Are you tired of spending an enormous amount on flights? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting way to turn credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles which can be used to obtain discounted or complimentary flights for your dream destinations. With a bit of imagination and some know-how, you’ll fly for no cost within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about trading credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. The miles can be used to pay for cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards will also let you redeem miles for hotel stays and rental car deals.
How Does it Work?
The secret to success in travel hacking is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and building out a frequent flyer mile program for a specific group of airlines. When you are ready to book a flight consider the cost. If the flight is less than $300, it’s best to pay in cash and use your miles to pay to take a more costly flight. If your flights begin to climb higher than $500, it’s best to review those frequent flyer accounts and see which airline can give you the most value. It all boils down to the amount of points or miles in your travel bank for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets of travel hacking? Your first task is opening a credit card with a sign-up offer. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that offer a variety of advantages and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, spending habits and what features are important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards that are great to use for hacking travel:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
After you’ve been accepted for a credit card you’ll have to meet the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to qualify for the bonus. Each card has its own guidelines, so make sure to look up the details. Then, it’s all about racking miles and then using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your points?
Now that you’ve built up your points balance, it’s time to cash them in for some delicious vacation! Different credit card companies have different methods of redeeming your points. Here are a few examples from some of the ones I have experience with:
Take a trip by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of an Chase cards, you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within it, you’ll get access to nearly every airline and you can combine the points as well as cash in order to pay for your travel. You can book your flight entirely using points if you’ve got the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you do not have enough points to cover the total cost, you still can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with any credit card.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for your flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option to pay with dollars or points? But, be careful, if you do not have enough points you cannot combine points and dollars for the same flight. No worries though, if you’re a few points short, United also offers the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers passengers a relaxing and pleasant travel experience that includes extra space and complimentary snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to United’s, allowing customers to book using either JetBlue dollar or points, but not both. However, JetBlue has a unique feature that allows you to join 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 into the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel companion Becca, you’re probably pretty economical and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to reach the minimum spend for the credit card bonus. 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 an important one! If you’re able to pay your rent using credit card, then do it! Be prepared to pay a fee, usually at least 3 percent. It might be worth it in the end if the bonus is high enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the required spending is to cover the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills coming up Ask your family members if you can pay for theirs and they can reimburse you.
Pay off the loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan, consider making payments on them with an credit card. Be sure to pay off the balance on your credit card in full , so that you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Ask your family members to look into any big expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Make sure that you are able to trust the person and they know why you’re doing this.
If you’re celebrating the holidays, consider buying all your gifts with the credit card you have. In this way, you’ll meet the minimum spending limit and also be prepared for gift giving. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you were thinking of.
There are plenty of methods to get the most from using your credit or debit card for travel and accrue points or miles to use towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few more ideas for maximizing your rewards
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, make use of the travel credit card to book your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as any other travel-related expenses. Not only will you be able to meet the minimum amount of spending required to qualify for a credit card as well, but you’ll also be earning points or miles on the expenditures.
Utilize your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday expenses
Another way to meet the minimum amount of spending in order to accumulate points by utilising your credit cards to pay for everyday costs. This could be things like food, gas and even your telephone bill. Be sure to pay the balance off in full every month to ensure you don’t accrue interest charges.
Make the most of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer bonus points or miles for certain types of purchases, like dining or travel. Be sure to review the rewards program of your credit card and avail any bonus categories that align with your spending habits.
Consider the possibility of transferring your balance
If you are currently in outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, consider transferring the balance to the travel credit card which has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfer. This will enable you to pay off your debt without accruing interest and simultaneously 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 miles or points Make sure to utilize them wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card, and evaluate the worth of various redemption options. For instance you can use points to purchase a flight directly through the airline may offer better value than using them to purchase the purchase of a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer rewards to different loyalty program. This allows you to have a wider range of options and greater flexibility in making use of your rewards. For example, you may be able to transfer your rewards to an airline’s frequent flyer program or a reward program for hotels. This can give an access greater selection of hotels, flights and other travel benefits that aren’t offered through the rewards program on your credit card.
Also, determine if your credit card offers any perks that can help you save money on travel expenses. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that could be very beneficial when traveling.
If you’re traveling with a friend, both of you can get rewards on your own credit card. Just remember that you can’t share the costs on the same card, and be sure to keep track of your rewards separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to know the rewards program on your credit card and to ensure you’re making use of this program in the most effective way possible. Utilizing a combination of the methods I’ve described, you’ll be able to get rewards in a short time, use rewards for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad range of travel perks.