Are you tired of spending a fortune on airfare? Well, good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s a fun way to convert bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles, which can be used to get discounted or even cheap flights from your desired destinations. With a little imagination and some know-how, you’ll fly for no cost in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of trading credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. The miles can be used to pay for discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards permit you to use miles to pay for hotel stays or car rental discounts.
How Does it Work?
The key to successful hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and establishing a frequent flyer mile program on a select group of airlines. When you are ready to make a booking consider the cost. If the flight is less than $300, it’s generally better to pay cash and save your miles to take a more costly flight. When the flights start getting above $500, you’ll want to look into your frequent flyer accounts and determine which airline offers you the best price. All it boils down to is the amount of miles or points in your travel bank for each airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to hacking travel? First step to open a credit card that comes with a welcome bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards with various features and benefits. It all depends on your preferred airline, your habits with spending and what features are important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards that are perfect to hack travel
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
Once you’ve been approved for a credit card you’ll need to reach the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to qualify for the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so be certain to verify the details. From there, it’s all about racking miles and using them to plan your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your goals?
Now that you’ve built up your points balance, it’s time to cash them in for some nice travel! Different credit card companies will offer different ways to redeem your points, but here are a few examples from some of the providers I’ve worked with:
Escape with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of a Chase card, you can redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. In the portal, you’ll get access to almost every airline, and you can combine points and cash to pay for your trip. You can even book completely using points if you’ve got the balance for it! Sometimes even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for entire cost, you still can buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with the credit card of your choice.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for your flight tickets? Did you know that when you book directly through United You have the option of paying with dollars or points? But, be careful that if you do not have enough points you cannot combine points and dollars on one flight. If you’re only a couple of points away, United gives you the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers a comfortable and enjoyable travel experience that includes extra space and complimentary snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines, allowing you to book with either JetBlue dollar or points but not both. But, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that allows you to join your points with family members to accrue points twice as fast. Be sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack into the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me or my travel buddy Becca I’m sure you’re pretty economical and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to hit the required amount to qualify for credit card bonuses. However, don’t be worried as we’ve done it and we’re here to share some of our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able pay your rent using a credit card, do it! Be prepared to be charged a fee, typically around 3%. It might be worth it in the end if the bonus is high enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another way to reach the required spending is to cover the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills due Ask your family members if you can pay them for theirs, and they’ll repay you.
Repay a loan
If you have any loans take into consideration repaying them using the credit card you have. Be sure to pay off the balance on your credit card completely so that you don’t end up with 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. Just make sure you trust the person and they are aware of the reason for doing this.
If it’s the holiday season, consider buying all your gifts with cards from your credit account. So you’ll be able to reach the minimum spending requirement and also be prepared for giving gifts. Be sure to avoid spending more than you were contemplating to.
There are plenty of ways to get the most of your travel credit card and earn miles or points to spend on flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are some additional ways to maximize your rewards
Book travel expenses with your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a vacation, make use of your travel credit card for booking your hotel, flight, rental car, and any other travel expenses. Not only will you achieve the required amount to earn your credit card, however, you’ll also earn points or miles to cover the expenditures.
Make use of your credit card to pay for all your daily expenses
Another method to reach the minimum spending requirement to earn rewards is utilising your credit cards to pay for every day costs. This could be things like gas, groceries and even your telephone bill. Be sure to pay off the balance in full each month so you don’t accumulate interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or bonus points for specific types of purchases, such as eating out or travelling. Be sure to review 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 are currently in debt on a credit card, think about transferring the balance to a travel credit card with an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will enable you to pay off your debt without accruing interest and simultaneously assist you in reaching the minimum spend for the credit card’s bonus.
Use your points or miles prudently
If you’ve amassed a large amount of points or miles Make sure to utilize the points or miles wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card and compare the value of different redemption options. For instance, using your points to book a ticket directly through the airline may offer better value than using them for a gift card.
Another tip is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer your points to other loyalty programs. This will let you get a wider selection of options and greater flexibility in redeeming your rewards. For instance, you might be able to transfer your reward to an airline’s frequent flyer program or reward program for hotels. This can give an access greater range of flights, hotels as well as other travel perks which are not offered through the rewards program on your credit card.
Also, find out the card’s benefits. any perks that can help you save money on 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 someone else each of you will be able to get rewards on your own credit card. Make sure you don’t split the cost on the same card. Also, make sure to keep track of your rewards separately.
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 making use of your credit card in the most effective method possible. Utilizing a combination of the strategies I’ve listed in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards fast, exchange them for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad assortment of travel-related perks.