different credit card companies have different methods for redeeming your rewards, here are a few examples from some of the providers I have experience with:
Getaway with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own a Chase cards, you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In it, you’ll get access to nearly every airline and you can make use of a combination of money and points to pay for your trip. You can book your flight entirely using points if you’ve got the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you don’t possess enough points for the full cost, you still can buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with any credit card.
Are you tired of paying full price for your flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United You have the option to pay with dollars or points? But, be careful, if you don’t have enough points you cannot combine points and dollars on flights. No worries though, if you’re a few point short United gives you the option to purchase additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience with extra space and complimentary snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to United’s which allows customers to book using either JetBlue dollar or points, but not both. The difference is that JetBlue offers a distinct feature that lets you pool your points together with your family members and earn points twice as quickly. Be sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me or my travel buddy Becca I’m sure you’re pretty thrifty and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to reach the minimum amount required to earn credit card bonuses. Don’t worry, we’ve been through it and we’re here to share our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able to pay for your rent using credit card, go for it! Just be prepared to be charged a fee, typically at least 3 percent. It may be worth it in the long run in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another great way to hit the minimum spend is to cover a medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills in the near future then ask your family members to pay for theirs and they will reimburse you.
Make a payment to pay off the loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan take into consideration paying them off with your credit card. Make sure to pay off the balance on your credit card in full so you don’t accrue additional debt.
Ask family for help
Talk to your family and look into any large expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Make sure that you are able to are able to trust the person and that they know why you’re taking the initiative.
If you’re celebrating the holidays, consider buying all of your gifts with the credit card you have. In this way, you’ll reach the minimum spending requirement and also be prepared for gift giving. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you were already thinking of.
There are a lot of methods to get the most of the travel credit card. You can accrue points or miles to be used 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
If you’re planning a trip, make use of your travel credit card to book your hotel, flight, rental car, and other travel costs. You’ll not only be able to hit the minimum spend to earn your credit card and earn points, but you’ll also earn points or miles for those expenditures.
Make use of your credit card to pay for all your daily expenditures
Another method to reach the minimum amount of spending to earn rewards is utilising your credit cards to pay everyday expenditures. This could be things like food, gas and even your telephone bill. Be sure to pay the balance off in full every month to ensure you don’t accrue interest charges.
Make the most of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or bonus points for certain types of purchases, such as eating out or traveling. Make sure you review your rewards program on your credit card and make use of any bonus categories that match with your spending habits.
Consider a balance transfer
If you have existing debt on a credit card, you might want to transfer that balance to an account with a travel credit card that has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfer. This will let you pay off your debt without accruing interest and simultaneously aid in achieving the minimum spending requirement for the credit card bonus.
Make use of your miles or points carefully
When you’ve earned a significant amount of miles or points make sure you use them wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card and then compare the benefits of different redemption options. For example using points to book a flight directly with the airline could give you a better return than using them for a gift card.
Another tip is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer rewards to different loyalty program. This allows you to get a wider selection of choices and more flexibility in making use of your rewards. For example, you may be eligible to transfer your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or reward program for hotels. This can give an access larger variety of hotels, flights, and other travel perks that aren’t available through your credit card’s rewards program.
Also, determine if your credit card offers certain benefits that will reduce your travel expenses. Many cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that can be invaluable when you travel.
When you travel with someone else and both of you earn rewards using your own credit card. Make sure you don’t divide the cost with the same card, and be sure to track the rewards you earn separately.
Overall, the key to reaping the maximum benefits from your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program of your credit card and to ensure you’re using this program in the most effective method. Utilizing a combination of the methods I’ve described that you can earn rewards fast, exchange them for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad assortment of travel-related perks.