Are you fed up of spending an enormous amount on flights? Well, good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting method to convert credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles which can be used to obtain discounted or free flights to your dream destinations. With a bit of creativity and some insider knowledge, you can fly for no cost within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of swapping credit card sign-up bonus and rewards for airline miles. The miles can be used to purchase discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards let you redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or car rental deals.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for successful travel hacking is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and establishing a frequent flyer mile program with a limited number of airlines. When it’s time to make a booking take a look at the price. If the price is under $300, it’s generally better to pay cash and save your miles to book a higher-priced flight. If your flights begin to climb higher than $500, it’s best to review those frequent flyer accounts to find out which airline will give you the best price. It all comes down to the amount of points or miles you have you have in your travel savings account for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to hacking travel? First step opening the credit card that comes that comes with a welcome bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards that offer a variety of benefits and features. It is all dependent on the airline, spending habits and what features are essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards that are excellent to use for hacking travel:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
After you’ve been accepted for a credit or debit card, you’ll have to meet the limit of spending minimum in order to qualify for the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of guidelines, so make sure to look up the details. From there it’s all about building up miles, and then using them to book your dream vacation!
Ready to jet-set with your points?
Once you’ve accumulated your points balance, it’s time to use them towards nice vacation! Different credit card companies have different methods of redeeming your points. Here are a few examples from some of the providers I have experience with:
Take a trip by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own a Chase cards, you are able to redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through it, you’ll have access to almost every airline, and you can combine the points as well as cash in order to book your travel. You can even book completely with points if you’ve the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you don’t possess enough points for the entire price, you can buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using any credit card.
Are you tired of paying full price for your flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option of paying with dollars or points? Be careful, if you don’t have enough points, you can’t combine points and dollars on flights. No worries though, if you’re just a few points away, United gives you the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience with extra legroom and free snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to United’s which allows customers to book using either JetBlue dollar or points, however, not both. The difference is that JetBlue offers a distinct feature that lets you join your points with your relatives to earn points twice as fast. Just make sure you can establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me and my travel buddy Becca I’m sure you’re pretty economical and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to hit the minimum spend for the credit card bonus. But don’t fret, we’ve been through 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 for your rent using a credit card, do it! Be prepared to pay a fee, usually about 3%. It might be worth it in the long run in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the minimum spend is to pay for a medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills due then ask your family members if you can pay them for theirs, and they can pay you back.
Pay off a loan
If you have any loans take into consideration repaying them using an 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 big expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Just make sure you trust the person and they understand why you’re doing this.
If you’re celebrating the holidays take into consideration buying all your gifts using your credit card. So you’ll be able to reach the minimum spending requirement and also be prepared for giving gifts. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you already thinking of.
There are many ways to make the most from the travel credit card and earn miles or points to spend on the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few additional ideas for maximizing your rewards:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, use you travel credit card to book 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, but you’ll also be earning points or miles on the costs.
Utilize your credit card to pay for everyday costs
Another method to reach the minimum spending requirement and earn points is by using your credit card to pay every day expenses. This could be items like groceries, gas and even your telephone bill. Just make sure to 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 bonus points or miles for certain types of purchases, like eating out or travelling. Check out the rewards program of your credit card and make use 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 your debts without accruing interest and simultaneously assist you in reaching the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus.
Use your points or miles wisely
When you’ve earned a significant amount of points or miles Make sure to utilize them wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and compare the benefits of different redemption options. For instance, using points to purchase a flight directly with the airline could give you a better return than using them for an gift card.
Another suggestion is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer rewards to different loyalty program. This will let you get a wider selection of options and greater flexibility in redeeming your rewards. For instance, you might be eligible to transfer your reward to an airline’s frequent flyer program or a reward program for hotels. This can give you access to a wider variety of hotels, flights, and other travel perks which are not available through your credit card’s rewards program.
In addition, you should discover if your credit card offers certain benefits that will save you money on travel-related costs. Many cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that could be very beneficial when traveling.
If you’re traveling with a companion, both of you can earn rewards with your own credit card. Be aware that you cannot divide the cost with the same card. Also, make sure to track your rewards separately.
Overall, the key to reaping the maximum benefits from your rewards for travel is to be aware of your credit card’s rewards program and ensure that you’re making use of your credit card in the most effective method possible. Through a combination of the strategies I’ve outlined in this article, you’ll be able get rewards in a short time, use rewards for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide variety of travel benefits.