Are you tired of spending an enormous amount on flights? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s a fun way to turn credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles which you can use to score discounted or cheap flights from your dream destinations. With a little bit of imagination and a little bit of insider know-how, you’ll be jet-setting for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about swapping credit card sign-up bonus and rewards for airline miles. These miles can later be used to purchase discount or no-cost flights. Some credit cards also permit you to use miles to pay for hotel stays or car rental offers.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for successful hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and building out a frequent flyer mile program on a select group of airlines. When it comes time to book a flight take a look at the price. If the cost is less than $300, it’s generally 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 check the frequent flyer account to find out which airline will give you the most value. All it boils down to is the number of miles or points you have in your travel savings account for each airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to hacking travel? Your first task is to open an account that comes with a welcome bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that offer many features and benefits. It all depends on your preferred airline, your habits with spending and the features that are most crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards excellent to hack travel
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
After you’ve been accepted for a credit card, you’ll have to meet the minimum spend limit in order to receive the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so be certain to verify the details. From there you can begin to rack miles and using them to plan your dream trip!
Are you ready to set sail with your points?
Now that you’ve built up your points balance, you’re ready to cash them in for some delicious travel! Different credit card companies have different methods for redeeming your points. Here are some examples from a few of the companies I’ve had experience with:
Getaway by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own a Chase cards, you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within this portal you’ll get access to almost every airline. You can combine money and points to pay for your next trip. You can even book entirely with points if you’ve the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you don’t have enough points to cover the total cost, you still can buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using any credit card.
Are you tired of paying full price for flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option of paying using either points or dollars? But, be careful in case you don’t have enough points, you can’t combine points and dollars for flights. Don’t worry, though, if you’re a few points away, United provides the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue provides passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience with extra space and complimentary snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to United’s that allows you to book with either JetBlue either dollars or points, but not both. However, JetBlue offers a distinct feature where you can pool your points together with your relatives to earn points twice as fast. Make sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel companion Becca You’re probably quite thrifty and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to hit the required amount to qualify for a credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried because we’ve been there and we’re here to share our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able to pay your rent with credit card, go for it! Make sure you be charged a fee, typically about 3 percent. It might be worth it in the long run in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another way to reach the minimum spend is to pay for an medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses in the near future Ask your relatives if you could pay for theirs and they will reimburse you.
Make a payment to pay off a loan
If you’re a borrower take into consideration paying them off with the credit card you have. Make sure to pay the credit card balance completely so that you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Talk to your family and determine if they’ve got any large expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to trust the person and they know why you’re taking the initiative.
If you’re celebrating the holidays, consider buying all of your gifts with the credit card you have. So you’ll be able to reach the minimum spending requirement and be ready to give gifts. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you already contemplating to.
There are many ways to make the most of the travel credit card. accumulate miles or points that you can be used towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are some additional ways to maximize your rewards:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, use the travel credit card to book your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as any other travel expenses. You’ll not only be able to meet the minimum spend to qualify for a credit card bonus as well, but you’ll also be earning points or miles to cover these expenditures.
Utilize your credit card to pay for all your daily expenditures
Another method to reach the minimum spending requirement in order to accumulate points utilising your credit cards to pay every day costs. This could be things like gas, groceries, and even your phone bill. Make sure you pay off the balance in full each month so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Benefit from bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or points in exchange on certain kinds of purchases, like eating out or travelling. Make sure you review the rewards program of your credit card and avail any bonus categories that match with your spending routines.
Consider a balance transfer
If you have existing debt on a credit card, you might want to transfer that balance to an account with a travel credit card that has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfers. This will allow you to pay off your debts without accruing interest. It will also help you hit the minimum amount required to earn the credit card’s bonus.
Utilize your miles and points carefully
When you’ve earned a significant amount of points or miles Make sure to utilize them wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and compare the value of different redemption options. For example, using points to book a flight directly with the airline could give you a better return than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another option is to get a rewards card that allows you to transfer your rewards to different loyalty program. This allows you to get a wider selection of options and greater flexibility in making use of your rewards. For instance, you might be capable of transferring your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a hotel rewards program. This will give the benefit of a larger range of flights, hotels and other travel benefits which are not accessible through the rewards program of your credit card.
Also, find out whether your credit card has certain benefits that will help you save money on travel expenses. Some cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that are invaluable when you travel.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a companion and both of you get rewards on your own credit card. Be aware that you cannot share the costs on the same card, and be sure you keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
In the end, the most important thing to do to maximizing your travel rewards is to understand your credit card’s rewards program and make sure you’re making use of this program in the most efficient method possible. Utilizing a combination of the methods I’ve described that you can earn rewards quickly, redeem them for travel experiences that are worth it and benefit from a wide variety of travel benefits.