Are you tired of spending an enormous amount on flights? Good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting method to convert bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles, which you can use to get discounted or even complimentary flights for your ideal destinations. With a bit of imagination and a little bit of 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 swapping credit card sign-up bonus and incentives for airline miles. The miles can be used to pay for discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards will also permit you to use miles for hotel stays and car rental offers.
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 it’s time to make a booking, evaluate the cost. If the cost is under $300, it’s generally better to pay in cash and save your miles to take a more costly flight. If the prices start to rise above $500, you’ll want to look into those frequent flyer accounts to see which airline can give you the most value. It all boils down to the amount of points or miles in your travel account for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets of travel hacking? First step to open the credit card that comes with a sign-up bonus. There are many great credit cards that offer many features and benefits. It depends on the type of airline, spending habits and what features are important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit card options that can be 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 need to reach the limit of spending minimum in order to qualify for the bonus. Each card has its own guidelines, so make sure to look up this information. Then you can begin to rack miles and then using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your ideas?
After you’ve accrued your points balance, it’s time to redeem them for some delicious travel! Different credit card companies will have different methods for redeeming your points, but here are some examples from some of the ones I have experience with:
Take a trip by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own a Chase card, you can redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through the portal, you’ll get access to almost every airline, and you can combine the points as well as cash in order to book your travel. You can even book completely with points if you’ve the balance for it! Sometimes even if you do not be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for total price, you can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with the credit card of your choice.
Are you tired of paying full price for your flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United You have the option of paying using either points or dollars? But, be careful in case you do not have enough points you aren’t able to combine points and dollars for the same flight. No worries though, if you’re a few points away, United gives you the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue provides an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience , with more legroom as well as free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to United’s which allows you to book with either JetBlue points or dollars but not both. However, JetBlue offers a distinct feature that lets you pool your points together with family members to accrue points twice as quickly. Be sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack into the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re like me or my travel companion Becca I’m sure you’re pretty frugal and it can be difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to hit the required amount to qualify for credit card bonuses. However, don’t be worried, we’ve been through it and we’re here to share our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able to pay your rent using a credit card, do it! Be prepared to pay a fee, usually around 3 percent. It might be worth it in the end in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay 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 in the near future Ask your family members to pay for theirs and they will reimburse you.
Make a payment to pay off a loan
If you’re a borrower you owe, think about making payments on them with your credit card. Make sure to pay off the balance on your credit card completely so that you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Ask your family members to look into any large expenses coming up which you could help pay for. Just make sure you trust the person and they know why you’re doing it.
If you’re celebrating the holidays, consider buying all your gifts with the credit card you have. This way you can reach the minimum spending requirement and also be prepared to give gifts. Be sure to avoid paying more than you contemplating to.
There are a lot of ways to make the most of your travel credit card. You can accumulate miles or points that you can use towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few additional suggestions for maximising your rewards:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, make use of you travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel, rental car, and other travel costs. Not only will you be able to hit the required amount to earn your credit card and earn points, but you’ll also be earning points or miles for the expenses.
Utilize your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday expenditures
Another way to meet the minimum amount of spending and earn points is by making use of your credit card to pay for everyday expenses. This could be items like groceries, gas, and even your phone bill. Be sure to pay the balance off in full each month so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer bonus points or miles on certain kinds of purchases, including dining or travel. Make sure you review your rewards program on your credit card and make use of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending habits.
Consider the possibility of transferring your balance
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a high-interest credit card, think about transferring that balance onto a travel credit card with a 0% introductory APR for balance transfers. This will enable you to pay off the debt without accruing interest, and also assist you in reaching the minimum spending requirement for the credit card’s bonus.
Utilize your miles and points carefully
When you’ve earned a significant amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize them wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and compare the value of different redemption options. For example you can use points to book a flight directly with the airline could offer better value than using them for a gift card.
Another option is to get rewards cards that allow you to transfer reward points into other loyalty programmes. This allows you to get a wider selection of choices and more flexibility in you want to redeem your rewards. For instance, you might be able to transfer your reward to an airline’s frequent flyer program or Hotel rewards programme. This gives the benefit of a greater selection of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks that aren’t accessible through the rewards program of your credit card.
In addition, you should determine the card’s benefits. any perks that can save you money on travel-related expenses. Some cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that could be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
When you travel with someone else, both of you can earn rewards using your own credit card. Just remember that you can’t divide the cost with the same card and make sure to track the rewards you earn separately.
Overall, the key to making the most of your travel rewards is to know 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, you’ll be able to earn rewards fast, exchange rewards for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad range of travel perks.