Are you tired of paying an enormous amount on flights? Good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel woes. It’s a fun way to turn credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles, which can be used to obtain discounted or cheap flights from your dream destinations. With a little imagination and a little bit of insider know-how, you’ll be jet-setting for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about swapping credit card sign-up bonus and incentives for airline miles. These miles can later be used to purchase discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards 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 credit card sign-up bonus and to establish frequent flyer miles with a limited number of airlines. When you are ready to make a booking, evaluate the cost. If the cost is under $300, it’s generally better to pay cash and use your miles to pay to take a more costly flight. If the prices start to rise over $500, you’ll need to look into the frequent flyer account and determine which airline offers you the most value. It all comes down to the amount of points or miles you have in your travel bank for every airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to hacking travel? The first step is opening an account with a sign-up offer. There are many great credit cards that offer many advantages and features. It is all dependent on the airline, your habits with spending and the features that are most crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards that are perfect 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 have to meet the limit of spending minimum in order to get the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so be sure to check for this information. Then it’s all about building miles and using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to set sail with your ideas?
After you’ve accrued your points balance, it’s time to use them towards delicious getaway! Different credit card companies have different methods for redeeming your points, but here are some examples from a few of the companies I’ve worked with:
Take a trip by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of a Chase card, you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through this portal you’ll have access to nearly every airline, and you can combine points and cash to book your next 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 price, you can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using every credit card.
Are you tired of paying full price for your flight tickets? Did you know that when you book directly through United, you have the option of paying using dollars or points? Be careful that if you do not have enough points you aren’t able to combine dollars and points for the same flight. If you’re a few points away, United also offers the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue offers passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience with extra legroom and free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to United’s that allows customers to book using either JetBlue either dollars or points but not both. However, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that lets you join your points with family members to accrue points twice as fast. Be sure to establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack into the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me and my travel buddy Becca, you’re probably pretty thrifty and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum amount required to earn credit card bonuses. However, don’t be worried as we’ve done it and are here to share some of our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able pay your rent with a credit card, do it! Make sure you pay a fee, usually at least 3 percent. It could be worthwhile in the end when the bonus is large enough.
Pay 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 due Ask your family members if you can pay them for theirs, and they will pay you back.
Pay off a loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan, consider paying them off with an credit card. Just make sure you pay off the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Discuss your family with them and look into any major expenses in the near future that you can help pay for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to are able to trust the person and that they know why you’re taking the initiative.
If you’re celebrating the holidays you should consider purchasing all of your gifts with the credit card you have. So you’ll be able to meet the minimum spending limit and also be prepared to give gifts. Be sure to avoid spending more than you already contemplating to.
There are many ways to get the most from your travel credit card. accrue points or miles 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 trip, use your travel credit card to book your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as any other travel expenses. Not only will you be able to meet the required amount to earn your credit card reward as well, however, you’ll also earn points or miles on the expenses.
Use your credit card for all your daily expenditures
Another way to hit the minimum amount of spending in order to accumulate points utilising your credit cards to pay for every day expenditures. This can include things like gas, groceries or even your phone bill. Make sure you pay the balance off each month in full so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Make the most of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer bonus points or miles for specific types of purchases, such as eating out or travelling. Check out the rewards program of your credit card and avail the bonus categories that are in line with your spending routines.
Consider a balance transfer
If you have existing outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer that balance to a travel credit card with an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will enable you to pay off your debts without accruing interest and simultaneously aid in achieving the minimum spending requirement for the credit card bonus.
Use your points or miles wisely
When you’ve earned a significant amount of points or miles, be sure to use them wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card, and evaluate the benefits of different redemption options. For example, using your points to book a ticket directly through the airline may give you a better value than using them to purchase a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer points to other loyalty programs. This allows you to have a wider range of options and greater freedom when it comes to making use of your rewards. For example, you may be eligible to transfer your reward to an airline’s frequent flyer program or a hotel rewards program. This gives the benefit of a larger range of flights, hotels as well as other travel perks that aren’t available through the rewards program of your credit card.
In addition, you should determine if your credit card offers any perks that can save you money on travel-related costs. Some cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that are extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
If you’re traveling with someone else 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. Also, make 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 the rewards program of your credit card and to ensure you’re making use of your credit card in the most efficient method. Through an array of strategies I’ve outlined that you can earn rewards fast, exchange them for travel experiences that are worth it and take advantage of a broad range of travel perks.