Are you tired of paying an enormous amount on flights? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting way to convert bonus and sign-up incentives into miles which you can use to obtain discounted or complimentary flights for your ideal destinations. With a bit of creativity and some insider know-how, you’ll fly for no cost within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. These miles can then be used to pay for discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards will also let you redeem miles towards hotel stays or car rental deals.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for success in travel hacking is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and building out a frequent flyer mile program with a limited number of airlines. When you are ready to make a booking, evaluate the cost. If the flight is less than $300, it’s best to pay in cash and save your miles for a more expensive flight. If your flights begin to climb over $500, you’ll need to look into those frequent flyer accounts and determine which airline offers you the most value. It all boils down to the amount of points or miles in your travel account for every airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to hacking travel? The first step is to open a credit card with a sign-up offer. There are many great credit cards that offer various 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 some credit cards that are great for travel hacking:
- 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 limit of spending minimum in order to receive the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so make certain to verify the details. From there it’s all about building up miles and using them to book your dream trip!
Ready to jet-set with your goals?
Now that you’ve built up your points balance, you’re ready to cash them in for some delicious getaway! Different credit card companies have different methods for redeeming your rewards, here are some examples from a few of the ones I’ve worked with:
Getaway by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have a Chase credit card, then you are able to use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through this portal you’ll get access to virtually every airline. You can combine money and points to pay for your trip. You can even book entirely with points if you’ve the funds to pay for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t possess enough points for the full cost, you still can buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using any credit card.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for your flight tickets? Did you realize that when booking directly through United You have the option of paying using either points or dollars? Be careful in case you do not have enough points you cannot combine points and dollars on flights. No worries though, if you’re only a couple of point short United gives you the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience , with more space and complimentary snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines that allows you to book with either JetBlue points or dollars, however, not both. The difference is that 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.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me or my travel buddy Becca, you’re probably pretty frugal and it can be daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to hit the required amount to qualify for a credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried as we’ve done it and we’re here to share some of our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able pay your rent with credit card, then do it! Be prepared to be charged a fee, typically at least 3%. It could be worthwhile in the end when the bonus is large enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another great way to hit the minimum spend is to cover an medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills in the near future, ask your relatives if you could pay them for theirs, and they can reimburse you.
Pay off a loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan, consider paying them off with your credit card. Just make sure you pay off the credit card balance in full so you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Discuss your family with them and determine if they’ve got any large expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Just make sure you are able to trust the person and that they know why you’re taking the initiative.
If you’re celebrating the holidays, consider buying all your gifts using the credit card you have. This way you can hit that minimum spend and also be prepared for giving gifts. Make sure that you’re not paying more than you already planning to.
There are a lot of ways to make the most out of your travel credit card. You can accumulate miles or points that you can spend on flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few additional suggestions for maximising the rewards you earn:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, make use of the travel credit card to pay for your hotel, flight, rental car, and any other travel-related expenses. Not only will you achieve the minimum spend for your credit card reward as well, however, you’ll also earn points or miles on these expenditures.
Utilize your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday expenditures
Another way to hit the minimum spend and earn points is utilising your credit cards to pay for every day costs. This can include items like groceries, gas and even your telephone bill. Just make sure to pay the balance off in full each month so you don’t pay interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide bonus points or miles on certain kinds of purchases, including eating out or travelling. Check out your rewards program on your credit card and take advantage of any bonus categories that match with your spending routines.
Take into consideration a balance transfer
If you have existing debt on a credit card, consider transferring that balance onto an account with a travel credit card that has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfers. This will allow you to pay off your debts without accruing interest, and also aid in achieving the minimum spend for the credit card’s bonus.
Utilize your miles and points wisely
When you’ve earned a significant amount of points or miles make sure you use them wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card, and evaluate the value of different redemption options. For instance using your points to purchase a flight directly through the airline may give you a better value than using them to purchase an gift card.
Another option is to get rewards cards that allow you to transfer your reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will allow you to get a wider selection of choices and more flexibility when redeeming your rewards. For example, you may be able to transfer your rewards to the frequent flyer program of an airline or reward program for hotels. This gives an access wider 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 discover the card’s benefits. certain benefits that will reduce your travel expenses. Some cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that could be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a companion and both of you earn rewards using your credit card. Just remember that you can’t share the costs on the same card. Also, make sure to keep track of your rewards separately.
Overall, the key to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to understand your credit card’s rewards program and make sure you’re making use of your credit card in the most efficient method. Utilizing all of the strategies I’ve listed, you’ll be able to earn rewards fast, exchange rewards for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide variety of travel benefits.