Are you tired of paying an enormous amount on flights? Well, good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting way to convert credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles which can be used to get discounted or even free flights to your dream destinations. With a bit of imagination and a little bit of insider information, you’ll be jet-setting for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of swapping credit card sign-up bonus as well as incentives to earn airline miles. The miles can be used to purchase discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards permit you to use miles for hotel stays and rental car discounts.
How Does it Work?
The secret to success in hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and to establish a frequent flyer mile program with a limited number of airlines. When you are ready to book a flight consider the cost. If the cost is less than $300, it’s best to pay cash and save your miles to take a more costly flight. When the flights start getting above $500, you’ll want to check 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 you have in your travel savings account for each airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to hacking travel? First step opening an account with a sign-up bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards that offer various features and benefits. It depends on the type of airline, your habits with spending and the features that are most important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit card options that can be great to hack 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 need to reach the minimum spend limit in order to receive the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so make sure to look up this information. Then, it’s all about racking up miles, and then using them to book your dream vacation!
Ready to jet-set with your goals?
Now that you’ve built up your points balance, you’re ready to cash them in for some delicious travel! Different credit card providers will have different methods of redeeming your rewards, here are a few examples from some of the companies I’ve had experience with:
Getaway by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have an Chase card, you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In the portal, you’ll have access to virtually every airline, and you can use a combination of the points as well as cash in order to book your travel. You can even book completely using points if you’ve got the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you do not possess enough points for the total cost, you are able to purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using the credit card of your choice.
Are you tired of paying full price for your flight tickets? Did you realize that when booking directly through United you can choose the option of paying with either points or dollars? Butbe aware in case you don’t have enough points, you cannot combine points and dollars for one flight. No worries though, if you’re only a couple of point short United gives you the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience , with more legroom as well as free snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines which allows you to book with either JetBlue dollar or points, however, not both. However, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that allows you to combine your points with your relatives to earn points twice as quickly. Make sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re like me or my travel buddy Becca, you’re probably pretty thrifty and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to hit the minimum amount required to earn credit card bonuses. Don’t worry because we’ve been there and are 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! Make sure you pay a fee, usually around 3 percent. It could be worthwhile in the long run when the bonus is large enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the minimum spend is to pay for an medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills in the near future, ask your family members if you can pay them for theirs, and they will reimburse you.
Pay off a loan
If you have any loans take into consideration repaying them using your credit card. Make sure to pay off the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Ask your family members to see if they have any large expenses coming up which you could help pay for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to trust the person and they understand why you’re taking the initiative.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season take into consideration buying all your gifts using cards from your credit account. This way you can reach the minimum spending requirement and also be prepared to give gifts. Just make sure you’re not paying more than you already thinking of.
There are a lot of ways to make the most of your travel credit card. earn miles or points to spend on flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few more ideas for maximizing the rewards you earn:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, make use of your travel credit card to book your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as any other travel-related expenses. You’ll not only achieve the minimum amount of spending required to qualify for a credit card reward, but you’ll also be earning points or miles for the expenses.
Utilize your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday expenditures
Another way to hit the minimum amount of spending in order to accumulate points by utilising your credit cards to pay for everyday costs. This can include things like gas, groceries and even your telephone bill. Be sure to pay off the balance in full every month to ensure you don’t pay interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer bonus points or miles for specific types of purchases, including eating out or travelling. Check out the rewards program of your credit card and avail the bonus categories that are in line with your spending routines.
Take into consideration a balance transfer
If you have existing debt on a credit card, you might want to transfer that balance to the travel credit card which has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfer. This will let you pay off your debts without accruing interest. It will also assist you in reaching the minimum spending requirement for the credit card’s bonus.
Utilize your miles and points wisely
If you’ve amassed a large amount of miles or points, be sure to use the points or miles wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and then compare the benefits of different redemption options. For instance you can use your points to book a ticket directly with the airline might provide you with a greater return than using them for a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer your rewards to different loyalty program. This allows you to enjoy a greater variety of options and greater flexibility in you want to redeem your rewards. For instance, you might be eligible to transfer your reward to an airline’s frequent flyer program or a Hotel rewards programme. This gives you access to a greater variety of hotels, flights, and other travel perks that aren’t accessible through your credit card’s rewards program.
Additionally, try to discover the card’s benefits. any perks that can save you money on travel-related costs. Some cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection, and other benefits that could be very beneficial when traveling.
If you’re traveling with a companion and both of you earn rewards with your own credit card. Make sure you don’t share the costs on the same card and make sure to keep track of your rewards separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do to making the most of your travel rewards is to understand your credit card’s rewards program and make sure you’re using this program in the most effective method. Utilizing an array of strategies I’ve outlined in this article, you’ll be able get rewards in a short time, use them for travel experiences that are worth it and take advantage of a broad variety of travel benefits.