Are you fed up of spending an enormous amount on flights? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting way to convert sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles, which you can use 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 fly for no cost in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. These miles can later be used to pay for discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards will also let you redeem miles for hotel stays and car rental discounts.
How Does it Work?
The secret to successful travel hacking is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and to establish a frequent flyer mile program on a select group of airlines. When you are ready to book a flight take a look at the price. If the price is under $300, it’s generally better to pay cash and use your miles to pay to book a higher-priced flight. When the flights start getting above $500, you’ll want to check the frequent flyer account and determine which airline offers you the best deal. All it boils down to is the amount of points or miles in your travel bank for every airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to hacking travel? First step opening the credit card that comes with a sign-up bonus. There are many great credit cards that offer a variety of features and benefits. It all depends on your preferred airline, spending habits and what features are crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards perfect to hack travel
- 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 reach the limit of spending minimum in order to receive the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so be sure to look up this information. Then, it’s all about racking up miles, and using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to set sail with your points?
After you’ve accrued the points balance, it’s time to use them towards sweet getaway! Different credit card companies have different methods of redeeming your rewards, here are a few examples from some of the ones I’ve had experience with:
Escape through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you’re a holder of an Chase cards, you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In this portal you’ll get access to nearly every airline and you can make use of a combination of money and points to book your travel. You can even book completely on points if you have the balance for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t have enough points to cover the full cost, you are able to book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with every credit card.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for your flight tickets? Did you realize that when booking directly through United you can choose the option to pay with either points or dollars? But, be careful that if you don’t have enough points, you aren’t able to combine points and dollars for flights. If you’re a few points away, United also offers the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience with extra legroom and free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to United’s which allows customers to book using either JetBlue either dollars or points, however, not both. But, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that allows you to pool your points together with your family members and earn points twice as quickly. Just make sure you can prove you’re really family before trying to hack into the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me and my travel buddy Becca, you’re probably pretty thrifty and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to reach the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried, we’ve been through it and are here to share some of our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able pay your rent with credit card, go for it! Just be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually about 3%. It may be worth it in the end in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another great way to hit the required spending is to cover the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills due then ask your family members if you can pay their medical bills and they will reimburse you.
Repay a loan
If you’re a borrower, consider repaying them using an credit card. Just make sure you pay off the balance on your credit card completely so that you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask family for help
Discuss your family with them and see if they have any major expenses in the near future that you can help pay for. Just make sure you have confidence in the person you are talking to 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 cards from your credit account. In this way, you’ll meet the minimum spending limit and also be ready for giving gifts. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you were planning to.
There are many ways to make the most of the travel credit card. accrue points or miles to spend on the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few additional suggestions for maximising your rewards
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
If you’re planning a vacation, make use of you travel credit card for booking your hotel, flight, rental car, and other travel costs. In addition, you’ll be able to hit the minimum amount of spending required for your credit card reward as well, but you’ll also be earning points or miles to cover those costs.
Make use of your credit card to pay for all your daily expenditures
Another way to meet the minimum spend to earn rewards is utilising your credit cards to pay for daily expenditures. This can include things like food, gas, and even your phone bill. Be sure to pay the balance off each month in full so you don’t accumulate interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or bonus points for certain types of purchases, like dining or travel. Be sure to review the rewards program of your credit card and avail any bonus categories that match with your spending routines.
Take into consideration the possibility of transferring your balance
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a credit card, think about transferring that balance to an account with a travel credit card that has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfers. This will allow you to pay off your debts without accruing interest, and also help you hit the minimum spend for the credit card bonus.
Utilize your miles and points wisely
If you’ve amassed a large amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize them wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and then compare the benefits of different redemption options. For instance, using your points to purchase a flight directly with the airline could offer better value than using them for an gift card.
Another option is to get an rewards card that permits you to transfer points to other loyalty programs. This will allow you to enjoy a greater variety of choices and more flexibility when redeeming your rewards. For instance, you might be eligible to transfer your reward to the frequent flyer program of an airline or a hotel rewards program. This gives you access to a greater range of flights, hotels, and other travel perks that aren’t available through the rewards program on your credit card.
Also, find out the card’s benefits. any perks that can save you money on travel-related expenses. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection, and other benefits that are invaluable when you travel.
If you’re traveling with a companion and both of you earn rewards with your own credit card. Be aware that you cannot share the costs on the same card, and be sure to track your rewards separately.
The key to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program of your credit card and ensure that you’re making use of this program in the most efficient method possible. Utilizing a combination of the strategies I’ve listed in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards quickly, redeem them for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide assortment of travel-related perks.