Are you tired of paying an enormous amount on flights? Good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting method to turn credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles which can be used to get discounted or even free flights to your dream destinations. With a little imagination and some knowledge, you can be jet-setting for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can then be used to purchase discount or no-cost flights. Some credit cards also permit you to use miles towards hotel stays or car rental deals.
How Does it Work?
The key to success in travel hacking is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and establishing a frequent flyer mile program for a specific group of airlines. When it’s time to book a flight take a look at the price. If the flight is under $300, it’s usually better to pay cash and use your miles to pay for a more expensive flight. When the flights start getting above $500, you’ll want to review those frequent flyer accounts to find out which airline will give you the most value. It all comes down to the amount of points or miles in your travel bank for every airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets of travel hacking? First step to open the credit card that comes with a sign-up bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards that provide many benefits and features. It depends on the type of airline, your habits with spending and the features that are most crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit card options that can be perfect for travel hacking:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
Once you’ve been approved for a credit card, you’ll have to meet the limit of spending minimum in order to receive the bonus. Each card has its own guidelines, so make sure to look up the details. From there 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?
Now that you’ve built up your points balance, you’re ready to use them towards delicious vacation! Different credit card companies offer different ways to redeem your rewards, here are some examples from some of the ones I’ve worked with:
Escape through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you own a Chase cards, you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In this portal you’ll get access to virtually every airline. You can use a combination of the points as well as cash in order to pay for your next trip. 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 entire cost, you are able to buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with every credit card.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost 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 that if you don’t have enough points, you aren’t able to combine dollars and points for flights. If you’re a few point short United gives you the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue provides a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience , with more legroom as well as free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to United’s that allows customers to book using either JetBlue dollar or points, however, not both. The difference is that JetBlue has a unique feature where you can combine your points with your relatives to earn points twice as quickly. Make 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 buddy Becca, you’re probably pretty frugal and it can be daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to hit the required amount to qualify for a credit card bonus. Don’t worry because we’ve been there and are 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 credit card, then do it! Just be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually around 3%. It might be worth it in the long run when the bonus is large enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another way to reach the spending limit is to cover the medical bills. If you do not have any medical expenses due Ask your family members if you can pay their medical bills and they’ll reimburse you.
Repay a loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan you owe, think about making payments on them with the credit card you have. Just make sure you pay off the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Discuss your family with them and look into any major expenses in the near future which you could help pay for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to are able to trust the person and that they know why you’re taking the initiative.
If you’re celebrating the holidays you should consider purchasing all your gifts using your credit card. In this way, you’ll reach the minimum spending requirement and also be prepared to give gifts. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you were already thinking of.
There are plenty of methods to get the most from using your credit or debit card for travel and accumulate miles or points that you can spend on flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few more suggestions for maximising your rewards
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a vacation, make use of your travel credit card to book your hotel, flight, rental car, and other travel costs. You’ll not only be able to hit the minimum spend for your credit card as well, however, you’ll also earn points or miles on those costs.
Make use of your credit card to pay for all your daily costs
Another way to meet the minimum amount of spending in order to accumulate points by using your credit card to pay for every day expenditures. This could include things like food, gas, and even your phone bill. Make sure you pay the balance off in full each month so you don’t pay interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide bonus points or miles for specific types of purchases, like eating out or traveling. Check out your credit card’s rewards program and make use of any bonus categories that align with your spending routines.
Take into consideration a balance transfer
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a credit card, think about transferring the balance to an account with a travel credit card that has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfer. This will let you pay off the debt without accruing interest. It will also assist you in reaching the minimum amount required to earn the credit card’s bonus.
Utilize your miles and points prudently
If you’ve amassed a large amount of points or miles make sure you use them in a responsible manner. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and then compare the worth of various redemption options. For example, using your points to book a flight directly through the airline may offer better return than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will let you get a wider selection of options and greater flexibility when making use of your rewards. For example, you may be capable of transferring your reward to the frequent flyer program of an airline or hotel rewards program. This will give an access wider selection of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks which are not accessible through the rewards program of your credit card.
Also, determine whether your credit card has any perks that can save you money on travel-related costs. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that can be invaluable when you travel.
When you travel with someone else, both of you can get rewards on your own credit card. Just remember that you can’t share the costs on the same card and make sure you keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
The key to making the most of your travel rewards is to understand your credit card’s rewards program and ensure that you’re making use of it in the most effective method possible. Through all of the strategies I’ve outlined in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards quickly, redeem rewards for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide range of travel perks.