Are you tired of paying an enormous amount on flights? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting method to convert bonus and sign-up incentives into miles which you can use to obtain discounted or complimentary flights for your dream destinations. With a little bit of imagination and some knowledge, you can fly for no cost in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about trading credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. The miles can be used to buy discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards allow you to redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or car rental offers.
How Does it Work?
The secret to success in travel hacking is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and establishing frequent flyer miles on a select group of airlines. When it comes time to make a booking, evaluate the cost. If the cost is less than $300, it’s usually better to pay cash and save your miles for a more expensive flight. If the prices start to rise above $500, you’ll want to look into your frequent flyer accounts to see which airline can give you the best price. It all boils down to the number of miles or points in your travel account for each airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to hacking travel? Your first task is to open an account with a sign-up offer. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards with a variety of benefits and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, your habits with spending and the features that are most important 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
If you’ve been approved for a credit or debit card, you’ll have to meet the limit of spending minimum in order to get the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so make certain to verify the details. Then you can begin to rack up miles, and using them to plan your dream trip!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your goals?
Now that you’ve built up your points balance, it’s time to cash them in for some sweet vacation! Different credit card providers will have different methods for redeeming your points. Here are a few examples from some of the ones I have experience with:
Getaway by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have a Chase cards, you can redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through the portal, you’ll get access to nearly every airline and you can use a combination of money and points to book your travel. You can book your flight entirely with points if you’ve enough balance! Sometimes, even if you don’t possess enough points for the full price, you can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using any credit card.
Are you tired 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 using dollars or points? But, be careful that if you do not have enough points you can’t combine points and dollars for flights. No worries though, if you’re just a few point short United provides the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience with extra legroom and free snacks. Plus, their booking process is like United’s, allowing customers to book using either JetBlue points or dollars however, not both. The difference is that JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that lets you combine your points with family members to accrue points twice as quickly. Just make sure you can prove you’re really family before trying to hack the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me or my travel companion Becca You’re probably quite frugal and it can be difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to hit the minimum amount required to earn credit card bonuses. Don’t worry because we’ve been there and we’re here to share some of our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able to pay for your rent with a credit card, do it! Be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually at least 3%. It may be worth it in the end if the bonus is high enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another way to reach the required spending is to cover the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills due, ask your family members if you can pay their medical bills and they will repay you.
Make a payment to pay off a loan
If you’re a borrower, consider making payments on them with the credit card you have. Just make sure you pay off the balance on your credit card in full so you don’t end up with additional debt.
Ask your family members for help
Ask your family members to determine if they’ve got any large expenses coming up 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 are aware of the reason for doing this.
If it’s the holiday season you should consider purchasing all your gifts with the credit card you have. So you’ll be able to reach the minimum spending requirement and be ready to give gifts. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you were already contemplating to.
There are a lot of ways to get the most out of using your credit or debit card for travel and accumulate miles or points that you can be used towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few additional ways to maximize the rewards you earn:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, use you travel credit card to book your hotel, flight, rental car, and any other travel expenses. You’ll not only be able to hit the required amount for your credit card bonus as well, but you’ll also earn points or miles on those costs.
Make use of your credit card to pay for everyday costs
Another way to hit the minimum amount of spending and earn points is using your credit card to pay for every day expenditures. This could be items like groceries, gas and even your telephone bill. Be sure to pay the balance off in full each month so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or points in exchange for specific types of purchases, such as eating out or traveling. Check out your rewards program on your credit card and take advantage of any bonus categories that align with your spending habits.
Consider a balance transfer
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a high-interest credit card, think about transferring the balance to the travel credit card which has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfer. This will allow you to pay off your debt without accruing interest. It will also aid in achieving the minimum amount required to earn the credit card’s bonus.
Use your points or miles wisely
If you’ve amassed a large amount of points or miles, be sure to use them in a responsible manner. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and then compare the benefits of different redemption options. For instance you can use points to book a flight directly through the airline may offer better value than using them to purchase a gift card.
Another option is to get a rewards card that allows you to transfer your points to other loyalty programs. This will let you have a wider range of choices and more flexibility in making use of your rewards. For example, you may be capable of transferring your rewards to the frequent flyer program of an airline or reward program for hotels. This gives you access to a greater variety of hotels, flights and other travel benefits that aren’t accessible through the rewards program on your credit card.
Also, determine whether your credit card has certain benefits that will reduce your travel expenses. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that could be invaluable when you travel.
When you travel with someone else each of you will be able to earn rewards using your credit card. Just remember that you can’t divide the cost with the same card, and be sure you keep track of your rewards separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do to maximizing your travel rewards is to understand your credit card’s rewards program and to ensure you’re making use of this program in the most effective method. By using an array of strategies I’ve listed in this article, you’ll be able get rewards in a short time, use rewards for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide variety of travel benefits.