Are you tired of spending an enormous amount on flights? Well, good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting method to convert credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles, that can then be used to get discounted or even complimentary flights for your desired destinations. With a bit of imagination and some knowledge, you can be jet-setting for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about swapping credit card sign-up bonus and rewards for airline miles. These miles can then be used to purchase discounted or even free flights. Some credit cards also permit you to use miles for hotel stays and car rental deals.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for success in hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and to establish a frequent flyer mile program with a limited number of airlines. When it’s time to book a flight consider the cost. If the flight is under $300, it’s usually better to pay cash and save your miles to take a more costly flight. If the prices start to rise above $500, you’ll want to check the frequent flyer account and find out which airline will give you the best price. It all boils down to the amount of miles or points in your travel bank for each airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn 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 with many features and benefits. It all depends on your preferred airline, spending habits and the features that are most essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards perfect to hack travel
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
After you’ve been accepted 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 guidelines, so make sure to check for the details. Then, it’s all about racking up miles, and using them to book your dream vacation!
Ready to jet-set with your points?
Once you’ve accumulated your points balance, you’re ready to use them towards sweet getaway! Different credit card providers will offer different ways to redeem your points, but here are some examples from some of the providers I have experience with:
Take a trip through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you own a Chase cards, you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through it, you’ll get access to almost every airline. You can make use of a combination of points and cash to pay for your trip. You can even book completely with points if you’ve enough balance! Sometimes even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for entire cost, you are able to buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with every credit card.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for your flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United, you have the option to pay with either points or dollars? But, be careful in case you do not have enough points you cannot combine dollars and points on the same flight. If you’re just a few points away, United also offers the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience , with more legroom and free snacks. Plus, their booking process is like United’s, allowing customers to book using either JetBlue dollar or points however, not both. The difference is that JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that lets you pool your points together with family members to accrue points twice as quickly. Just make sure you can establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re like me and my travel companion Becca, you’re probably pretty economical and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum amount required to earn a credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried, we’ve been through 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 your rent using a credit card, do it! Be prepared to pay a fee, usually about 3%. It could be worthwhile in the end in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another way to reach the required spending is to pay for an medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills due Ask your family members if you can pay them for theirs, and they can pay you back.
Repay a loan
If you’re a borrower you owe, think about repaying them using your credit card. Just make sure you pay off the balance on your credit card in full so you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Talk to your family and see if they have any large expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to trust the person and they understand why you’re doing it.
If you’re celebrating the holidays, consider buying all your gifts using cards from your credit account. This way you can meet the minimum spending limit and also be prepared for gift giving. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you thinking of.
There are plenty of ways to make the most of your travel credit card. accrue points or miles to spend on the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are some additional ways to maximize your rewards
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, make use of the travel credit card to book your hotel, flight, rental car, and any other travel-related expenses. Not only will you be able to meet the minimum spend to qualify for a credit card reward, but you’ll also earn points or miles to cover the costs.
Utilize your credit card to pay for all your daily expenses
Another way to hit the minimum spend and earn points is making use of your credit card for every day expenditures. This can include items like groceries, gas, and even your phone bill. Make sure you 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 for certain types of purchases, like eating out or travelling. Check out your rewards program on your credit card and take advantage of any bonus categories that match with your spending habits.
Consider a balance transfer
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 transfers. This will allow you to pay off your debts without accruing interest, and also assist you in reaching the minimum spend for the credit card bonus.
Make use of your miles or points carefully
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points, be sure to use the points or miles wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card, and evaluate the worth of various redemption options. For example you can use points to book a ticket directly with the airline might offer better value than using them to purchase the purchase of a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will let you enjoy a greater variety of choices and more freedom when it comes to you want to redeem your rewards. For instance, you might be eligible to transfer your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a hotel rewards program. This can give you access to a wider range of flights, hotels as well as other travel perks which are not accessible through the rewards program on your credit card.
Also, find out the card’s benefits. any perks that can reduce your travel expenses. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that could be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with someone else, both of you can get rewards on your credit card. Just remember that you can’t divide the cost with the same card, and be sure to track your rewards in a separate manner.
Overall, the key to maximizing your travel rewards is to know the rewards program of your credit card and make sure you’re using this program in the most effective method. Utilizing all of the methods I’ve described, you’ll be able to earn rewards fast, exchange them for travel experiences that are worth it and benefit from a wide range of travel perks.