Are you tired of spending an enormous amount on flights? Good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting method to turn credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles which can be used to obtain discounted or free flights to your dream destinations. With a bit of imagination and a little bit of insider information, you’ll fly for no cost within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. These miles can then be used to buy cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards permit you to use miles towards hotel stays or rental car offers.
How Does it Work?
The secret to success in hacking travel is taking advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and establishing a frequent flyer mile program for a specific group of airlines. When it’s time to book a flight consider the cost. If the cost is under $300, it’s usually better to pay cash and save your miles for a more expensive flight. If your flights begin to climb higher than $500, it’s best to check the frequent flyer account and determine which airline offers you the best price. It all comes down to the number of miles or points in your travel account for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to travel hacking? Your first task is to open the credit card that comes that comes with a welcome bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards with various advantages and features. It depends on the type of airline, your spending habits, and what features are crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards great to use for hacking travel:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
After you’ve been accepted for a credit card, you’ll need to hit the limit of spending minimum in order to receive the bonus. Each card has its own guidelines, so make certain to verify this information. From there it’s all about building up miles, and using them to book your dream vacation!
Ready to jet-set with your goals?
After you’ve accrued the points balance, it’s time to use them towards sweet getaway! Different credit card companies have different methods of redeeming your rewards, here are a few examples from some of the ones I have experience with:
Getaway through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you’re a holder of an Chase card, you are able to redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through this portal you’ll get access to virtually every airline and you can combine points and cash to pay for your trip. You can even book entirely on points if you have the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you do not possess enough points for the entire cost, you still can buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using the credit card of your choice.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for your flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option to pay with dollars or points? Butbe aware in case you don’t have enough points, you cannot combine dollars and points on the same flight. No worries though, if you’re only a couple of points short, United gives you the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue provides a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience with extra space and complimentary snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to United’s which allows customers to book using either JetBlue points or dollars however, not both. However, JetBlue has a unique feature that allows you to pool your points together with family members to accrue points twice as fast. Just make sure you can verify that you are a family member before trying to hack into the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel companion Becca, you’re probably pretty frugal and it can be difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to reach the minimum spend for credit card bonuses. But don’t fret because we’ve been there 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 with credit card, go for it! Just be prepared to pay a fee, usually at least 3 percent. It could be worthwhile in the long run when the bonus is large enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another way to reach the spending limit 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 their medical bills and they can reimburse you.
Repay a loan
If you’re a borrower you owe, think about paying them off with an credit card. Just make sure you pay off the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Talk to your family and determine if they’ve got any major expenses in the near future that you can contribute for. Just make sure you have confidence in the person you are talking to and they understand why you’re taking the initiative.
If it’s the holiday season, consider buying all your gifts using cards from your credit account. So you’ll be able to hit that minimum spend and also be ready for giving gifts. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you were planning to.
There are many ways to get the most from the travel credit card. You can accrue points or miles to 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, make use of your travel credit card for booking your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as other travel costs. Not only will you be able to meet the minimum spend for your credit card bonus and earn points, however, you’ll also earn points or miles on the expenditures.
Use your credit card to pay for your everyday costs
Another way to hit the minimum amount of spending to earn rewards is making use of your credit card to pay for everyday expenditures. This could be things like food, gas, and even your phone bill. Make sure you 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 bonus points or miles for certain types of purchases, such as eating out or travelling. Make sure you review the rewards program of your credit card and avail the bonus categories that are in line with your spending habits.
Think about the possibility of transferring your balance
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a high-interest credit card, think about transferring that balance to an account with a travel credit card that has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will enable you to pay off the debt without accruing interest, and also help you hit the minimum spending requirement for the credit card bonus.
Utilize your miles and points wisely
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize the points or miles wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and compare the value of different redemption options. For instance using points to book a ticket directly with the airline might offer better return 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 allow you to have a wider range of options and greater flexibility when redeeming your rewards. For example, you may be eligible to transfer your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a Hotel rewards programme. This can give you access to a greater range of flights, hotels, and other travel perks which are not accessible through the rewards program of your credit card.
Additionally, try to find out the card’s benefits. some perks that could help you save money on travel costs. Some cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that can be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
If you’re traveling with someone else each of you will be able to earn rewards with your own credit card. Make sure you don’t divide the cost with the same card, and be sure to keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
In the end, the most important thing to do to maximizing your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program on your credit card and make sure you’re making use of this program in the most effective way possible. Through all of the strategies I’ve outlined that you can get rewards in a short time, use them for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide variety of travel benefits.