Are you tired of paying an enormous amount on flights? Good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting method to convert bonus and sign-up incentives into miles which you can use to score discounted or complimentary flights for your dream destinations. With a little imagination and some knowledge, you can fly for no cost within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about swapping credit card sign-up bonus as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can later be used to pay for cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards will also let you redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or car rental discounts.
How Does it Work?
The secret to success in travel hacking is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and establishing frequent flyer miles on a select group of airlines. When you are ready to book a flight, evaluate the cost. If the flight is less than $300, it’s usually better to pay in 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 find out which airline will give you the best price. It all boils down to the amount of points or miles you have in your travel savings account for every airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets of travel hacking? First step opening the credit card that comes that comes with a welcome bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards that provide various benefits and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, spending habits and what features are essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards that are 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 reach the minimum spend limit in order to qualify for the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of guidelines, so make sure to check for this information. Then you can begin to rack up miles, and then using them to book your dream trip!
Ready to jet-set with your ideas?
Once you’ve accumulated the points balance, you’re ready to cash them in for some sweet travel! Different credit card providers will have different methods of redeeming your points, but here are some examples from some of the ones I have experience with:
Take a trip by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of a Chase card, you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within this portal you’ll have access to nearly every airline and you can make use of a combination of points and cash to book your next trip. You can even book entirely 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 price, you can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with the credit card of your choice.
Are you fed up of paying full price for flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United, you have the option of paying using dollars or points? But, be careful in case you don’t have enough points you cannot combine dollars and points for the same flight. No worries though, if you’re just a few points away, United also offers the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience , with more legroom as well as free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is like United’s which allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue dollar or points however, not both. The difference is that JetBlue has a unique feature where you can combine your points with family members to accrue points twice as quickly. Be sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack into the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re like me and my travel buddy Becca I’m sure you’re pretty thrifty and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to hit the minimum spend for a credit card bonus. But don’t fret, we’ve been through it and are here to share our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able pay your rent using credit card, go for it! Just be prepared to be charged a fee, typically about 3 percent. It could be worthwhile over the long term in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the required spending is to cover the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills due then ask your family members to pay them for theirs, and they will pay you back.
Pay off the loan
If you’re a borrower take into consideration repaying them using the credit card you have. Make sure to pay the credit card balance completely so that you don’t end up with 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 help pay for. Just make sure you trust the person and they understand why you’re doing this.
If you’re celebrating the holidays you should consider purchasing all your gifts with cards from your credit account. So you’ll be able to hit that minimum spend and also be prepared to give gifts. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you already planning to.
There are a lot of methods to get the most from the travel credit card. You can accumulate miles or points that you can use towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few more suggestions for maximising your rewards
Book travel expenses with your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, use you travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel, rental car, and other travel costs. In addition, you’ll achieve the required amount for your credit card, but you’ll also be earning points or miles on the expenses.
Utilize your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday expenditures
Another way to meet the minimum spending requirement to earn rewards is by utilising your credit cards to pay for every day expenses. This could include things like food, gas and even your telephone bill. Be sure to pay off the balance in full every month to ensure you don’t accumulate interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or bonus points for specific types of purchases, like eating out or travelling. Check out your credit card’s rewards program and avail any bonus categories that match with your spending habits.
Think about the possibility of transferring your balance
If you are currently in debt on a credit card, you might want to transfer the balance to a travel credit card with a 0% introductory APR for balance transfers. This will let you pay off the debt without accruing interest, and also assist you in reaching the minimum spend for the credit card bonus.
Make use of your miles or points prudently
If you’ve amassed a large amount of miles or points, be sure to use them wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card, and evaluate the benefits of different redemption options. For instance using your points to book a flight directly with the airline might offer better value than using them to purchase 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 have a wider range of choices and more flexibility when redeeming your rewards. For instance, you might be eligible to transfer your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a reward program for hotels. This can give you access to a larger selection of hotels, flights and other travel benefits that may not be accessible through your credit card’s rewards program.
Also, find out whether your credit card has some perks that could save you money on travel-related expenses. 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 friend, both of you can earn rewards using your credit card. Just remember that you can’t divide the cost with the same card and make sure to track the rewards you earn separately.
Overall, 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 making use of it in the most effective method possible. By using an array of methods I’ve described 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.