Are you fed up of spending an enormous amount on flights? Good news! Travel hacking is the answer to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting method to turn credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into miles which can be used to obtain discounted or cheap flights from your dream destinations. With a little 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 exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. The miles can be used to purchase discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards let you redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or car rental deals.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for success in travel hacking is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and to establish a frequent flyer mile program for a specific group of airlines. When it comes time to book a flight, evaluate the cost. If the flight is under $300, it’s generally better to pay in cash and save your miles for a more expensive flight. If your flights begin to climb higher than $500, it’s best to look into those frequent flyer accounts and see which airline can give you the most value. All it boils down to is the number of points or miles you have you have in your travel savings account for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to travel hacking? First step to open a credit card with a sign-up offer. There are plenty of great credit cards with a variety of features and benefits. It all depends on your preferred airline, your spending habits, and what features are crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards that are great 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 minimum spend limit in order to get the bonus. Every card has different rules, so be sure to check for the details. From there you can begin to rack miles and using them to plan your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your goals?
After you’ve accrued the points balance, it’s time to use them towards delicious getaway! Different credit card providers will have different methods for redeeming your points. Here are some examples from a few of the ones I’ve had experience with:
Getaway through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you have a Chase credit card, then you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within this portal you’ll get access to virtually every airline and you can make use of a combination of the points as well as cash in order to pay for your trip. You can book your flight entirely with points if you’ve the funds to pay for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t 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 tired of paying full price for flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option of paying using dollars or points? Be careful that if you don’t have enough points you aren’t able to combine points and dollars for flights. No worries though, if you’re a few points away, United gives you the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience , with more legroom as well as free snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to United’s which allows customers to book using either JetBlue points or dollars however, not both. The difference is that JetBlue offers a distinct feature where you can join your points with your family members and earn points twice as fast. Be sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack into the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel buddy Becca You’re probably quite economical and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the required amount to qualify for a credit card bonus. 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 using a credit card, do it! Just be prepared to pay a cost, which is 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 great way to hit the required spending is to cover a medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses in the near future then ask your family members if you can pay for theirs and they can pay you back.
Pay off the loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan take into consideration making payments on them with an credit card. Just make sure you pay the credit card balance completely so that you don’t accumulate additional debt.
Ask your family members for help
Talk to your family and see if they have any major expenses in the near future that you can help pay 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 this.
If it’s the holiday season you should consider purchasing all your gifts using your credit card. So you’ll be able to hit that minimum spend and also be prepared for gift giving. Be sure to avoid spending more than you contemplating to.
There are many ways to get the most out of using your credit or debit card for travel and accrue points or miles to be used towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few additional suggestions for maximising your rewards
Make travel reservations using your credit card
If 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. You’ll not only achieve the minimum amount of spending required for your credit card as well, however, you’ll also earn points or miles to cover the expenses.
Utilize your credit card to pay for everyday expenses
Another method to reach the minimum spending requirement to earn rewards is by making use of your credit card to pay everyday expenses. This can include things like gas, groceries, and even your phone bill. Be sure to pay the balance off in full every month to ensure you don’t accrue interest charges.
Make the most of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or points in exchange for certain types of purchases, including dining or travel. Check out your credit card’s rewards program and take advantage of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending routines.
Consider a balance transfer
If you’re in the middle of a outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, consider transferring the balance to a travel credit card with an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will let you pay off your debt without accruing interest and simultaneously assist you in reaching the minimum spend for the credit card’s bonus.
Make use of your miles or points prudently
If you’ve amassed a large amount of points or miles make sure you use the points or miles wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card and compare the worth of various redemption options. For example using your points to purchase a flight directly with the airline could give you a better value than using them to purchase a gift card.
Another tip is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will let you get a wider selection of options and greater flexibility in redeeming your rewards. For instance, you might be eligible to transfer your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or Hotel rewards programme. This will give an access greater variety of hotels, flights, and other travel perks which are not available through the rewards program on your credit card.
Additionally, try to find out if your credit card offers certain benefits that will save you money on travel-related expenses. Some cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that could be invaluable when you travel.
Finally, when you’re traveling with someone else and both of you earn rewards with your own credit card. Be aware that you cannot share the costs on the same card, and be sure you keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
The key to making the most of your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program of your credit card and to ensure you’re making use of it in the most efficient method. By using an array of methods I’ve described in this article, you’ll be able get rewards in a short time, use them for travel experiences that are worth it and take advantage of a broad variety of travel benefits.