Are you fed up of spending an enormous amount on flights? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting method to convert sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles that can then be used to obtain discounted or free flights to your desired destinations. With a little bit of imagination and a little bit of insider knowledge, you can be jet-setting for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about trading credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. These miles can later be used to buy discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards let you redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or rental car discounts.
How Does it Work?
The key to success in hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and establishing frequent flyer miles on a select group of airlines. When it’s time to book a flight, evaluate the cost. If the price 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 higher than $500, it’s best to check your frequent flyer accounts and see which airline can give you the best deal. All it boils down to is the amount of miles or points you have in your travel savings account for every airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets of travel hacking? First step to open a credit card with a sign-up offer. There are plenty of great credit cards that provide many benefits 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 a few credit cards that are great 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 reach the minimum spend limit in order to receive the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so be certain to verify this information. Then, it’s all about racking up miles, and using them to plan your dream trip!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your goals?
After you’ve accrued the points balance, it’s time to cash them in for some delicious vacation! Different credit card companies have different methods for redeeming your rewards, here are some examples from a few of the providers I’ve worked with:
Take a trip through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you have an Chase cards, you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within the portal, you’ll have access to almost every airline. You can use a combination of the points as well as cash in order to pay for your travel. You can book your flight entirely on points if you have enough balance! Sometimes even if you do not be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for full 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 fed up of paying full price for your flight tickets? Did you not know that when you book directly through United, you have the option of paying with either points or dollars? Butbe aware that if you don’t have enough points, you can’t combine points and dollars for flights. Don’t worry, though, if you’re only a couple of points away, United provides the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers passengers a relaxing and pleasant travel experience that includes extra legroom and free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines, allowing passengers to book flights using JetBlue dollar or points, but not both. However, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that allows you to pool your points together with your family members and earn points twice as fast. Be sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re like me and my travel buddy Becca You’re probably quite frugal and it can be challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to reach the required amount to qualify for a credit card bonus. Don’t worry as we’ve done it and are here to share some of our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able to pay for your rent using credit card, then do it! Be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually at least 3%. It may be worth it in the long run in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another way to reach the spending limit is to cover a medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills coming up, ask your relatives if you could pay for theirs and they will repay you.
Pay off the loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan, consider repaying them using an credit card. Just make sure you pay off the balance on your credit card in full , so that you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Talk to your family and see if they have 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 know why you’re doing this.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season take into consideration buying all your gifts with the credit card you have. This way you can reach the minimum spending requirement and also be prepared to give gifts. Be sure to avoid paying more than you already thinking of.
There are many ways to make the most out of the travel credit card and accrue points or miles to spend on the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few additional ways to maximize your rewards
Book travel expenses with your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, use the travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel, rental car, and other travel costs. Not only will you be able to meet the required amount to earn your credit card reward and earn points, but you’ll also be earning points or miles to cover these expenses.
Use your credit card for everyday costs
Another method to reach the minimum amount of spending in order to accumulate points using your credit card for every day expenditures. This could include things like gas, groceries or even your phone bill. Make sure you pay off the balance each month in full so you don’t accumulate interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or points in exchange for specific types of purchases, including eating out or traveling. Be sure to review the rewards program of your credit card and make use of any bonus categories that match with your spending routines.
Consider a balance transfer
If you’re in the middle of a outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, consider transferring that balance onto the travel credit card which has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfers. This will allow you to pay off your debts without accruing interest and simultaneously aid in achieving the minimum spend for the credit card’s bonus.
Utilize your miles and points carefully
When you’ve earned a significant amount of points or miles make sure you use them in a responsible manner. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and then compare the worth of various redemption options. For example you can use points to book a flight directly with the airline could provide you with a greater value than using them to purchase an gift card.
Another tip is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer your reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will let you get a wider selection of options and greater flexibility when making use of your rewards. For example, you may be capable of transferring your rewards to the frequent flyer program of an airline or Hotel rewards programme. This gives you access to a greater variety of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks that aren’t accessible through the rewards program of your credit card.
Also, discover if your credit card offers certain benefits that will save you money on travel-related expenses. Some cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection, and other benefits that are very beneficial when traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a companion, both of you can earn rewards using your credit card. Make sure you don’t share the costs on the same card. Also, make sure to keep track of your rewards separately.
Overall, the key to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to know your credit card’s rewards program and ensure that you’re making use of your credit card in the most effective way possible. Through a combination of the strategies I’ve outlined in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards quickly, redeem them for travel experiences that are worth it and take advantage of a broad assortment of travel-related perks.