Are you fed up of spending an enormous amount on flights? Then, there’s a 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 airline miles, that can then be used to score discounted or cheap flights from your dream destinations. With a little bit of imagination and some know-how, you’ll travel for free 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. These miles can later be used to purchase discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards will also allow you to redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or rental car discounts.
How Does it Work?
The key to success in hacking travel is taking advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and to establish a frequent flyer mile program with a limited number of airlines. When you are ready to make a booking consider the cost. If the flight is under $300, it’s generally better to pay in cash and save your miles to book a higher-priced flight. If your flights begin to climb above $500, you’ll want to review the frequent flyer account to determine which airline offers you the best deal. All it boils down to is 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
Ready to learn the secrets to travel hacking? First step opening the credit card that comes with a sign-up offer. There are many great credit cards that offer a variety of benefits and features. It depends on the type of airline, your habits with spending and what features are important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit card options that can be excellent to use for hacking travel:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
If you’ve been approved for a credit card you’ll have to meet the limit of spending minimum in order to get the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so make sure to check for the details. From there you can begin to rack up miles, and using them to plan your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your ideas?
After you’ve accrued your points balance, you’re ready to use them towards nice getaway! Different credit card companies will have different methods of redeeming your points, but here are some examples from some of the providers I’ve worked with:
Escape with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of a Chase cards, you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through this portal you’ll get access to almost every airline and you can combine points and cash to pay for your next trip. You can even book completely with points if you’ve enough balance! Sometimes even if you don’t have enough points to cover the entire cost, you still can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using every credit card.
Are you fed up of paying full price for your flight tickets? Did you know that when you book directly through United, you have the option of paying with dollars or points? Butbe aware that if you don’t have enough points you can’t combine dollars and points for one flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re just a few points short, United gives you the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers a comfortable and enjoyable travel experience that includes extra legroom and free snacks. Plus, their booking process is like United’s that allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue points or dollars, however, not both. However, JetBlue offers a distinct feature that allows you to combine your points with family members to accrue points twice as fast. 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, you’re probably pretty thrifty and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to hit the minimum spend for the credit card bonus. But don’t fret because we’ve been there and we’re here to share some of our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able pay your rent using credit card, then do it! Just be prepared to pay a fee, usually around 3 percent. It may be worth it in the end in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another excellent way to meet the spending limit is to cover a medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses coming up, ask your family members to pay for theirs and they will pay you back.
Make a payment to pay off a loan
If you have any loans take into consideration paying them off with the credit card you have. Make sure to pay the credit card balance in full so you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask family for help
Ask your family members to determine if they’ve got any large expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to trust the person and they are aware of the reason for doing this.
If it’s the holiday season, consider buying all your gifts using the credit card you have. This way you can reach the minimum spending requirement and be ready to give gifts. Be sure to avoid paying more than you already thinking of.
There are many ways to get the most out of the travel credit card. You can accumulate miles or points that you can be used towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are some additional suggestions for maximising the rewards you earn:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, make use of your travel credit card for booking your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as any other travel-related expenses. In addition, you’ll achieve the minimum amount of spending required to qualify for a credit card bonus, but you’ll also earn points or miles on these expenditures.
Utilize your credit card to pay for all your daily costs
Another method to reach the minimum spending requirement to earn rewards is by using your credit card to pay everyday expenses. This could include things like gas, groceries, and even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay the balance off in full each month so you don’t accumulate interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer bonus points or miles for specific types of purchases, like eating out or traveling. Check out the rewards program of your credit card and avail any bonus categories that match with your spending habits.
Think about the possibility of transferring your balance
If you have existing debt on a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer the balance to a travel credit card with a 0% introductory APR for balance transfer. This will enable you to pay off the debt without accruing interest. It will also help you hit the minimum spending requirement for the credit card’s bonus.
Use your points or miles wisely
When you’ve earned a significant amount of miles or points make sure you use them in a responsible manner. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and compare the value of different redemption options. For instance using points to book a ticket directly with the airline could give you a better return than using them for a gift card.
Another tip is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer points to other loyalty programs. This allows you to get a wider selection of options and greater flexibility in redeeming your rewards. For instance, you might be able to transfer your rewards to the frequent flyer program of an airline or Hotel rewards programme. This gives an access greater selection of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks which are not available through the rewards program on your credit card.
In addition, you should discover if your credit card offers any perks that can help you save money on travel costs. Many cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that could be very beneficial when traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a companion, both of you can get rewards on your own credit card. Make sure you don’t split the cost on the same card. Also, make sure you keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
Overall, the key to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program of your credit card and ensure that you’re using it in the most efficient method. By using an array of strategies I’ve outlined in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards fast, exchange rewards for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide variety of travel benefits.