Are you tired of spending an enormous amount on flights? Good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting method to convert bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles that can then be used to obtain discounted or cheap flights from your desired destinations. With a little 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 about exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. The miles can be used to purchase discounted or even free flights. Some credit cards also permit you to use miles for hotel stays and rental car offers.
How Does it Work?
The key to success in hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and establishing frequent flyer miles for a specific group of airlines. When it comes time to book a flight consider the cost. If the cost is less than $300, it’s usually better to pay in cash and use your miles to pay for a more expensive flight. If the prices start to rise above $500, you’ll want to check those frequent flyer accounts and find out which airline will give you the most value. It all comes down to the number of miles or points in your travel bank for every airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets of travel hacking? First step opening an account with a sign-up offer. There are many great credit cards that offer various advantages and features. It depends on the type of airline, your spending habits, and what features are important 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
Once you’ve been approved for a credit card you’ll need to hit the limit of spending minimum in order to get the bonus. Every card has different guidelines, so make certain to verify this information. Then you can begin to rack up miles and using them to plan your dream vacation!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your points?
Now that you’ve built up the points amount, it’s time to cash them in for some nice getaway! Different credit card companies will offer different ways to redeem your points, but here are some examples from a few of the ones I’ve worked with:
Take a trip through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you own an Chase credit card, then you are able to redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In it, you’ll have access to virtually every airline and you can make use of a combination of points and cash 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 entire cost, you still can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using every credit card.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for your flight tickets? Did you realize that when booking directly through United you can choose the option to pay with dollars or points? Be careful that if you do not have enough points you can’t combine dollars and points for the same flight. No worries though, if you’re a few points short, United also offers the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience with extra space and complimentary snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is like United’s which allows customers to book using either JetBlue either dollars or points however, not both. But, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a 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 the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re like me or my travel companion Becca You’re probably quite economical and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum amount required to earn a credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried, we’ve been through it and we’re here to share our tips and tricks.
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! Just be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually around 3 percent. It might be worth it in the long run in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another great way to hit the required spending is to cover the medical bills. If you do not have any medical expenses coming up, ask your family members if you can pay for theirs and they’ll reimburse you.
Repay a loan
If you have any loans, consider repaying them using the credit card you have. Be sure to pay off the credit card balance completely so that you don’t accrue additional debt.
Ask your family members for help
Ask your family members to determine if they’ve got any big expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Just make sure you have confidence in the person you are talking to and they know why you’re doing it.
If it’s the holiday season, consider buying all of your gifts with the credit card you have. In this way, you’ll meet the minimum spending limit and also be prepared for gift giving. Be sure to avoid paying more than you planning to.
There are many ways to make the most out of your travel credit card. You can accumulate miles or points that you can use towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few additional suggestions for maximising your rewards:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, use the travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel, rental car, and any other travel-related expenses. In addition, you’ll be able to hit the required amount to qualify for a credit card as well, however, you’ll also earn points or miles for the expenditures.
Make use of your credit card to pay for all your daily expenditures
Another way to hit the minimum spend in order to accumulate points by utilising your credit cards for daily costs. This can include things like gas, groceries, and even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay off the balance each month in full so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Make the most of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or bonus points on certain kinds of purchases, such as eating out or travelling. Check out your credit card’s rewards program and take advantage of any bonus categories that match with your spending habits.
Consider the possibility of transferring your balance
If you are currently in outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer that balance onto the travel credit card which has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfers. 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’s bonus.
Use your points or miles wisely
If you’ve amassed a large amount of miles or points, be sure to use them in a responsible manner. Review the rewards program for your credit card, and evaluate the worth of various redemption options. For example using your points to purchase a flight directly with the airline might give you a better value than using them to purchase a gift card.
Another tip is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will allow you to enjoy a greater variety of options and greater flexibility when making use of your rewards. For example, you may be able to transfer your reward to the frequent flyer program of an airline or a Hotel rewards programme. This gives the benefit of a greater range of flights, hotels and other travel benefits that aren’t accessible through the rewards program of your credit card.
In addition, you should determine if your credit card offers certain benefits that will help you save money on travel costs. Many cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection and other benefits that can be invaluable when you travel.
If you’re traveling with someone else, both of you can get rewards on your credit card. Be aware that you cannot divide the cost with the same card and make sure to track your rewards in a separate manner.
The key to making the most of your travel rewards is to know the rewards program on your credit card and make sure you’re making use of your credit card in the most efficient method possible. Utilizing all of the strategies I’ve outlined in this article, you’ll be able get rewards in a short time, use rewards for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide variety of travel benefits.