Are you tired of paying an enormous amount on flights? Good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting method to convert credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles, which can be used to get discounted or even free flights to your ideal destinations. With a bit of imagination and some information, 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 buy cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards will also let you redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or rental car discounts.
How Does it Work?
The secret to success in hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and to establish frequent flyer miles for a specific group of airlines. When it’s time to make a booking take a look at the price. If the cost is less than $300, it’s best to pay cash and save your miles for a more expensive flight. When the flights start getting above $500, you’ll want to check those frequent flyer accounts and see which airline can give you the most value. It all comes down to the amount of points or miles you have in your travel savings account for every airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to travel hacking? The first step is to open a credit card with a sign-up offer. There are many great credit cards that offer many benefits and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, spending habits and the features that are most crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards that are excellent 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 reach the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to qualify for the bonus. Every card has different rules, so be sure to check for the details. From there you can begin to rack up miles, and using them to plan your dream vacation!
Ready to jet-set with your goals?
After you’ve accrued the points amount, it’s time to cash them in for some nice getaway! Different credit card companies have different methods for redeeming your rewards, here are some examples from a few of the providers I have experience with:
Escape with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of a Chase card, you are able to redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. In it, you’ll have access to virtually every airline, and you can use a combination of the points as well as cash in order to book your trip. You can book your flight entirely using points if you’ve got the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you do not possess enough points for the full price, you can buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using the credit card of your choice.
Are you fed up of paying full price for flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United You have the option to pay with either points or dollars? Be careful, if you do not have enough points you can’t combine points and dollars for one flight. If you’re only a couple of point short United provides the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience with extra space and complimentary snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is like United’s which allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue points or dollars but not both. But, JetBlue offers a distinct feature that allows you to join your points with your family members and earn points twice as quickly. 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 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 a credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried as we’ve done it and we’re here to share our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able to pay for your rent with credit card, go for it! Be prepared to pay a fee, usually about 3%. It might be worth it in the end when the bonus is large enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another way to reach the minimum spend is to cover an medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses in the near future then ask your family members if you can pay their medical bills and they’ll reimburse you.
Pay off a loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan, consider making payments on them with your credit card. Just make sure you pay the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask family for help
Discuss your family with them and see if they have any large expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to trust the person and they know why you’re doing this.
If you’re celebrating the holidays, consider buying all your gifts using cards from your credit account. This way you can reach the minimum spending requirement and also be ready for gift giving. Be sure to avoid spending more than you were already contemplating to.
There are plenty of ways to make the most from your travel credit card. accrue points or miles to be used towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few additional ways to maximize your rewards:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, use the travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as any other travel-related expenses. Not only will you achieve the minimum amount of spending required to qualify for a credit card, but you’ll also be earning points or miles to cover the expenses.
Utilize your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday expenditures
Another way to meet the minimum spending requirement in order to accumulate points by utilising your credit cards for every day expenses. This could include items like groceries, gas, and even your phone bill. Be sure to pay the balance off in full each month so you don’t accumulate interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer bonus points or miles for certain types of purchases, including dining or travel. Be sure to review your credit card’s rewards program and avail any bonus categories that align with your spending habits.
Think about the possibility of transferring your balance
If you are currently in debt on a credit card, think about transferring that balance to a travel credit card with an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfers. This will let you pay off the debt without accruing interest, and also aid in achieving the minimum spending requirement for the credit card bonus.
Make use of your miles or points prudently
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points make sure you use the points or miles wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and compare the value of different redemption options. For instance you can use your points to purchase a flight directly with the airline could give you a better return than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer your rewards to different loyalty program. This will let you enjoy a greater variety of options and greater freedom when it comes to redeeming your rewards. For instance, you might be eligible to transfer your reward to the frequent flyer program of an airline or reward program for hotels. This gives you access to a greater variety of hotels, flights and other travel benefits which are not available through your credit card’s rewards program.
Also, discover the card’s benefits. any perks that can help you save money on travel expenses. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection and other benefits that can be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
When you travel with a companion each of you will be able to earn rewards using your credit card. Be aware that you cannot share the costs on the same card and make sure to track your rewards separately.
Overall, the key to maximizing your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program on your credit card and to ensure you’re making use of it in the most effective method possible. Through all of the strategies I’ve listed that you can get rewards in a short time, use them for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide assortment of travel-related perks.