Are you tired of paying an enormous amount on flights? Well, good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting way to convert sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles which can be used to score discounted or complimentary flights for your ideal destinations. With a little bit of imagination and some knowledge, you can fly for no cost within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about trading credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. These miles can later be used to buy discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards will also let you redeem miles for hotel stays and car rental deals.
How Does it Work?
The key to successful travel hacking is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and to establish a frequent flyer mile program on a select group of airlines. When it comes time to book a flight, evaluate the cost. If the price is less than $300, it’s usually better to pay cash and save your miles for a more expensive flight. If the prices start to rise over $500, you’ll need to review those frequent flyer accounts and 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.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to travel hacking? First step to open the credit card that comes that comes with a welcome bonus. There are many great credit cards that provide a variety of advantages and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, your habits with spending and the features that are most crucial 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
If you’ve been approved for a credit card, you’ll need to hit the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to receive the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so make sure to check for this information. From there, it’s all about racking miles and using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your ideas?
Now that you’ve built up your points balance, you’re ready to redeem them for some nice vacation! Different credit card companies will offer different ways to redeem your rewards, here are a few examples from some of the companies I’ve had experience with:
Escape by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have an Chase card, you are able to redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through this portal you’ll have access to virtually every airline and you can combine the points as well as cash in order to book your trip. You can even book entirely with points if you’ve enough balance! Sometimes even if you do not possess enough points for the entire cost, you still can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with any credit card.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for your flight tickets? Did you realize that when booking directly through United you can choose the option of paying using dollars or points? Butbe aware in case you don’t have enough points, you cannot combine points and dollars for flights. No worries though, if you’re only a couple of point short United also offers the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience with extra legroom and free snacks. Plus, their booking process is like United’s which allows customers to book using either JetBlue dollar or points but not both. However, JetBlue offers a distinct feature where you can pool your points together with family members to accrue points twice as fast. Make sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack into the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re anything like me and my travel companion Becca You’re probably quite economical 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, we’ve been through it and we’re here to share our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able to pay for your rent with credit card, go for it! Make sure you pay a fee, usually around 3%. It could be worthwhile over the long term if the bonus is high enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the required spending is to cover the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills in the near future then ask your relatives if you could pay them for theirs, and they will pay you back.
Pay off a loan
If you’re a borrower, consider making payments on them with your credit card. Just make sure you pay off the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Ask your family members to see if they have any large expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Just make sure you are able to trust the person and that they know why you’re doing this.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season, consider buying all your gifts with cards from your credit account. In this way, you’ll meet the minimum spending limit and also be ready to give gifts. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you thinking of.
There are a lot of ways to make the most out of your travel credit card and accumulate miles or points that you can be used towards airfares or other travel-related costs. 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 you travel credit card to book your flight, hotel, rental car, and any other travel expenses. You’ll not only be able to hit the required amount to earn your credit card reward as well, but you’ll also earn points or miles on the expenditures.
Make use of your credit card to pay for all your daily expenditures
Another way to hit the minimum spend in order to accumulate points by utilising your credit cards to pay for every day expenditures. This could be things like gas, groceries, and even your phone 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
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or points in exchange for certain types of purchases, including eating out or traveling. Check out your rewards program on your credit card and take advantage of any bonus categories that match with your spending habits.
Think about the possibility of transferring your balance
If you are currently in debt on a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer that balance to the travel credit card which has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfer. This will allow you to pay off the debt without accruing interest. It will also help you hit the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus.
Utilize your miles and points carefully
When you’ve earned a significant amount of points or miles make sure you use them wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card and compare the value of different redemption options. For example you can use your points to purchase a flight directly with the airline might offer better value than using them to purchase a gift card.
Another option is to get a rewards card that allows you to transfer your rewards to different loyalty program. This will allow you to get a wider selection of choices and more flexibility when redeeming your rewards. For instance, you might be capable of transferring your rewards to the frequent flyer program of an airline or hotel rewards program. This will give you access to a wider variety of hotels, flights, and other travel perks that may not be accessible through the rewards program of your credit card.
In addition, you should find out whether your credit card has any perks that can save you money on travel-related expenses. Some cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection, and other benefits that can be very beneficial when traveling.
If you’re traveling with a friend, both of you can earn rewards with your credit card. Be aware that you cannot split the cost on the same card. Also, make sure you keep track of your rewards separately.
The key to maximizing your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program on your credit card and ensure that you’re making use of your credit card in the most effective way possible. Through an array of strategies I’ve listed in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards quickly, redeem them for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide variety of travel benefits.