Are you fed up of spending an enormous amount on flights? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel problems. It’s a fun way to turn credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles which can be used to obtain discounted or free flights to your desired destinations. With a little bit of imagination and a little bit of insider know-how, you’ll travel for free 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 discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards permit you to use miles towards hotel stays or rental car deals.
How Does it Work?
The secret to successful hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and building out a frequent flyer mile program for a specific group of airlines. When it comes time to make a booking consider the cost. If the price is less than $300, it’s best 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 those frequent flyer accounts and see which airline can give you the best deal. It all boils down to the number of miles or points in your travel bank for each airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to hacking travel? Your first task is to open the credit card that comes with a sign-up bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards with various advantages and features. It is all dependent on the airline, your habits with spending and what features are essential 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 limit of spending minimum in order to receive the bonus. Every card has different rules, so be sure to check for this information. From there, it’s all about racking miles and using them to plan your dream vacation!
Ready to jet-set with your goals?
Once you’ve accumulated the points amount, it’s time to redeem them for some nice vacation! Different credit card companies offer different ways to redeem your points, but here are some examples from some of the companies I have experience with:
Getaway through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you have a Chase cards, you are able to use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within this portal you’ll have access to almost every airline and you can combine money and points to pay for your next trip. You can even book completely with points if you’ve enough balance! Sometimes even if you don’t possess enough points for the total cost, you are able to purchase flights through the 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 not know that when you book directly through United You have the option of paying using dollars or points? Be careful that if you don’t have enough points you can’t combine points and dollars for flights. If you’re a few points away, United provides the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience , with more legroom and free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to United’s that allows customers to book using either JetBlue points or dollars however, not both. But, JetBlue offers a distinct feature that allows you to pool your points together with your relatives to earn points twice as fast. Just make sure you can prove you’re really family before trying to hack into the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me or my travel companion Becca You’re probably quite frugal and it can be difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to reach the minimum amount required to earn a credit card bonus. Don’t worry as we’ve done it and we’re here to share some of our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able to pay your rent using credit card, go for it! Be prepared to be charged a fee, typically at least 3 percent. It could be worthwhile in the long run in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another great way to hit the minimum spend is to cover an medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses in the near future Ask your relatives if you could pay for theirs and they can pay you back.
Pay off the loan
If you’re a borrower take into consideration making payments on them with your credit card. Be sure to pay the credit card balance completely so that you don’t end up with additional debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Talk to your family and look into any large expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Just make sure you have confidence in the person you are talking to and they are aware of the reason for doing this.
If you’re celebrating the holidays you should consider purchasing all your gifts with the credit card you have. So you’ll be able to reach the minimum spending requirement and be ready for gift giving. Be sure to avoid spending more than you contemplating to.
There are plenty of ways to get the most out of your travel credit card. You can earn miles or points to be used towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few additional suggestions for maximising your rewards
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a vacation, make use of your travel credit card for booking your flight, hotel, rental car, and any other travel expenses. You’ll not only achieve the minimum amount of spending required to earn your credit card bonus as well, but you’ll also be earning points or miles on these expenditures.
Use your credit card for everyday expenses
Another way to meet the minimum spend in order to accumulate points using your credit card for every day expenses. This could include items like groceries, gas and even your telephone bill. Make sure you pay off the balance in full every month to ensure you don’t pay interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or points in exchange on certain kinds of purchases, like eating out or traveling. Check out your credit card’s rewards program and make use of any bonus categories that match with your spending routines.
Think about the possibility of transferring your balance
If you have existing outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer the 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 the debt without accruing interest. It will also aid in achieving the minimum spend for the credit card’s bonus.
Make use of your miles or points wisely
If you’ve amassed a large amount of miles or points, be sure to use them in a responsible manner. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and then compare the benefits of different redemption options. For instance using points to purchase a flight directly through the airline may offer better return than using them for an gift card.
Another suggestion is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer points to other loyalty programs. This will let you have a wider range of options and greater flexibility when you want to redeem your rewards. For example, you may be capable of transferring your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or hotel rewards program. This will give an access wider variety of hotels, flights and other travel benefits which are not accessible through your credit card’s rewards program.
Additionally, try to find out whether your credit card has any perks that can save you money on travel-related expenses. Some cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that could be very beneficial when traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a companion, both of you can earn rewards using your own credit card. Just remember that you can’t divide the cost with the same card, and be sure you keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
Overall, the key to making the most of your travel rewards is to know your credit card’s rewards program and ensure that you’re making use of this program in the most effective method possible. Through all of the methods I’ve described that you can earn rewards quickly, redeem them for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad range of travel perks.