Are you tired of paying an enormous amount on flights? Good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting way to convert credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles which you can use to obtain discounted or cheap flights from your ideal destinations. With a little bit of creativity and some insider knowledge, you can fly for no cost in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of trading credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. These miles can later be used to pay for discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards will also allow you to 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 building out a frequent flyer mile program with a limited number of airlines. When it’s time to book a flight consider the cost. If the flight is under $300, it’s generally better to pay in cash and save your miles for a more expensive flight. If your flights begin to climb over $500, you’ll need to check the frequent flyer account to find out which airline will give you the most value. It all comes down to the number of points or miles you have you have in your travel savings account for each airline.
Begin by Getting Started 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 offer. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards with a variety of features and benefits. It depends on the type of airline, spending habits and the features that are most important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards that are great to hack travel
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
After you’ve been accepted for a credit card you’ll need to hit the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to receive the bonus. Every card has different rules, so be certain to verify the details. Then, it’s all about racking up miles and using them to plan your dream trip!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your points?
After you’ve accrued your points amount, it’s time to use them towards nice vacation! Different credit card companies have different methods for redeeming your points, but here are some examples from a few of the providers I have experience with:
Escape by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own an Chase card, you are able to use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within 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 travel. You can even book entirely on points if you have the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you don’t have enough points to cover the total price, you can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using every credit card.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United You have the option of paying with either points or dollars? Butbe aware that if you do not have enough points you can’t combine points and dollars on the same flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re just a few points short, United provides the option of buying additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue offers a comfortable and enjoyable travel experience that includes extra space and complimentary snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to United’s that allows you to book with either JetBlue dollar or points, however, not both. The difference is that JetBlue offers a distinct feature where you can pool your points together with your family members and earn points twice as fast. 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 and my travel buddy Becca I’m sure you’re pretty thrifty and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to reach the minimum spend for credit card bonuses. Don’t worry as we’ve done it and are here to share some of our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able pay your rent with credit card, go for it! Be prepared to pay a fee, usually around 3 percent. It might be worth it in the long run if the bonus is high enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another great way to hit the required spending is to cover a medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills coming up then ask your family members to pay for theirs and they will repay you.
Make a payment to pay off the loan
If you have any loans take into consideration making payments on them with an credit card. Make sure to pay off the balance on your credit card in full so you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask family for help
Discuss your family with them and look into any large expenses coming up which you could help pay for. Make sure that you are able to trust the person and they understand why you’re doing it.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season take into consideration buying all your gifts using the credit card you have. So you’ll be able to hit that minimum spend and be ready for giving gifts. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you were contemplating to.
There are a lot of ways to get the most from using your credit or debit card for travel and accumulate miles or points that you can be used towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few more suggestions for maximising your rewards
Make travel reservations using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, make use of you travel credit card to pay for your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as other travel costs. Not only will you be able to meet the minimum spend to earn your credit card reward, but you’ll also earn points or miles for those costs.
Use your credit card to pay for your everyday expenses
Another way to hit the minimum spend in order to accumulate points by using your credit card for every day costs. This could include items like groceries, gas and even your telephone bill. Just make sure to pay the balance off in full every month to ensure you don’t accrue interest charges.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or points in exchange for certain types of purchases, such as dining or travel. Check out the rewards program of your credit card and take advantage of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending habits.
Consider a balance transfer
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a high-interest credit card, think about transferring the balance to a travel credit card with an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will let you pay off the debt without accruing interest and simultaneously aid in achieving the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus.
Utilize your miles and points wisely
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of points or miles make sure you use them wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and then compare the worth of various redemption options. For instance you can use your points to purchase a flight directly with the airline could provide you with a greater value than using them to purchase the purchase of a gift card.
Another option is to get rewards cards that allow you to transfer your points to other loyalty programs. This will let you enjoy a greater variety of choices and more freedom when it comes to redeeming your rewards. For instance, you might be capable of transferring your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or Hotel rewards programme. This will give you access to a greater variety of hotels, flights and other travel benefits that may not be available through the rewards program on your credit card.
Also, discover if your credit card offers some perks that could reduce your travel costs. Many cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that can be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a friend, both of you can earn rewards using your credit card. Just remember that you can’t split the cost on the same card. Also, make sure you keep track of your rewards separately.
Overall, the key to making the most of your rewards for travel is to be aware of your credit card’s rewards program and ensure that you’re using your credit card in the most effective method. Through a combination of the strategies I’ve outlined, you’ll be able to earn rewards quickly, redeem them for travel experiences that are worth it and take advantage of a broad range of travel perks.