Are you fed up of spending an enormous amount on flights? Good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting method to turn credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles, that can then be used to obtain discounted or free flights to your desired destinations. With a bit of creativity and some insider knowledge, you can travel for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about exchanging 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 permit you to use miles for hotel stays and rental car offers.
How Does it Work?
The key to success in hacking travel is taking advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and building out a frequent flyer mile program on a select group of airlines. When you are ready to book a flight consider the cost. If the price is less than $300, it’s usually better to pay in cash and use your miles to pay for a more expensive flight. If your flights begin to climb higher than $500, it’s best to look into those frequent flyer accounts to see which airline can give you the best deal. All it boils down to is the amount of miles or points you have in your travel savings account for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to hacking travel? First step opening an account with a sign-up offer. There are many great credit cards that offer various benefits and features. It is all dependent on the airline, your habits with spending and the features that are most essential 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
Once you’ve been approved for a credit card you’ll need to hit the limit of spending minimum in order to qualify for the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so make sure to check for this information. Then you can begin to rack up miles, and then using them to book 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 getaway! Different credit card providers will have different methods for redeeming your rewards, here are some examples from a few of the providers I’ve worked with:
Escape by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have an Chase cards, you are able to redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within it, you’ll get access to nearly every airline and you can make use of a combination of money and points to pay for your travel. You can even book completely on points if you have enough balance! Sometimes even if you do not possess enough points for the full cost, you are able to purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using every credit card.
Are you tired of paying full price for your flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United, you have the option of paying with either points or dollars? Be careful that if you don’t have enough points, you can’t combine points and dollars on flights. Don’t worry, though, if you’re a few points away, United gives you the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers an enjoyable and comfortable travel experience that includes extra space and complimentary snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines, allowing passengers to book flights using JetBlue either dollars or points however, not both. However, JetBlue offers a distinct feature where you can pool your points together with your family members and earn points twice as quickly. Be sure to establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re anything like me and my travel companion Becca, you’re probably pretty thrifty and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to reach the minimum spend for credit card bonuses. But don’t fret 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 big one! If you’re able pay your rent using credit card, then do it! Make sure you be charged a fee, typically at least 3%. It could be worthwhile in the long run in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another excellent way to meet the spending limit is to pay for an medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses due, ask your family members to pay them for theirs, and they will repay you.
Pay off a loan
If you have any loans take into consideration paying them off with an credit card. Just make sure you pay off the credit card balance in full so you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask family for help
Talk to your family and determine if they’ve got any large 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 know why you’re doing it.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season take into consideration buying all of your gifts with your credit card. So you’ll be able to meet the minimum spending limit and also be ready for giving gifts. Be sure to avoid spending more than you already contemplating to.
There are a lot of ways to make the most out of your travel credit card. accumulate miles or points that you can be used towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few more ways to maximize your rewards
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, make use of your travel credit card for booking your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as any other travel expenses. In addition, you’ll be able to meet the required amount for your credit card bonus and earn points, but you’ll also be earning points or miles on those expenses.
Utilize your credit card to pay for all your daily costs
Another way to meet the minimum spend to earn rewards is by making use of your credit card for everyday expenses. This could include things like food, gas or even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay the balance off in full every month to ensure you don’t pay interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide bonus points or miles for certain types of purchases, including dining or travel. Check out your rewards program on your credit card and take advantage of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending habits.
Take into consideration the possibility of transferring your balance
If you have existing debt on a credit card, consider transferring the balance to an account with a travel credit card that has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfers. This will let you pay off your debt without accruing interest, and also aid in achieving the minimum spend for the credit card’s bonus.
Make use of your miles or points prudently
If you’ve amassed a large amount of points or miles make sure you use them wisely. Examine the rewards program of 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 the purchase of a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer your reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will let you have a wider range of options and greater freedom when it comes to you want to redeem your rewards. For example, you may be able to transfer your reward to the frequent flyer program of an airline or hotel rewards program. This gives you access to a greater variety of hotels, flights and other travel benefits that may not be accessible through your credit card’s rewards program.
Additionally, try to discover whether your credit card has some perks that could help you save money on travel expenses. Some cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that can be invaluable when you travel.
Finally, when you’re traveling with someone else each of you will be able to earn rewards using your own credit card. Make sure you don’t share the costs on the same card. Also, make sure you keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do to reaping the maximum benefits from your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program of your credit card and ensure that you’re making use of this program in the most efficient way possible. Utilizing an array of strategies I’ve outlined that you can get rewards in a short time, use them for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad range of travel perks.