Are you tired of paying an enormous amount on flights? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s a fun way to turn credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles that can then be used to score discounted or free flights to your ideal destinations. With a bit of imagination and some knowledge, you can 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. The miles can be used to purchase discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards permit you to use miles to pay for hotel stays or car rental discounts.
How Does it Work?
The key to success in hacking travel is taking advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and to establish frequent flyer miles for a specific group of airlines. When it comes time to book a flight take a look at the price. If the cost is under $300, it’s generally better to pay cash and save your miles for a more expensive flight. When the flights start getting above $500, you’ll want to look into your frequent flyer accounts to determine which airline offers you the best deal. It all comes down to the number of miles or points you have in your travel savings account for every airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to travel hacking? Your first task is opening an account with a sign-up offer. There are many great credit cards that provide many benefits and features. It depends on the type of airline, your habits with spending and what features are essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit card options that can be great to hack travel
- 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 hit the minimum spend limit in order to get the bonus. Every card has different guidelines, so make sure to look up this information. From there you can begin to rack miles and using them to plan your dream trip!
Are you ready to set sail with your ideas?
After you’ve accrued your points amount, it’s time to use them towards nice travel! Different credit card companies will have different methods of redeeming your rewards, here are some examples from a few of the companies I’ve worked with:
Escape through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you’re a holder of a Chase card, you are able to redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within the portal, you’ll get access to nearly every airline. You can combine the points as well as cash in order to pay for your next trip. You can even book completely with points if you’ve enough balance! Sometimes even if you do not be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for total cost, you are able to buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using any credit card.
Are you fed up of paying full price for your flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United, you have the option of paying using either points or dollars? But, be careful, if you don’t have enough points you cannot combine points and dollars on one flight. If you’re just a few points away, United provides the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides a comfortable and enjoyable travel experience that includes extra space and complimentary snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to United’s that allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue points or dollars however, not both. But, JetBlue offers a distinct feature where you can pool your points together with your family members and earn points twice as quickly. Make sure to establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me and my travel companion Becca, you’re probably pretty frugal and it can be challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to reach the minimum amount required to earn credit card bonuses. Don’t worry as we’ve done it and are here to share our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able pay your rent using a credit card, do it! Make sure you 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 a medical bill
Another great way to hit the required spending is to cover the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills due then ask your relatives if you could pay them for theirs, and they’ll repay you.
Pay off the loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan take into consideration repaying them using the credit card you have. Just make sure you pay off the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask family for help
Ask your family members to determine if they’ve got any major expenses in the near future that you can contribute for. Make sure that you are able to are able to trust the person and that they are aware of the reason for doing this.
If you’re celebrating the holidays you should consider purchasing all your gifts with cards from your credit account. In this way, you’ll reach the minimum spending requirement and also be ready for gift giving. Make sure that you’re not paying more than you already thinking of.
There are many ways to make the most out of your travel credit card. You can earn miles or points to be used towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few additional ways to maximize your rewards:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
When you’re planning your next vacation, make use of the travel credit card to pay for your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as other travel costs. You’ll not only achieve the minimum spend for your credit card reward as well, however, you’ll also earn points or miles on those expenditures.
Use your credit card to pay for your everyday expenditures
Another way to hit the minimum spend and earn points is utilising your credit cards for everyday expenditures. This can include things like gas, groceries and even your telephone bill. Just make sure to pay off the balance in full each month so you don’t pay interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer bonus points or miles for certain types of purchases, like eating out or travelling. Be sure to review your rewards program on your credit card and take advantage of any bonus categories that align with your spending routines.
Think about the possibility of transferring your balance
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a credit card, you might want to transfer that balance onto the travel credit card which has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfers. This will let you pay off your debts without accruing interest, and also assist you in reaching the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus.
Make use of your miles or points prudently
If you’ve amassed a large amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize the points or miles wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and then compare the value of different redemption options. For example you can use points to purchase a flight directly with the airline could provide you with a greater value than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another tip is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer reward points into other loyalty programmes. This allows you to have a wider range of choices and more freedom when it comes to redeeming your rewards. For example, you may be able to transfer your rewards to the frequent flyer program of an airline or a hotel rewards program. This can give you access to a larger selection of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks that may not be offered through the rewards program of your credit card.
In addition, you should find out whether your credit card has certain benefits that will reduce your travel costs. Many cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection, and other benefits that can be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
If you’re traveling with someone else, both of you can earn rewards using your own credit card. Be aware that you cannot split the cost on the same card and make sure to keep track of your rewards separately.
Overall, the key to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to know the rewards program of your credit card and to ensure you’re making use of it in the most effective way possible. By using a combination of the strategies I’ve outlined that you can earn rewards quickly, redeem them for travel experiences that are worth it and benefit from a wide assortment of travel-related perks.