Are you tired of paying an enormous amount on flights? Well, good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s a fun way to convert welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles which you can use to get discounted or even cheap flights from your desired destinations. With a bit of imagination and some knowledge, you can fly for no cost in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of swapping credit card sign-up bonus and rewards for airline miles. The miles can be used to pay for cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards will also allow you to redeem miles for hotel stays and rental car 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 building out a frequent flyer mile program with a limited number 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 your flights begin to climb above $500, you’ll want to review your frequent flyer accounts and see which airline can give you the most value. It all comes down to the amount of points or miles in your travel account for each airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets of travel hacking? First step opening a credit card with a sign-up bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that offer many benefits and features. It is all dependent on the airline, your spending habits, and the features that are most crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards great for travel hacking:
- 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 hit the limit of spending minimum in order to get the bonus. Every card has different rules, so make certain to verify the details. Then, it’s all about racking up miles, and using them to plan your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your goals?
After you’ve accrued the points balance, it’s time to cash them in for some sweet vacation! Different credit card companies offer different ways to redeem your points, but here are some examples from some of the providers I’ve had experience with:
Take a trip with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have a Chase card, you are able to use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In the portal, you’ll get access to almost every airline. You can combine points and cash to book your travel. You can even book completely on points if you have the balance for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for total cost, you still can buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using every credit card.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for your flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United You have the option to pay with either points or dollars? But, be careful, if you don’t have enough points you cannot combine dollars and points on the same flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re a few points short, United also offers the option to purchase additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience , with more space and complimentary snacks. Additionally, their booking process is like United’s that allows customers to book using either JetBlue dollar or points however, not both. But, JetBlue has a unique feature that allows you to combine your points with your relatives to earn points twice as fast. Just make sure you can prove you’re really family before trying to hack the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me and my travel companion Becca I’m sure you’re pretty frugal and it can be daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to reach the minimum amount required to earn credit card bonuses. However, don’t be worried, we’ve been through it 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 using credit card, then do it! Be prepared to be charged a fee, typically at least 3%. It may be worth it over the long term if the bonus is high enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another great way to hit the minimum spend is to pay for the medical bills. If you do not have any medical expenses due, ask your family members if you can pay them for theirs, and they will repay you.
Make a payment to pay off the loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan you owe, think about paying them off with the credit card you have. Just make sure you pay off the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t accrue additional debt.
Ask family for help
Ask your family members to see if they have any major expenses in the near future that you can contribute 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 take into consideration buying all your gifts with the credit card you have. In this way, you’ll hit that minimum spend and also be ready to give gifts. Just make sure you’re not paying more than you already thinking of.
There are a lot of methods to get the most from the travel credit card. earn miles or points to use towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few additional suggestions for maximising your rewards:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, make use of the travel credit card to pay for your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as any other travel expenses. Not only will you achieve the minimum spend to qualify for a credit card reward, but you’ll also earn points or miles to cover those costs.
Utilize your credit card to pay for all your daily expenditures
Another method to reach the minimum spend in order to accumulate points utilising your credit cards for everyday costs. This can include things like food, gas, and even your phone bill. Make sure you pay the balance off each month in full so you don’t accumulate interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer bonus points or miles on certain kinds of purchases, including eating out or travelling. Check out the rewards program of your credit card and avail any bonus categories that match with your spending routines.
Take into consideration a balance transfer
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a high-interest credit card, consider transferring that balance to a travel credit card with a 0% introductory APR for balance transfers. This will let you pay off your debt without accruing interest. It will also help you hit the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus.
Utilize your miles and points carefully
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points make sure you use them wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card and then compare the benefits of different redemption options. For instance you can use your points to book a ticket 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 an rewards card that permits you to transfer reward points into other loyalty programmes. This allows you to get a wider selection of options and greater freedom when it comes to making use of your rewards. For example, you may be able to transfer your reward to an airline’s frequent flyer program or hotel rewards program. This gives an access larger variety of hotels, flights, and other travel perks which are not available through the rewards program on your credit card.
Additionally, try to determine if your credit card offers certain benefits that will reduce your travel expenses. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that are extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a friend and both of you earn rewards with your own credit card. Be aware that you cannot share the costs on the same card, and be sure to track your rewards in a separate manner.
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 using your credit card in the most effective way possible. Through all of the strategies I’ve listed in this article, you’ll be able get rewards in a short time, use rewards for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide assortment of travel-related perks.