Are you tired of paying an enormous amount on flights? Well, good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting way to turn credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into miles which can be used to score discounted or free flights to your desired destinations. With a bit of imagination and a little bit of insider know-how, you’ll fly for no cost in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. The miles can be used to pay for discounted or even free flights. Some credit cards also permit you to use miles towards hotel stays or rental car offers.
How Does it Work?
The key to success in hacking travel is taking advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and building out frequent flyer miles for a specific group of airlines. When it comes time to book a flight consider the cost. If the flight is less than $300, it’s usually better to pay cash and save your miles to take a more costly 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 best price. It all comes down to the amount of points or miles you have you have in your travel savings account for each airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to hacking travel? First step to open the credit card that comes with a sign-up bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that offer various benefits and features. It is all dependent on the airline, spending habits and the features that are most important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some 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 need to hit the limit of spending minimum in order to qualify for the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so be sure to check for this information. From there you can begin to rack miles and using them to plan your dream trip!
Ready to jet-set with your goals?
Once you’ve accumulated your points balance, it’s time to cash them in for some sweet travel! Different credit card companies will have different methods of redeeming your points, but here are some examples from some of the companies I’ve worked with:
Getaway by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of an Chase credit card, then you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In this portal you’ll have access to nearly every airline, and you can use a combination of points and cash to book your next trip. You can even book completely on points if you have enough balance! Sometimes even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for entire price, you 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 can choose the option of paying using dollars or points? But, be careful, if you don’t have enough points you aren’t able to combine dollars and points for the same flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re a few points away, United also offers the possibility of purchasing 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 and free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to United’s which allows customers to book using either JetBlue points or dollars but not both. However, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that lets you combine your points with family members to accrue points twice as quickly. Be 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 like me or my travel companion Becca I’m sure you’re pretty economical and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the required amount to qualify for the credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried as we’ve done it and are here to share our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able pay your rent with a credit card, do it! Be prepared to pay a fee, usually around 3%. It might be worth it in the long run when the bonus is large enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another way to reach the required spending is to cover a medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills due Ask your relatives if you could pay for theirs and they’ll reimburse you.
Pay off the loan
If you’re a borrower, consider repaying them using the credit card you have. Just make sure you pay the credit card balance completely so that you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask family for help
Talk to your family and see if they have 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 understand why you’re taking the initiative.
If it’s the holiday season you should consider purchasing all your gifts with cards from your credit account. In this way, you’ll reach the minimum spending requirement and be ready for giving gifts. Be sure to avoid spending more than you already planning to.
There are plenty of methods to get the most out of the travel credit card and accrue points or miles to use towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few more suggestions for maximising your rewards
Make travel reservations using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, make use of the travel credit card to pay for your hotel, flight, rental car, and 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 on those expenditures.
Utilize your credit card to pay for all your daily expenses
Another method to reach the minimum amount of spending in order to accumulate points making use of your credit card for daily expenditures. This can include things like gas, groceries, and even your phone bill. Make sure you pay off the balance in full each month so you don’t accumulate interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide bonus points or miles on certain kinds of purchases, such as eating out or traveling. Check out your credit card’s rewards program and take advantage of any bonus categories that match with your spending routines.
Think about the possibility of transferring your balance
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a credit card, consider transferring that balance onto an account with a travel credit card that has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfer. This will allow you to pay off your debt without accruing interest and simultaneously assist you in reaching the minimum spending requirement for the credit card bonus.
Use your points or miles wisely
When you’ve earned a significant amount of points or miles Make sure to utilize them in a responsible manner. Check out the rewards program on your credit card, and evaluate the value of different redemption options. For example using your points to purchase a flight directly with the airline might give you a better value than using them to purchase an gift card.
Another option is to get rewards cards that allow you to transfer your reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will let you get a wider selection of choices and more freedom when it comes to 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 a reward program for hotels. This gives you access to a wider selection of hotels, flights, and other travel perks that may not be accessible through your credit card’s rewards program.
In addition, you should find out the card’s benefits. some perks that could help you save money on travel expenses. Some cards offer 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 someone else each of you will be able to earn rewards with your own credit card. Be aware that you cannot split the cost on the same card. Also, make sure to keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
The key to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to know the rewards program of your credit card and ensure that you’re using your credit card in the most effective method. Utilizing an array of strategies I’ve outlined in this article, you’ll be able get rewards in a short time, use rewards for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad assortment of travel-related perks.