Are you tired of spending an enormous amount on flights? Good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel woes. It’s a fun way to convert credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into miles which you can use to obtain discounted or free flights to your dream destinations. With a bit of imagination and some know-how, you’ll travel for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. These miles can then be used to pay for cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards will also permit you to use miles to pay for hotel stays or car rental offers.
How Does it Work?
The secret to success in hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and building out a frequent flyer mile program on a select group of airlines. When it comes time to book a flight take a look at the price. If the price is under $300, it’s generally better to pay cash and save your miles for a more expensive flight. If the prices start to rise over $500, you’ll need to review the frequent flyer account to see which airline can give you the most value. It all comes down to the amount of points or miles you have in your travel bank for every airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to travel hacking? First step opening a credit card that comes with a welcome bonus. There are many great credit cards that offer many advantages and features. It is all dependent on the airline, your habits with spending and the features that are most essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit card options that can be excellent for travel hacking:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
Once you’ve been approved for a credit card, you’ll have to meet the limit of spending minimum in order to receive the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so make certain to verify this information. Then, it’s all about racking up miles and then using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your goals?
Now that you’ve built up your points balance, it’s time to redeem them for some sweet getaway! Different credit card companies have different methods of redeeming your rewards, here are some examples from a few of the companies I have experience with:
Take a trip with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of an Chase cards, you are able to redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. In the portal, you’ll get access to virtually every airline. You can use a combination of the points as well as cash in order to pay for your trip. You can book your flight entirely using points if you’ve got the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you do not possess enough points for the entire cost, you are able to purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with any credit card.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for your flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United, you have the option of paying with dollars or points? But, be careful that if you don’t have enough points, you aren’t able to combine dollars and points on flights. No worries though, if you’re only a couple of points short, United gives you the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers a comfortable and enjoyable travel experience that includes extra space and complimentary snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to that of United Airlines, allowing you to book with either JetBlue dollar or points but not both. The difference is that JetBlue has a unique feature where you can join your points with your relatives to earn points twice as quickly. Be sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack into the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel buddy Becca I’m sure you’re pretty thrifty and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus. But don’t fret as we’ve done it and are here to share some of our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able to pay your rent with a credit card, do it! Make sure you 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 for a medical bill
Another great way to hit the required spending is to cover the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills due then ask your relatives if you could pay for theirs and they will pay you back.
Make a payment to pay off the loan
If you’re a borrower, consider making payments on them with your credit card. Just make sure you pay the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Talk to your family and look into any major expenses in the near future that you can contribute for. Just make sure you are able to trust the person and that they know why you’re doing it.
If it’s the holiday season take into consideration buying all your gifts with cards from your credit account. In this way, you’ll meet the minimum spending limit and also be ready for gift giving. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you thinking of.
There are plenty of ways to make the most out of your travel credit card and accrue points or miles to use towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few additional ideas for maximizing your rewards
Make travel reservations using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, use the travel credit card to book your hotel, flight, rental car, and any other travel expenses. In addition, you’ll achieve the required amount to qualify for a credit card, however, you’ll also earn points or miles to cover the costs.
Use your credit card to pay for your everyday expenses
Another method to reach the minimum spend and earn points is utilising your credit cards to pay for everyday costs. This could include things like food, gas and even your telephone bill. Be sure to pay the balance off in full every month to ensure you don’t accumulate interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer bonus points or miles for specific types of purchases, like eating out or travelling. Check out the rewards program of your credit card and make use of any bonus categories that match with your spending routines.
Consider a balance transfer
If you are currently in debt on a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer the balance to an account with a travel credit card that has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will let you pay off your debt without accruing interest. It will also assist you in reaching the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus.
Utilize your miles and points prudently
If you’ve amassed a large amount of miles or points, be sure to use them in a responsible manner. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and compare the benefits of different redemption options. For instance using your points to purchase a flight directly through the airline may give you a better value than using them to purchase the purchase of a gift card.
Another suggestion 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 options and greater flexibility when redeeming your rewards. For example, you may be capable of transferring your reward to the frequent flyer program of an airline or Hotel rewards programme. This can give an access larger variety of hotels, flights, and other travel perks that aren’t offered through the rewards program of your credit card.
Also, discover if your credit card offers any perks that can help you save money on travel costs. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that could be very beneficial when traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with someone else each of you will be able to earn rewards with your own credit card. Be aware that you cannot split the cost on the same card. Also, make sure to track your rewards in a separate manner.
The key to making the most of your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program of your credit card and ensure that you’re making use of your credit card in the most effective method. Through an array of methods I’ve described in this article, you’ll be able get rewards in a short time, use them for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad assortment of travel-related perks.