Are you fed up of spending an enormous amount on flights? Good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting way to convert welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles which you can use to obtain discounted or free flights to your ideal destinations. With a little imagination and some information, you’ll travel for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about swapping credit card sign-up bonus and rewards for airline miles. These miles can then be used to purchase cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards will also permit you to use miles towards hotel stays or car rental deals.
How Does it Work?
The secret to successful hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and building out frequent flyer miles on a select group of airlines. When you are ready to make a booking consider the cost. If the cost is less than $300, it’s usually better to pay in cash and use your miles to pay for a more expensive flight. If the prices start to rise higher than $500, it’s best to check those frequent flyer accounts and see which airline can give you the most value. It all boils down to the amount of points or miles you have you have in your travel savings account for each airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to hacking travel? First step to open a credit card that comes with a welcome bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards that provide various benefits and features. It is all dependent on the airline, spending habits and what features are crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards great to hack travel
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
Once 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 credit card has its own set of guidelines, so make sure to check for the details. Then it’s all about building miles and then using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your points?
After you’ve accrued your points balance, it’s time to use them towards delicious travel! Different credit card companies will have different methods for redeeming your points, but here are some examples from some of the companies I’ve worked with:
Getaway through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you’re a holder of an Chase card, you are able to use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through it, you’ll have access to almost every airline, and you can make use of a combination of money and points to pay for your next trip. You can book your flight entirely with points if you’ve the funds to pay for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for entire cost, you are able to purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using any credit card.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for your flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United You have the option of paying with dollars or points? But, be careful that if you do not have enough points you can’t combine points and dollars for one flight. No worries though, if you’re just a few point short United gives you the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers passengers a relaxing and pleasant travel experience that includes extra legroom as well as free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is like United’s that allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue points or dollars, however, not both. The difference is that JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature where you can pool your points together with your relatives to earn points twice as fast. Make sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me and my travel buddy Becca I’m sure you’re pretty frugal and it can be challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to reach the minimum amount required to earn credit card bonuses. However, don’t be worried because we’ve been there and we’re here to share our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able pay your rent with a credit card, do it! Make sure you pay a fee, usually around 3%. It may be worth it over the long term in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the minimum spend is to pay for a medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills coming up then ask your relatives if you could pay them for theirs, and they can repay you.
Make a payment to pay off the loan
If you’re a borrower you owe, think about repaying them using an credit card. Be sure to pay off the balance on your credit card in full , so that you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask family for help
Discuss your family with them and determine if they’ve got any major expenses in the near future which you could help pay for. Just make sure you have confidence in the person you are talking to and they know why you’re taking the initiative.
If you’re celebrating the holidays, consider buying all of your gifts with the credit card you have. So you’ll be able to meet the minimum spending limit and be ready for giving gifts. Just make sure you’re not paying more than you already contemplating to.
There are plenty of ways to get the most from the travel credit card. accumulate miles or points that you can be used towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are some additional ideas for maximizing the rewards you earn:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, make use of the travel credit card for booking your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as any other travel expenses. Not only will you achieve the required amount to qualify for a credit card, but you’ll also earn points or miles to cover those expenditures.
Make use of your credit card to pay for everyday costs
Another way to hit the minimum spend to earn rewards is utilising your credit cards to pay for daily costs. This could include things like food, gas or even your phone bill. Make sure you pay off the balance each month in full so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Benefit from bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or points in exchange for certain types of purchases, such as eating out or travelling. Make sure you review your credit card’s rewards program and avail the bonus categories that are in line with your spending habits.
Consider a balance transfer
If you have existing debt on a credit card, you might want to transfer the balance to the travel credit card which has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfer. This will let you pay off the debt without accruing interest, and also help you hit the minimum amount required to earn the credit card 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 evaluate the worth of various redemption options. For instance, using your points to book a ticket directly through the airline may provide you with a greater value than using them for an gift card.
Another suggestion is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will allow you to get a wider selection of options and greater flexibility when you want to redeem your rewards. For example, you may be eligible to transfer your rewards to the frequent flyer program of an airline or Hotel rewards programme. This can give an access larger variety of hotels, flights and other travel benefits that aren’t accessible through the rewards program on your credit card.
In addition, you should find out whether your credit card has some perks that could reduce your travel costs. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection, and other benefits that are invaluable when you travel.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a friend, both of you can earn rewards with your credit card. Be aware that you cannot share the costs on the same card. Also, make sure to track your rewards separately.
Overall, the key to maximizing your travel rewards is to know the rewards program of your credit card and to ensure you’re using this program in the most efficient method. Utilizing a combination of the methods I’ve described, you’ll be able to get rewards in a short time, use them for travel experiences that are worth it, and enjoy a wide variety of travel benefits.