Are you fed up of spending an enormous amount on flights? Good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting way to turn credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into miles which can be used to obtain discounted or complimentary flights for your desired destinations. With a little 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 trading credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. These miles can then be used to pay for discounted or even free flights. Some credit cards also allow you to redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or car rental offers.
How Does it Work?
The secret to successful hacking travel is taking advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and building out frequent flyer miles for a specific group of airlines. When it comes time to make a booking take a look at the price. If the flight is less than $300, it’s best to pay in cash and use your miles to pay to book a higher-priced flight. If your flights begin to climb above $500, you’ll want to review your frequent flyer accounts to determine which airline offers you the best price. It all boils down to the amount of points or miles you have you have in your travel savings account for every airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets of travel hacking? First step opening the credit card that comes that comes with a welcome bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that provide various features and benefits. 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 card options that can be excellent for travel hacking:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
Once you’ve been approved for a credit or debit card, you’ll have to meet the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to qualify for the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so be certain to verify the details. Then it’s all about building up miles and using them to plan your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your goals?
Once you’ve accumulated the points balance, you’re ready to redeem them for some sweet travel! Different credit card providers will have different methods for redeeming your rewards, here are some examples from some of the companies I have experience with:
Take a trip through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you have a Chase credit card, then you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through it, you’ll get access to virtually every airline and you can combine money and points to pay for your travel. You can book your flight entirely using points if you’ve got the balance for it! Sometimes even if you don’t have enough points to cover the total cost, you are able to book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using the credit card of your choice.
Are you tired of paying full price for your flight tickets? Did you realize that when booking directly through United, you have the option of paying with dollars or points? But, be careful in case you do not have enough points you aren’t able to combine points and dollars for flights. Don’t worry, though, if you’re only a couple of points away, United also offers the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue provides an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience , with more space and complimentary snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to United’s which allows you to book with either JetBlue dollar or points, but not both. But, JetBlue offers a distinct feature that lets you join your points with your relatives to earn points twice as quickly. Just make sure you can verify that you are a family member before trying to hack the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re like me and my travel companion Becca You’re probably quite thrifty and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to hit the required amount to qualify for the credit card bonus. Don’t worry because we’ve been there and are here to share some of our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able pay your rent using a credit card, do it! Make sure you pay a fee, usually around 3%. It could be worthwhile in the long run if the bonus is high enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the required spending is to pay for the medical bills. If you do not have any medical expenses coming up then ask your family members to pay them for theirs, and they’ll repay you.
Pay off the loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan you owe, think about repaying them using an credit card. Just make sure you pay off the balance on your credit card in full , so that you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask family for help
Talk to your family and determine if they’ve got any major expenses in the near future that you can contribute for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to are able to trust the person and that they understand why you’re taking the initiative.
If you’re celebrating the holidays take into consideration buying all of your gifts with cards from your credit account. In this way, you’ll reach the minimum spending requirement and also be prepared for gift giving. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you planning to.
There are a lot of ways to get the most of using your credit or debit card for travel. You can accrue points or miles to be used towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are some additional ideas for maximizing your rewards:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, make use of the travel credit card to book your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as any other travel-related expenses. In addition, you’ll achieve the minimum amount of spending required to earn your credit card reward, but you’ll also be earning points or miles for these expenditures.
Utilize your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday expenses
Another way to meet the minimum amount of spending to earn rewards is using your credit card to pay daily expenses. This could be things like gas, groceries and even your telephone bill. Make sure you pay off the balance each month in full so you don’t accumulate interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or bonus points for certain types of purchases, such as eating out or traveling. Make sure you review your rewards program on your credit card and make use of any bonus categories that align with your spending habits.
Think about the possibility of transferring your balance
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a credit card, you might want to transfer that balance onto an account with a travel credit card that has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfers. This will let you pay off the debt without accruing interest and simultaneously assist you in reaching the minimum spend for the credit card bonus.
Utilize your miles and points wisely
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of points or miles, be sure to use the points or miles wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card and compare the benefits of different redemption options. For instance you can use points to book a flight directly with the airline could give you a better return than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another option is to get an rewards card that permits you to transfer points to other loyalty programs. This will let you get a wider selection of choices and more flexibility in redeeming your rewards. For instance, you might be eligible to transfer your rewards to an airline’s frequent flyer program or a hotel rewards program. This gives an access greater selection of hotels, flights, and other travel perks that aren’t accessible through the rewards program on your credit card.
Additionally, try to discover whether your credit card has some perks that could reduce your travel expenses. Some cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that are extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
If you’re traveling with a friend and both of you get rewards on your credit card. Be aware that you cannot split the cost on the same card, and be sure to keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do to maximizing your rewards for travel is to be aware of your credit card’s rewards program and ensure that you’re making use of it in the most efficient way possible. By using a combination of the strategies I’ve outlined, you’ll be able to get rewards in a short time, use them for travel experiences that are worth it, and enjoy a wide range of travel perks.