Are you tired of spending an enormous amount on flights? Good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s a fun way to convert credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles, that can then be used to score discounted or free flights to your desired destinations. With a little imagination and a little bit of insider know-how, you’ll fly for no cost within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of swapping credit card sign-up bonus and rewards for airline miles. These miles can later be used to pay for discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards will also permit you to use miles for hotel stays and car rental deals.
How Does it Work?
The secret to successful travel hacking is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and establishing a frequent flyer mile program with a limited number of airlines. When you are ready to make a booking consider the cost. If the price is less than $300, it’s usually better to pay in cash and use your miles to pay to take a more costly flight. If your flights begin to climb higher than $500, it’s best to review those frequent flyer accounts and see which airline can give you the most value. It all boils down to 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 of travel hacking? The first step is opening a credit card with a sign-up bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that provide a variety of features and benefits. It depends on the type of airline, your habits with spending and the features that are most crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards perfect 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 have to meet the minimum spend limit in order to qualify for the bonus. Each card has its own guidelines, so make sure to check for the details. From there, it’s all about racking miles and using them to plan your dream vacation!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your ideas?
Once you’ve accumulated your points balance, it’s time to redeem them for some delicious vacation! Different credit card companies will have different methods of redeeming your points, but here are some examples from some of the ones I’ve had experience with:
Take a trip through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you own an Chase credit card, then you are able to redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. In this portal you’ll have access to almost every airline. You can make use of a combination of the points as well as cash in order to book your next trip. You can even book entirely using points if you’ve got the balance for it! Sometimes even if you don’t possess enough points for the full 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 fed up of paying full price for your flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United, you have the option of paying with dollars or points? Butbe aware in case you do not have enough points you cannot combine dollars and points on one flight. No worries though, if you’re only a couple of points short, United also offers the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience , with more space and complimentary snacks. Plus, their booking process is like United’s, allowing you to book with either JetBlue either dollars or points, but not both. However, JetBlue has a unique feature that lets you join your points with family members to accrue points twice as quickly. Be sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel companion Becca I’m sure you’re pretty economical and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum spend for the credit card bonus. But don’t fret, we’ve been through it and are here to share our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able to pay your rent using credit card, go for it! Just be prepared to be charged a fee, typically around 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 pay for a medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses coming up then ask your relatives if you could pay their medical bills and they’ll reimburse you.
Pay off the loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan, consider paying them off with an credit card. Be sure to pay off the credit card balance in full so you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Ask your family members to see if they have any big expenses coming up which you could help pay for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to are able to trust the person and that they understand why you’re taking the initiative.
If it’s the holiday season, consider buying all of your gifts with your credit card. In this way, you’ll reach the minimum spending requirement and also be ready for giving gifts. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you were contemplating to.
There are many ways to get the most of using your credit or debit card for travel. You can earn miles or points to be used towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are some additional ways to maximize the rewards you earn:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, make use of you travel credit card for booking your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as other travel costs. Not only will you be able to hit the minimum amount of spending required to earn your credit card reward as well, but you’ll also be earning points or miles to cover the costs.
Utilize your credit card to pay for all your daily costs
Another way to hit the minimum amount of spending and earn points is by making use of your credit card for every day expenditures. This could be items like groceries, gas, and even your phone bill. Be sure to pay off the balance in full each month so you don’t pay interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer bonus points or miles on certain kinds of purchases, including eating out or travelling. Check out your rewards program on 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 outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, consider transferring 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 the debt without accruing interest, and also assist you in reaching the minimum spending requirement for the credit card’s bonus.
Utilize your miles and points wisely
When you’ve earned a significant amount of points or miles Make sure to utilize them in a responsible manner. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and compare the value of different redemption options. For example you can use your points to book a flight directly through the airline may offer better value than using them to purchase an gift card.
Another suggestion is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer rewards to different loyalty program. This will allow you to enjoy a greater variety of options and greater freedom when it comes to you want to redeem your rewards. For instance, you might be eligible to transfer your rewards to the frequent flyer program of an airline or Hotel rewards programme. This will give an access greater range of flights, hotels as well as other travel perks that aren’t accessible through the rewards program on your credit card.
In addition, you should discover if your credit card offers certain benefits that will reduce your travel costs. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection and other benefits that can be invaluable when you travel.
Finally, when you’re traveling with someone else, both of you can earn rewards using your own credit card. Make sure you don’t divide the cost with the same card and make sure to track your rewards separately.
The key to maximizing your travel rewards is to know your credit card’s rewards program and make sure you’re using your credit card in the most efficient method possible. Utilizing all of the methods I’ve described 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.