Are you tired of paying an enormous amount on flights? Well, good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting way to turn credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles that can then be used to get discounted or even free flights to your ideal destinations. With a bit of imagination and a little bit of insider knowledge, you can fly for no cost within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about trading credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can later be used to pay for discount or no-cost flights. Some credit cards also let you redeem miles for hotel stays and car rental offers.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for 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 make a booking consider the cost. If the flight is under $300, it’s usually better to pay in cash and save your miles to book a higher-priced flight. If the prices start to rise above $500, you’ll want to look into the frequent flyer account and see which airline can give you the best price. It all comes down to the number of miles or points in your travel bank for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to travel hacking? Your first task is opening the credit card that comes with a sign-up bonus. There are many great credit cards with various features and benefits. It all depends on your preferred airline, your habits with spending and what features are important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards excellent for travel hacking:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
After you’ve been accepted for a credit or debit card, you’ll have to meet the minimum spend limit in order to get the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so be sure to look up the details. Then, it’s all about racking up miles and using them to plan your dream trip!
Ready to jet-set with your points?
Now that you’ve built up the points amount, it’s time to use them towards sweet vacation! Different credit card companies will offer different ways to redeem your points. Here are some examples from a few of the providers I’ve worked with:
Take a trip through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you own a Chase card, you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In it, you’ll have access to almost every airline and you can use a combination of points and cash to book your next trip. You can book your flight entirely with points if you’ve the balance for it! Sometimes even if you don’t have enough points to cover the full price, you can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with the credit card of your choice.
Are you tired of paying full price for your flight tickets? Did you not know that when you book directly through United You have the option of paying with either points or dollars? Be careful in case you do not have enough points you can’t combine points and dollars on one flight. No worries though, if you’re just a few points away, United provides the option to purchase additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience , with more legroom and free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to that of United Airlines that allows you to book with either JetBlue points or dollars however, not both. However, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that lets you join your points with your family members and earn points twice as quickly. Make sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack into the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel buddy Becca, you’re probably pretty frugal and it can be difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to hit the required amount to qualify for a credit card bonus. But don’t fret because we’ve been there 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 pay your rent with credit card, then do it! Just be prepared to be charged a fee, typically at least 3%. It may be worth it in the long run in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another way to reach the spending limit is to pay for the medical bills. If you do not have any medical expenses in the near future then ask your family members if you can pay for theirs and they’ll repay you.
Pay off a loan
If you have any loans take into consideration paying them off with the credit card you have. Just make sure you pay off the balance on your credit card in full , so that you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask family for help
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 trust the person and they know why you’re taking the initiative.
If you’re celebrating the holidays, consider buying all your gifts with the credit card you have. So you’ll be able to hit that minimum spend and also be ready for gift giving. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you were thinking of.
There are many methods to get the most of your travel credit card and accrue points or miles to spend on the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few more ideas for maximizing your rewards
Make travel reservations using your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, use your travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as any other travel expenses. Not only will you achieve the required amount to earn your credit card bonus, but you’ll also be earning points or miles to cover the costs.
Use your credit card to pay for your everyday expenditures
Another method to reach the minimum amount of spending in order to accumulate points using your credit card for everyday costs. This could include things like food, gas and even your telephone bill. Make sure you pay the balance off each month in full so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Benefit from bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer bonus points or miles for specific types of purchases, such as eating out or traveling. Make sure you review the rewards program of your credit card and take advantage of any bonus categories that match with your spending habits.
Take into consideration a balance transfer
If you have existing outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer the balance to an account with a travel credit card that has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfer. This will enable you to pay off your debt without accruing interest and simultaneously assist you in reaching 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, be sure to use them in a responsible manner. Review the rewards program for your credit card and compare the benefits of different redemption options. For example, using points to purchase a flight directly with the airline could give you a better value than using them to purchase an gift card.
Another tip is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer points to other loyalty programs. This will let you have a wider range of choices and more freedom when it comes to you want to redeem your rewards. For instance, you might be able to transfer your rewards to the frequent flyer program of an airline or Hotel rewards programme. This gives you access to a greater selection of hotels, flights, and other travel perks that may not be available through your credit card’s rewards program.
In addition, you should find out if your credit card offers any perks that can save you money on travel-related 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 using your credit card. Be aware that you cannot share the costs on 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 travel rewards is to know the rewards program on your credit card and ensure that you’re using it in the most effective method possible. Utilizing all of the strategies I’ve listed in this article, you’ll be able get rewards in a short time, use them for travel experiences that are worth it and take advantage of a broad range of travel perks.