Are you tired of paying an enormous amount on flights? Good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting way to convert bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles, that can then be used to score discounted or cheap flights from your ideal destinations. With a little imagination and some knowledge, you can fly for no cost within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about swapping credit card sign-up bonus and rewards for airline miles. These miles can then be used to pay for discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards allow you to redeem miles for hotel stays and car rental offers.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for successful travel hacking is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and to establish frequent flyer miles with a limited number of airlines. When it comes time to book a flight, evaluate the cost. If the price is under $300, it’s usually better to pay cash and save your miles to take a more costly flight. If your flights begin to climb above $500, you’ll want to look into those frequent flyer accounts to find out which airline will give you the best price. It all boils down to the number of points or miles you have in your travel bank for each airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets of travel hacking? Your first task is to open the credit card that comes with a sign-up offer. There are plenty of great credit cards that offer a variety of benefits and features. It depends on the type of airline, spending habits 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
If you’ve been approved for a credit card you’ll need to hit the limit of spending minimum in order to get the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so make sure to check for this information. From there you can begin to rack up miles, and then using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your points?
Now that you’ve built up your points balance, you’re ready to cash them in for some nice getaway! Different credit card companies will have different methods of redeeming your points. Here are some examples from a few of the companies I’ve had experience with:
Take a trip by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own a Chase card, you are able to redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within this portal you’ll get access to nearly every airline, and you can make use of a combination of the points as well as cash in order to book your trip. You can even book entirely using points if you’ve got the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you do not have enough points to cover the entire cost, you still can buy flights with 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 know that when you book directly through United You have the option to pay with dollars or points? But, be careful in case you don’t have enough points, you aren’t able to combine dollars and points for the same flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re only a couple of points away, United gives you the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue provides passengers a relaxing and pleasant travel experience that includes extra legroom as well as free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to United’s that allows you to book with either JetBlue points or dollars however, not both. However, JetBlue offers a distinct feature that allows you to join your points with your relatives to earn points twice as quickly. Be sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack into the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me or my travel buddy Becca, you’re probably pretty economical and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to hit the minimum amount required to earn credit card bonuses. However, don’t be worried, we’ve been through it and are here to share our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able to pay your rent with credit card, go for it! Just be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually at least 3%. It may be worth it in the long run if the bonus is high enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another great way to hit the spending limit is to pay for the medical bills. If you do not have any medical expenses due then ask your relatives if you could pay them for theirs, and they will repay you.
Make a payment to pay off a loan
If you’re a borrower you owe, think about repaying them using your credit card. Make sure to pay the credit card balance in full so you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Discuss your family with them and determine if they’ve got any large expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Just make sure you are able to trust the person and that they understand why you’re doing it.
If it’s the holiday season, consider buying all your gifts with cards from your credit account. So you’ll be able to hit that minimum spend and also be ready to give gifts. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you already contemplating to.
There are a lot of ways to get the most of the travel credit card. earn miles or points to use towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are some additional ways to maximize the rewards you earn:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, make use of the travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as any other travel-related expenses. Not only will you be able to hit the required amount to earn your credit card bonus as well, but you’ll also be earning points or miles on those expenditures.
Make use of your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday expenses
Another way to meet the minimum spend and earn points is by utilising your credit cards for daily expenses. This could include things like gas, groceries and even your telephone bill. Just make sure to pay off the balance in full every month to ensure you don’t accrue interest charges.
Benefit from bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or bonus points for certain types of purchases, such as eating out or traveling. Be sure to review your credit card’s rewards program and take advantage of any bonus categories that align with your spending routines.
Think about the possibility of transferring your balance
If you have existing debt on a high-interest credit card, consider transferring the balance to a travel credit card with the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfer. This will allow you to pay off your debts without accruing interest and simultaneously help you hit the minimum amount required to earn the credit card’s bonus.
Use your points or miles carefully
When you’ve earned a significant amount of points or miles make sure you use the points or miles wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card, and evaluate the value of different redemption options. For instance you can use your points to book a ticket directly with the airline could offer better return than using them for an gift card.
Another option is to get rewards cards that allow you to transfer your rewards to different loyalty program. This will let you get a wider selection of options and greater flexibility in making use of your rewards. For example, you may be eligible to transfer your reward to the frequent flyer program of an airline or reward program for hotels. This gives the benefit of a wider variety of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks which are not offered through the rewards program on your credit card.
In addition, you should find out the card’s benefits. certain benefits that will help you save money on travel expenses. Some cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection, and other benefits that could be invaluable when you travel.
When you travel with someone else and both of you earn rewards using your credit card. Be aware that you cannot share the costs on the same card and make sure to track your rewards separately.
Overall, the key to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to know your credit card’s rewards program and to ensure you’re using this program in the most effective method possible. Through an array of strategies I’ve outlined, you’ll be able to earn rewards quickly, redeem them for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide variety of travel benefits.