Are you tired of spending an enormous amount on flights? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting method to convert bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles which can be used to obtain discounted or complimentary flights for your ideal destinations. With a little bit of imagination and a little bit of insider information, you’ll fly for no cost in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. These miles can then be used to buy discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards will also permit you to use miles to pay for hotel stays or car rental offers.
How Does it Work?
The key to success in hacking your travel plans 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 comes time to make a booking, evaluate the cost. If the price is less than $300, it’s best to pay cash and use your miles to pay to take a more costly flight. When the flights start getting higher than $500, it’s best to look into the frequent flyer account and find out which airline will give you the best price. It all boils down to the amount of points or miles you have in your travel bank for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to hacking travel? First step opening a credit card that comes with a welcome bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards with many advantages and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, your spending habits, and what features are crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards that are great to hack travel
- 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 guidelines, so make sure to check for the details. Then it’s all about building up miles and using them to plan your dream trip!
Ready to jet-set with your goals?
After you’ve accrued the points balance, you’re ready to redeem them for some sweet getaway! Different credit card providers will have different methods for redeeming your rewards, here are a few examples from some of the ones I’ve worked with:
Take a trip by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own a Chase card, you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within the portal, you’ll have access to almost every airline, and you can use a combination of points and cash to pay for your next trip. You can book your flight entirely on points if you have the balance for it! Sometimes even if you don’t possess enough points for the full price, you can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with every credit card.
Are you fed up of paying full price for flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United You have the option of paying with either points or dollars? Be careful, if you do not have enough points you aren’t able to combine points and dollars for the same flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re only a couple of points away, 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 extra space and complimentary snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to United’s which allows customers to book using either JetBlue dollar or points, but not both. But, JetBlue offers a distinct feature that lets you combine your points with your relatives to earn points twice as quickly. Make sure to establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack into the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel buddy Becca I’m sure you’re pretty frugal and it can be difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to reach the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus. But don’t fret because we’ve been there and are here to share 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! Just be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually at least 3%. It could be worthwhile in the long run if the bonus is high enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another great way to hit the minimum spend is to pay for an medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses in the near future, ask your family members if you can pay them for theirs, and they can reimburse you.
Pay off the loan
If you have any loans you owe, think about repaying them using your credit card. Just make sure you pay off the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask family for help
Ask your family members to look into any major expenses in the near future that you can contribute for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to have confidence in the person you are talking to and they know why you’re doing it.
If you’re celebrating the holidays you should consider purchasing all your gifts using your credit card. In this way, you’ll hit that minimum spend and also be prepared for giving gifts. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you already thinking of.
There are a lot of ways to get the most from the travel credit card and earn miles or points to use towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few more suggestions for maximising your rewards:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, use your travel credit card to pay for your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as any other travel-related expenses. Not only will you achieve the minimum amount of spending required for your credit card as well, but you’ll also be earning points or miles to cover those expenditures.
Utilize your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday costs
Another way to meet the minimum spending requirement to earn rewards is utilising your credit cards for every day expenditures. This could include things like gas, groceries, and even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay off the balance in full each month so you don’t pay interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer bonus points or miles for specific types of purchases, such as eating out or travelling. Make sure you review your rewards program on your credit card and take advantage of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending routines.
Think about a balance transfer
If you’re in the middle of a outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, consider transferring that balance to an account with a travel credit card that has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfer. This will allow you to pay off your debts without accruing interest and simultaneously help you hit the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus.
Make use of your miles or points prudently
If you’ve amassed a large amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize them wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and then compare the value of different redemption options. For example, using points to book a ticket directly with the airline could provide you with a greater return than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another tip is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer your reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will let you have a wider range of choices and more flexibility in making use of your rewards. For example, you may be able to transfer your reward to an airline’s frequent flyer program or a reward program for hotels. This can give you access to a larger variety of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks that may not be accessible through the rewards program on your credit card.
Additionally, try to find out if your credit card offers some perks that could reduce your travel expenses. Many cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that could be very beneficial when traveling.
When you travel with a friend each of you will be able to get rewards on your credit card. Be aware that you cannot share the costs on the same card and make sure to track your rewards in a separate manner.
In the end, the most important thing to do to maximizing your travel rewards is to know the rewards program of your credit card and ensure that you’re making use of it in the most effective way possible. By using all of the methods I’ve described in this article, you’ll be able get rewards in a short time, use rewards for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide assortment of travel-related perks.