Are you tired of paying an enormous amount on flights? Well, good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s a fun way to turn credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into miles which you can use to get discounted or even free flights to your ideal destinations. With a little bit of imagination and a little bit of insider information, you’ll fly for no cost in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. The miles can be used to buy discount or no-cost flights. Some credit cards also permit you to use miles for hotel stays and rental car offers.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for success in travel hacking is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and to establish frequent flyer miles on a select group of airlines. When you are ready to book a flight consider the cost. If the price is under $300, it’s best to pay cash and save your miles to take a more costly flight. If the prices start to rise over $500, you’ll need to look into your frequent flyer accounts to see which airline can give you the most value. It all comes down to the amount of points or miles you have in your travel savings account for each airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to hacking travel? The first step is opening an account with a sign-up bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards with various advantages and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, your spending habits, and the features that are most important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit card options that can be perfect to use for hacking travel:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
After you’ve been accepted for a credit or debit card, you’ll have to meet the minimum spend limit in order to qualify for the bonus. Every card has different guidelines, so make sure to look up the details. From there it’s all about building up miles and using them to book your dream trip!
Ready to jet-set with your ideas?
Now that you’ve built up the points amount, it’s time to use them towards nice travel! Different credit card providers will have different methods of redeeming your points, but here are some examples from a few of the providers I have experience with:
Getaway with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own a Chase card, you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within the portal, you’ll have access to virtually every airline, and you can make use of a combination of points and cash to book your trip. You can even book entirely with points if you’ve the balance for it! Sometimes even if you do not possess enough points for the full price, you can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using any credit card.
Are you fed up of paying full price for flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United You have the option to pay with dollars or points? Butbe aware, if you don’t have enough points, you cannot combine points and dollars for the same flight. If you’re only a couple of points short, United provides the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue offers a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience , with more space and complimentary snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to that of United Airlines, allowing passengers to book flights using JetBlue points or dollars, but not both. The difference is that JetBlue has a unique feature where you can combine your points with your family members and earn points twice as fast. Just make sure you can establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel buddy Becca You’re probably quite thrifty and it’s challenging to attempt 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 we’re here to share some of our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able pay your rent with credit card, then do it! Make sure you be charged a fee, typically around 3%. It could be worthwhile in the end in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another great way to hit the spending limit is to pay for an medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses due Ask your relatives if you could pay for theirs and they can repay you.
Pay off a loan
If you’re a borrower you owe, think about paying them off with an credit card. Just make sure you pay off the balance on your credit card in full , so that you don’t accrue additional debt.
Ask your family members for help
Talk to your family and see if they have any big expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Just make sure you are able to trust the person and that they know why you’re taking the initiative.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season take into consideration buying all your gifts using the credit card you have. This way you can hit that minimum spend and also be prepared for gift giving. Be sure to avoid spending more than you contemplating to.
There are plenty of ways to make the most out of the travel credit card. earn miles or points to be used towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are some additional ideas for maximizing the rewards you earn:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
When you’re planning your next vacation, 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 minimum spend to earn your credit card bonus as well, however, you’ll also earn points or miles to cover these expenditures.
Utilize your credit card to pay for all your daily expenditures
Another way to hit the minimum spending requirement to earn rewards is by utilising your credit cards to pay daily expenditures. This can include items like groceries, gas, and even your phone bill. Make sure you pay off the balance each month in full so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or bonus points for certain types of purchases, like eating out or travelling. Make sure you review the rewards program of your credit card and make use of any bonus categories that align with your spending routines.
Consider a balance transfer
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a credit card, you might want to transfer that balance onto the travel credit card which has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will enable you to pay off the debt without accruing interest. It will also aid in achieving the minimum spend for the credit card bonus.
Use your points or miles wisely
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of points or miles, be sure to use them in a responsible manner. Review the rewards program for your credit card and then compare the benefits of different redemption options. For example using points to book a ticket directly through the airline may provide you with a greater return than using them for an gift card.
Another tip is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer points to other loyalty programs. This will allow you to enjoy a greater variety of options and greater freedom when it comes to you want to redeem your rewards. For instance, you might be capable of transferring your rewards to the frequent flyer program of an airline or reward program for hotels. This gives an access greater variety of hotels, flights and other travel benefits that aren’t offered through your credit card’s rewards program.
In addition, you should discover whether your credit card has some perks that could reduce your travel costs. Some cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection and other benefits that can be very beneficial when traveling.
When you travel with a companion each of you will be able to earn rewards with your own credit card. Be aware that you cannot divide the cost with the same card, and be sure to 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 using this program in the most effective way possible. By using all of the strategies I’ve listed, you’ll be able to earn rewards quickly, redeem them for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad variety of travel benefits.