Are you tired of spending an enormous amount on flights? Good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting method to turn credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles that can then be used to obtain discounted or cheap flights from your dream destinations. With a little bit of imagination and a little bit of insider 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 as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can later be used to purchase discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards will also allow you to redeem miles towards hotel stays or car rental deals.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for success in hacking travel is taking advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and to establish frequent flyer miles on a select group of airlines. When you are ready to book a flight take a look at the price. If the flight is less than $300, it’s usually better to pay in cash and use your miles to pay to take a more costly flight. When the flights start getting above $500, you’ll want to look into the frequent flyer account to determine which airline offers you the most value. It all boils down to the amount of points or miles you have in your travel bank for each airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets of travel hacking? First step opening the credit card that comes that comes with a welcome bonus. There are many great credit cards with various features and benefits. It is all dependent on the airline, your habits with spending and what features are crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards that are 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 have to meet the minimum spend limit in order to get the bonus. Each card has its own guidelines, so make sure to check for this information. From there it’s all about building miles and then using them to book your dream vacation!
Ready to jet-set with your goals?
Once you’ve accumulated your points balance, it’s time to cash them in for some nice travel! Different credit card companies have different methods for redeeming your rewards, here are some examples from some of the ones I’ve had experience with:
Take a trip through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you own an Chase card, you can redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. In this portal you’ll have access to nearly every airline. You can use a combination of money and points to book your next trip. You can even book entirely on points if you have 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 every credit card.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for your flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United, you have the option of paying with dollars or points? But, be careful in case you don’t have enough points you aren’t able to combine dollars and points for one flight. If you’re a few points away, United also offers the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers a comfortable and enjoyable travel experience that includes extra legroom as well as free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to United’s which allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue either dollars or points, but not both. However, JetBlue has a unique feature that allows you to pool your points together with your relatives to 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 or my travel companion Becca, you’re probably pretty frugal and it can be difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars in order to meet the required amount to qualify for credit card bonuses. Don’t worry because we’ve been there and are here to share our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able to pay your rent with credit card, then do it! Make sure you pay a fee, usually at least 3 percent. It may be worth it over the long term when the bonus is large enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another excellent way to meet the required spending is to pay for the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills in the near future then ask your family members to pay them for theirs, and they can reimburse you.
Make a payment to pay off the loan
If you’re a borrower take into consideration repaying them using your credit card. Just make sure you pay off the credit card balance in full so you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Discuss your family with them and determine if they’ve got any big expenses coming up which you could help pay for. Just make sure you have confidence in the person you are talking to and they understand why you’re doing it.
If it’s the holiday season, consider buying all your gifts with your credit card. So you’ll be able to meet the minimum spending limit and also be ready for giving gifts. Just make sure you’re not paying more than you planning to.
There are plenty of ways to make the most from using your credit or debit card for travel and accumulate miles or points that you can be used towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few more suggestions for maximising your rewards
Make travel reservations using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, use the travel credit card to pay for your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as any other travel expenses. In addition, you’ll be able to meet the minimum spend to qualify for a credit card reward, but you’ll also be earning points or miles for the costs.
Make use of your credit card to pay for all your daily expenses
Another way to hit the minimum amount of spending in order to accumulate points utilising your credit cards to pay for everyday expenditures. This could include things like food, gas and even your telephone bill. Make sure you pay the balance off in full every month to ensure you don’t accumulate interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer bonus points or miles on certain kinds 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.
Take into consideration a balance transfer
If you’re in the middle of a outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, think about transferring that balance to an account with a travel credit card that has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfers. This will enable you to pay off your debts without accruing interest, and also assist you in reaching the minimum spend for the credit card’s bonus.
Use your points or miles wisely
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize them in a responsible manner. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and compare the benefits of different redemption options. For example using your 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 suggestion is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer your rewards to different loyalty program. This will allow you to enjoy a greater variety of choices and more flexibility in making use of your rewards. For example, you may be able to transfer your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or reward program for hotels. This can give the benefit of a larger selection of hotels, flights and other travel benefits that aren’t available through your credit card’s rewards program.
In addition, you should determine if your credit card offers some perks that could reduce your travel costs. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that could be invaluable when you travel.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a companion and both of you earn rewards using your own credit card. Make sure you don’t split the cost on the same card. Also, make sure to track your rewards separately.
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 your credit card in the most effective method possible. Utilizing all of the strategies I’ve outlined that you can get rewards in a short time, use them for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad range of travel perks.