Are you tired of spending an enormous amount on flights? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting way to convert credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles which can be used to get discounted or even complimentary flights for your desired destinations. With a little bit of creativity and some insider information, you’ll be jet-setting for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about swapping credit card sign-up bonus and rewards for airline miles. These miles can then be used to pay for cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards permit you to use miles towards hotel stays or car rental discounts.
How Does it Work?
The key to success in hacking travel is taking advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and to establish a frequent flyer mile program for a specific group of airlines. When you are ready to make a booking take a look at the price. If the price is under $300, it’s best to pay in cash and save your miles to take a more costly flight. When the flights start getting over $500, you’ll need to review the frequent flyer account to see which airline can give you the best price. It all boils down to the number of miles or points 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 hacking travel? The first step is opening an account with a sign-up bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards with a variety of features and benefits. It depends on the type of airline, your spending habits, and what features are essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards that are 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 reach the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to receive the bonus. Every card has different guidelines, so make certain to verify the details. Then, it’s all about racking miles and using them to book your dream vacation!
Ready to jet-set with your goals?
Now that you’ve built up your points balance, you’re ready to redeem them for some nice getaway! Different credit card companies offer different ways to redeem your points, but here are a few 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. In this portal you’ll get access to virtually every airline. 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 using points if you’ve got the balance for it! Sometimes even if you don’t have enough points to cover the total price, you can buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with any credit card.
Are you fed up of paying full price for your flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option of paying using dollars or points? Be careful that if you do not have enough points you cannot combine dollars and points on one flight. If you’re just a few point short United gives you the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue provides passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience with extra space and complimentary snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to United’s that allows customers to book using either JetBlue dollar or points but not both. However, JetBlue offers a distinct feature that allows you to combine your points with your relatives to earn points twice as fast. Just make sure you can establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel buddy Becca You’re probably quite economical and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to reach the required amount to qualify for the credit card bonus. Don’t worry, we’ve been through it and we’re here to share our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able to pay for your rent using credit card, then do it! Just be prepared to be charged a fee, typically about 3 percent. It may be worth it over the long term when the bonus is large enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the minimum spend is to cover an medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills coming up, ask your relatives if you could pay their medical bills and they will pay you back.
Pay off the loan
If you have any loans take into consideration making payments on them with an credit card. Be sure to pay the credit card balance in full so you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Discuss your family with them and look into any large expenses coming up which you could help pay for. Just make sure you are able to trust the person and that they are aware of the reason for doing it.
If you’re celebrating the holidays take into consideration buying all of your gifts with cards from your credit account. So you’ll be able to hit that minimum spend and also be prepared for gift giving. Be sure to avoid spending more than you thinking of.
There are a lot of ways to get the most from the travel credit card and earn miles or points to be used towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are some additional ideas for maximizing your rewards:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, use the travel credit card to book your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as any other travel expenses. Not only will you achieve the minimum spend to qualify for a credit card as well, however, you’ll also earn points or miles to cover those expenses.
Make use of your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday costs
Another method to reach the minimum amount of spending in order to accumulate points by utilising your credit cards to pay daily expenses. This could include things like food, gas or even your phone bill. Make sure you pay off the balance in full each month so you don’t accumulate interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer bonus points or miles for specific types of purchases, like eating out or travelling. Make sure you review the rewards program of your credit card and avail any bonus categories that align with your spending habits.
Consider the possibility of transferring your balance
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a high-interest credit card, think about transferring that balance to an account with a travel credit card that has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfer. This will allow you to pay off your debts without accruing interest. It will also assist you in reaching the minimum spend for the credit card bonus.
Use your points or miles wisely
When you’ve earned a significant amount of points or miles, be sure to use them in a responsible manner. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and compare the value of different redemption options. For instance, using points to purchase a flight directly through the airline may provide you with a greater return than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another option is to get an rewards card that permits you to transfer rewards to different loyalty program. This will let you get a wider selection of choices and more freedom when it comes to 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 the benefit of a wider variety of hotels, flights and other travel benefits which are not accessible through your credit card’s rewards program.
Additionally, try to discover if your credit card offers certain benefits that will save you money on travel-related costs. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that could be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with someone else and both of you get rewards on your credit card. Be aware that you cannot divide the cost with the same card, and be sure to keep track of your rewards separately.
The key to maximizing your travel rewards is to know your credit card’s rewards program and to ensure you’re using your credit card in the most effective method possible. Utilizing all of the methods I’ve described that you can get rewards in a short time, use them for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide assortment of travel-related perks.