Are you fed up of spending an enormous amount on flights? Well, good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting method to convert credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles, which can be used to score discounted or free flights to your desired destinations. With a bit of imagination and a little bit of insider know-how, you’ll be jet-setting for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about trading credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. These miles can later be used to purchase discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards let you redeem miles for hotel stays and car rental deals.
How Does it Work?
The secret to success in hacking travel is taking advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and building out a frequent flyer mile program for a specific group of airlines. When it comes time to make a booking consider the cost. If the price is under $300, it’s usually better to pay cash and save your miles for a more expensive 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. All it boils down to is 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 interested in learning the secrets to travel hacking? Your first task is to open the credit card that comes that comes with a welcome bonus. There are many great credit cards that offer many benefits and features. It is all dependent on the airline, your spending habits, and the features that are most crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards that are great 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 need to reach the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to get the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so make sure to check for this information. Then it’s all about building miles and using them to book your dream trip!
Ready to jet-set with your ideas?
Now that you’ve built up the points balance, it’s time to use them towards nice travel! Different credit card companies have different methods of redeeming your rewards, here are some examples from some of the providers I’ve had experience with:
Take a trip through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you own an Chase cards, you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within the portal, you’ll get access to virtually every airline. You can use a combination of points and cash to book your next trip. You can even book completely with points if you’ve the balance for it! Sometimes even if you don’t possess enough points for the total price, you can buy flights with 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 flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United, you have the option to pay with dollars or points? Be careful, if you don’t have enough points, you cannot combine dollars and points for one flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re a few points short, United provides the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue provides an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience with extra legroom and free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to United’s that allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue points or dollars, but not both. The difference is that JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that allows you to join your points with your relatives to earn points twice as quickly. Just make sure you can establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack into the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re anything like me and my travel companion Becca, you’re probably pretty frugal and it can be difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to reach the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus. 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 using credit card, then do it! Just be prepared to pay a fee, usually at least 3%. It could be worthwhile in the end when the bonus is large enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the spending limit is to cover an medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills coming up then ask your relatives if you could pay their medical bills and they’ll repay you.
Make a payment to pay off a loan
If you have any loans, consider making payments on them with the credit card you have. Be sure to pay off the balance on your credit card in full , so that you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Talk to your family and see if they have any large expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Just make sure you are able to trust the person and that they know why you’re doing it.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season take into consideration buying all your gifts with your credit card. So you’ll be able to hit that minimum spend and be ready to give gifts. Be sure to avoid spending more than you were contemplating to.
There are a lot of methods to get the most of your travel credit card. accrue points or miles to spend on the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are some additional suggestions for maximising the rewards you earn:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, make use of your travel credit card to book your flight, hotel, rental car, and other travel costs. You’ll not only achieve the minimum spend to qualify for a credit card reward and earn points, however, you’ll also earn points or miles to cover those expenses.
Utilize your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday expenditures
Another method to reach the minimum spending requirement to earn rewards is by utilising your credit cards to pay every day expenses. This can include things like gas, groceries and even your telephone bill. Make sure you pay off the balance in full each month so you don’t accumulate interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer bonus points or miles for specific types of purchases, such as eating out or travelling. Be sure to review the rewards program of your credit card and take advantage of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending habits.
Think about a balance transfer
If you are currently in debt on a high-interest credit card, consider transferring that balance onto a travel credit card with a 0% introductory APR for balance transfer. This will allow you to pay off the debt without accruing interest. It will also assist you in reaching the minimum spending requirement for the credit card’s bonus.
Utilize your miles and points wisely
If you’ve amassed a large amount of points or miles Make sure to utilize the points or miles wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and compare the benefits of different redemption options. For instance, using points to purchase a flight directly with the airline might provide you with a greater value than using them for a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer rewards to different loyalty program. This will allow you to enjoy a greater variety of options and greater flexibility when you want to redeem your rewards. For example, you may be capable of transferring your reward to an airline’s frequent flyer program or reward program for hotels. This can give you access to a larger variety of hotels, flights, and other travel perks which are not offered through the rewards program of your credit card.
Also, determine if your credit card offers some perks that could help you save money on travel expenses. Many cards offer 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 a companion and both of you earn rewards using your credit card. Make sure you don’t share the costs on the same card and 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 your credit card’s rewards program and ensure that you’re using it in the most effective method possible. Utilizing a combination of the methods I’ve described in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards quickly, redeem them for travel experiences that are worth it, and enjoy a wide assortment of travel-related perks.