Are you fed up of spending an enormous amount on flights? Well, good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel woes. It’s a fun way to convert welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles, that can then be used to score discounted or cheap flights from your dream destinations. With a little bit of imagination and a little bit of insider knowledge, you can fly for no cost within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about swapping credit card sign-up bonus and incentives for airline miles. The miles can be used to purchase discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards will also permit you to use miles to pay for hotel stays or rental car deals.
How Does it Work?
The secret to success in hacking travel is taking advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and establishing frequent flyer miles with a limited number of airlines. When you are ready to make a booking take a look at the price. If the flight is less than $300, it’s generally better to pay cash and use your miles to pay for a more expensive flight. When the flights start getting above $500, you’ll want to check the frequent flyer account and see which airline can give you the most value. It all boils down to the number of points or miles you have you have in your travel savings account for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to hacking travel? The first step is to open an account that comes with a welcome bonus. There are many great credit cards that provide many benefits and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, your spending habits, and what features are crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit card options that can be excellent for travel hacking:
- 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 spending limit for minimum expenditure 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 building up miles, and then 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 amount, it’s time to cash them in for some sweet travel! Different credit card providers will have different methods of redeeming your points, but here are a few examples from some of the companies I’ve had experience with:
Getaway through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you’re a holder of a Chase cards, you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In it, you’ll get access to nearly every airline, and you can make use of a combination of the points as well as cash in order to pay for your next trip. You can book your flight entirely using points if you’ve got the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you don’t have enough points to cover the entire cost, you are able to purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using the credit card of your choice.
Are you fed up 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 either points or dollars? Butbe aware, if you do not have enough points you cannot combine points and dollars on one flight. If you’re a few points short, United provides the option of buying additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue offers passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience with extra legroom as well as free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines, allowing passengers to book flights using JetBlue points or dollars, however, not both. The difference is that JetBlue offers a distinct feature that lets you join your points with your family members and earn points twice as quickly. Be sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack into the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me and my travel buddy Becca You’re probably quite thrifty and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to hit the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus. Don’t worry because we’ve been there and are here to share our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able pay your rent using a credit card, do it! Just be prepared to be charged a fee, typically about 3%. It might be worth it 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 the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills in the near future then ask your relatives if you could pay for theirs and they can reimburse you.
Pay off the loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan take into consideration making payments on them with an credit card. Be sure to pay off the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Discuss your family with them and see if they have any major expenses in the near future that you can contribute for. Make sure that you are able to trust the person and they are aware of the reason for taking the initiative.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season, consider buying all your gifts with your credit card. So you’ll be able to hit that minimum spend and also be prepared to give gifts. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you were already thinking of.
There are a lot of ways to get the most of the travel credit card. You can accrue points or miles to be used towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are some additional suggestions for maximising the rewards you earn:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, make use of you travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as any other travel-related expenses. You’ll not only be able to meet the required amount to earn your credit card bonus as well, but you’ll also earn points or miles to cover these expenses.
Utilize your credit card to pay for everyday expenses
Another way to hit the minimum spend and earn points is using your credit card to pay for everyday expenses. This could include things like gas, groceries and even your telephone bill. Make sure you pay the balance off in full each month so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Benefit from bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or points in exchange for specific types of purchases, such as dining or travel. Be sure to review your credit card’s rewards program and take advantage of any bonus categories that match with your spending routines.
Consider the possibility of transferring your balance
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 transfer. This will allow you to pay off the debt without accruing interest and simultaneously assist you in reaching the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus.
Utilize your miles and points prudently
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize them wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card, and evaluate the value of different redemption options. For example, using your points to book a ticket directly with the airline could provide you with a greater value than using them to purchase an gift card.
Another tip is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will allow you to get a wider selection of choices and more flexibility when redeeming your rewards. For example, you may be eligible to transfer your reward to an airline’s frequent flyer program or hotel rewards program. This will give you access to a wider range of flights, hotels and other travel benefits which are not offered through the rewards program of your credit card.
In addition, you should find out if your credit card offers some perks that could save you money on travel-related costs. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that can be very beneficial when traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a companion and both of you get rewards on your own credit card. Be aware that you cannot share the costs on the same card. Also, make sure to keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do to making the most of your rewards for travel is to be aware of your credit card’s rewards program and ensure that you’re using your credit card in the most efficient method possible. Through all of the strategies I’ve outlined, you’ll be able to earn rewards quickly, redeem rewards for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad variety of travel benefits.