Are you tired of spending an enormous amount on flights? Well, good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting way to convert credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles that can then be used to score discounted or complimentary flights for your desired destinations. With a little imagination and some knowledge, you can fly for no cost within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can then be used to pay for cheap or free flight tickets. Some credit cards also allow you to redeem miles for hotel stays and car rental deals.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for successful travel hacking is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and to establish a frequent flyer mile program for a specific group of airlines. When it comes time to make a booking, evaluate the cost. If the cost is less than $300, it’s generally better to pay in cash and save your miles to book a higher-priced flight. If your flights begin to climb higher than $500, it’s best to look into the frequent flyer account and determine which airline offers you the best price. It all comes down to the amount of points or miles you have in your travel account for every airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets of travel hacking? The first step is to open a credit card with a sign-up bonus. There are many great credit cards with various features and benefits. It all depends on your preferred airline, your habits with spending and the features that are most 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
If you’ve been approved for a credit card you’ll need to hit the minimum spend limit in order to receive the bonus. Every card has different rules, so make sure to check for this information. Then it’s all about building up miles and using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your ideas?
Once you’ve accumulated the points balance, it’s time to cash them in for some nice vacation! Different credit card companies will offer different ways to redeem your rewards, here are a few examples from some of the companies I have experience with:
Getaway with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own an Chase credit card, then you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through it, you’ll have access to nearly every airline. You can use a combination of points and cash to pay for your next trip. You can even book entirely using points if you’ve got the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you do not possess enough points for the total cost, you still can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with every credit card.
Are you fed up 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? But, be careful in case you do not have enough points you can’t combine dollars and points for one flight. No worries though, if you’re a few point short United also offers the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience with extra space and complimentary snacks. Additionally, their booking process is like United’s which allows customers to book using either JetBlue points or dollars however, not both. However, JetBlue has a unique feature that allows you to join your points 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.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel buddy Becca You’re probably quite thrifty and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to reach the required amount to qualify for credit card bonuses. But don’t fret, we’ve been through it and are here to share our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able to pay your rent using a credit card, do it! Just be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually around 3%. It may be worth it in the long run when the bonus is large enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the required spending 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 repay you.
Pay off a loan
If you have any loans you owe, think about repaying them using an credit card. Just make sure you pay off the balance on your credit card in full , so that you don’t end up with additional debt.
Ask family for help
Talk to your family and look into any large expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Just make sure you trust the person and they know why you’re doing it.
If it’s the holiday season you should consider purchasing all your gifts using the credit card you have. This way you can meet the minimum spending limit and also be ready to give gifts. Make sure that you’re not paying more than you contemplating to.
There are plenty of ways to get the most of the travel credit card. You can accrue points or miles to spend on flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few additional suggestions for maximising your rewards
Book travel expenses with your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, make use of you travel credit card to book your hotel, flight, rental car, and other travel costs. You’ll not only achieve the required amount for your credit card bonus as well, however, you’ll also earn points or miles for these expenditures.
Make use of your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday expenses
Another way to hit the minimum spend and earn points is by utilising your credit cards for daily expenditures. This could include items like groceries, gas or even your phone bill. Make sure you pay off the balance in full every month to ensure you don’t accrue interest charges.
Make the most of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or points in exchange for specific types of purchases, like eating out or travelling. Check out the rewards program of your credit card and avail any bonus categories that align with your spending routines.
Consider the possibility of transferring your balance
If you’re in the middle of a outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, think about transferring that balance to the travel credit card which has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfer. This will let you pay off your debt without accruing interest, and also aid in achieving the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus.
Utilize your miles and points prudently
If you’ve amassed a large amount of points or miles Make sure to utilize them in a responsible manner. Check out the rewards program on your credit card, and evaluate the worth of various redemption options. For example you can use your points to purchase a flight directly through the airline may give you a better return than using them for a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer your points to other loyalty programs. This allows you to get a wider selection of choices and more freedom when it comes to making use of your rewards. For example, you may be eligible to transfer your rewards to an airline’s frequent flyer program or hotel rewards program. This will give you access to a wider selection of hotels, flights, and other travel perks which are not available through the rewards program of your credit card.
Also, determine if your credit card offers any perks that can 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 can be very beneficial when traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a companion, both of you can get rewards on your credit card. Be aware that you cannot divide the cost with the same card and make sure to track your rewards in a separate manner.
The key to maximizing your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program of your credit card and ensure that you’re using your credit card in the most effective method possible. Through an array of strategies I’ve outlined that you can earn rewards quickly, redeem them for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad assortment of travel-related perks.