Are you tired of spending an enormous amount on flights? Good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s a fun way to convert credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles that can then be used to get discounted or even complimentary flights for your desired destinations. With a little imagination and some 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 pay for discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards will also allow you to redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or rental car deals.
How Does it Work?
The secret to success in hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and establishing a frequent flyer mile program with a limited number of airlines. When you are ready to make a booking, evaluate the cost. If the flight is under $300, it’s generally better to pay cash and save your miles to book a higher-priced flight. If your flights begin to climb higher than $500, it’s best to check your frequent flyer accounts and see which airline can give you the most value. It all boils down to the amount of points or miles in your travel bank for each airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets of travel hacking? First step opening an account with a sign-up offer. There are many great credit cards that provide many advantages and features. It is all dependent on the airline, your habits with spending and what features are essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit card options that can be perfect 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 reach the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to qualify for the bonus. Every card has different rules, so make certain to verify this information. Then you can begin to rack up miles, and using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your ideas?
Now that you’ve built up the points amount, it’s time to use them towards delicious vacation! Different credit card companies will have different methods for redeeming your points, but here are a few examples from some of the providers I’ve had experience with:
Take a trip with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of an Chase credit card, then you are able to redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. In this portal you’ll have access to almost every airline, and you can use a combination of the points as well as cash in order to pay for your next trip. You can even book completely on points if you have enough balance! Sometimes, even if you don’t have enough points to cover the entire cost, you still can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with any credit card.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for your flight tickets? Did you realize that when booking directly through United You have the option of paying using dollars or points? Butbe aware in case you don’t have enough points, you can’t combine dollars and points on the same flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re only a couple of point short United also offers the option of buying additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience with extra legroom as well as free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is like United’s, allowing passengers to book flights using JetBlue either dollars or points, but not both. But, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature where you can pool your points together with your family members and earn points twice as fast. Just make sure you can verify that you are a family member before trying to hack into the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re anything like me and my travel buddy Becca I’m sure you’re pretty frugal and it can be difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum amount required to earn credit card bonuses. Don’t worry as we’ve done it and we’re here to share our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able pay your rent using a credit card, do it! Make sure you pay a cost, which is usually at least 3%. It could be worthwhile in the long run when the bonus is large enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another excellent way to meet the required spending is to pay for a medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills in the near future then ask your family members to pay for theirs and they will pay you back.
Make a payment to pay off a loan
If you have any loans take into consideration repaying them using an credit card. Be sure to pay off the balance on your credit card in full , so that you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Discuss your family with them and determine if they’ve got any major expenses in the near future which you could help pay for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to have confidence in the person you are talking to and they know why you’re taking the initiative.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season, consider buying all of your gifts with your credit card. This way you can hit that minimum spend and also be prepared for gift giving. Be sure to avoid spending more than you were planning to.
There are many methods to get the most out of your travel credit card. accumulate miles or points that you can use 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 vacation, make use of you travel credit card to book your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as other travel costs. You’ll not only achieve the minimum spend to qualify for a credit card reward and earn points, but you’ll also be earning points or miles for these expenses.
Utilize your credit card to pay for everyday costs
Another way to meet the minimum spending requirement in order to accumulate points utilising your credit cards to pay daily expenses. This could be items like groceries, gas, and even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay the balance off each month in full so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Make the most of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or bonus points on certain kinds of purchases, like dining or travel. Check out your rewards program on your credit card and avail any bonus categories that align with your spending routines.
Consider a balance transfer
If you’re in the middle of a outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer that balance to the travel credit card which has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will allow you to pay off your debts without accruing interest and simultaneously assist you in reaching the minimum spending requirement for the credit card bonus.
Use your points or miles prudently
When you’ve earned a significant amount of miles or points, be sure to use the points or miles wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and then compare the value of different redemption options. For example, using your points to purchase a flight directly with the airline might offer better return than using them for a gift card.
Another option is to get an rewards card that permits you to transfer your reward points into other loyalty programmes. This allows you to enjoy a greater variety of choices and more flexibility when redeeming your rewards. For example, you may be capable of transferring your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a hotel rewards program. This gives you access to a larger selection of hotels, flights and other travel benefits that aren’t accessible through your credit card’s rewards program.
Also, discover if your credit card offers some perks that could help you save money on travel costs. Some cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection, and other benefits that are very beneficial when traveling.
If you’re traveling with a companion and both of you get rewards on your credit card. Just remember that you can’t divide the cost with the same card, and be 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 travel rewards is to know the rewards program of your credit card and to ensure you’re using this program in the most efficient method possible. By using all of the methods I’ve described, you’ll be able to earn rewards fast, exchange rewards for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide assortment of travel-related perks.