Are you fed up of spending an enormous amount on flights? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting method to turn credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into miles that can then be used to score discounted or free flights to your dream destinations. With a little 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 the art of exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. The miles can be used to buy cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards will also allow you to redeem miles towards hotel stays or car rental offers.
How Does it Work?
The secret to successful travel hacking 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 book a flight, evaluate the cost. If the cost is less than $300, it’s usually better to pay in cash and save your miles to take a more costly flight. If your flights begin to climb above $500, you’ll want to review those frequent flyer accounts to find out which airline will give you the most value. All it boils down to is the amount of miles or points in your travel account for each airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to travel hacking? Your first task is opening the credit card that comes with a sign-up offer. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that provide many advantages and features. It depends on the type of airline, your habits with spending and what features are crucial 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
Once you’ve been approved for a credit or debit card, you’ll need to reach the limit of spending minimum in order to get the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so be certain to verify the details. Then it’s all about building miles and then using them to book your dream trip!
Ready to jet-set with your ideas?
After you’ve accrued your points balance, you’re ready to redeem them for some sweet travel! Different credit card companies will have different methods for redeeming your rewards, here are a few examples from some of the companies I’ve had experience with:
Take a trip by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of a Chase credit card, then you are able to use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within it, you’ll have access to virtually every airline and you can make use of a combination of money and points to book your trip. You can even book entirely with points if you’ve the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you don’t possess enough points for the total price, you can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using any credit card.
Are you fed up of paying full price for flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United, you have the option of paying using either points or dollars? Butbe aware that if you don’t have enough points you cannot combine points and dollars on the same flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re only a couple of point short United provides the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience , with more space and complimentary snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to that of United Airlines that allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue dollar or points, but not both. The difference is that JetBlue has a unique feature where you can join your points with your family members and earn 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 anything like me and my travel companion Becca, you’re probably pretty frugal and it can be challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to hit the minimum spend for a credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried, we’ve been through it and we’re here to share our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able to pay for your rent with a credit card, do it! Be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually about 3 percent. It might be worth it in the long run when the bonus is large enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another way to reach the minimum spend is to pay for an medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills in the near future then ask your family members if you can pay their medical bills and they’ll reimburse you.
Pay off the loan
If you have any loans take into consideration paying them off with the credit card you have. Be sure to pay the credit card balance in full so you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Ask your family members to determine if they’ve got any major expenses in the near future that you can help pay for. Make sure that you are able to trust the person and they understand why you’re taking the initiative.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season you should consider purchasing all your gifts with cards from your credit account. This way you can meet the minimum spending limit and be ready for gift giving. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you were contemplating to.
There are many ways to make the most out of your travel credit card. accrue points or miles to use towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are some additional ideas for maximizing your rewards
Make travel reservations using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, make use of your travel credit card for booking your hotel, flight, rental car, and any other travel expenses. You’ll not only be able to meet the required amount to earn your credit card reward and earn points, but you’ll also earn points or miles for these costs.
Utilize your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday costs
Another way to hit the minimum amount of spending and earn points is utilising your credit cards to pay for daily expenses. This could include things like gas, groceries or even your phone bill. Be sure to pay off the balance each month in full so you don’t accumulate interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or bonus points on certain kinds of purchases, like eating out or travelling. Check out your credit card’s rewards program and make use of any bonus categories that align with your spending habits.
Take into consideration the possibility of transferring your balance
If you are currently in debt on a credit card, consider transferring that balance to an account with a travel credit card that has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfer. This will allow you to pay off the debt without accruing interest. It will also help you hit the minimum spend for the credit card bonus.
Make use of your miles or points prudently
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points, be sure to use them in a responsible manner. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and then compare the worth of various redemption options. For example, using points to purchase a flight directly with the airline might offer better value than using them for a gift card.
Another tip is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will allow you to have a wider range of choices and more flexibility in redeeming your rewards. For instance, you might be eligible to transfer your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a reward program for hotels. This can give the benefit of a wider variety of hotels, flights, and other travel perks that aren’t offered through your credit card’s rewards program.
Also, find out the card’s benefits. some perks that could help you save money on travel expenses. Some cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that can be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
If you’re traveling with someone else and both of you earn rewards with your own credit card. Just remember that you can’t split the cost on the same card, and be sure to keep track of your rewards separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do to maximizing your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program of your credit card and ensure that you’re making use of it in the most efficient method. By using all of the strategies I’ve outlined that you can earn rewards fast, exchange rewards for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad variety of travel benefits.