Are you tired of spending an enormous amount on flights? Good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting method to convert bonus and sign-up incentives into miles which can be used to get discounted or even cheap flights from your dream destinations. With a bit of imagination and a little bit of insider information, you’ll fly for no cost in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about swapping credit card sign-up bonus as well as incentives to earn airline miles. The miles can be used to buy cheap or free flight tickets. Some credit cards also allow you to redeem miles for hotel stays and rental car deals.
How Does it Work?
The key to success in travel hacking is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and to establish frequent flyer miles for a specific group of airlines. When you are ready to make a booking, evaluate the cost. If the flight is less than $300, it’s best to pay in cash and use your miles to pay to book a higher-priced flight. If the prices start to rise above $500, you’ll want to check those frequent flyer accounts to find out which airline will give you the most value. All it boils down to is the amount of miles or points you have in your travel savings account for each airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets of travel hacking? First step to open a credit card with a sign-up offer. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards with a variety of advantages and features. It depends on the type of airline, spending habits and what features are important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit card options that can be perfect to use for hacking 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 get the bonus. Every card has different rules, so be sure to check for the details. 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 balance, you’re ready to cash them in for some sweet travel! Different credit card providers will offer different ways to redeem your rewards, here are some examples from some of the ones I have experience with:
Escape with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have an Chase credit card, then you are able to use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through the portal, you’ll have access to almost every airline, and you can use a combination of money and points to book your next trip. You can even book entirely on points if you have enough balance! Sometimes, even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for full cost, you still can buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using the credit card of your choice.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for your flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option of paying with either points or dollars? Butbe aware, if you do not have enough points you aren’t able to combine points and dollars on flights. Don’t worry, though, if you’re only a couple of point short United provides the option of buying additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue offers passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience , with more legroom as well as free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines which allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue either dollars or points, however, not both. But, JetBlue has a unique feature that lets you combine your points with your family members and earn points twice as quickly. Be sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re like me or my travel buddy Becca, you’re probably pretty thrifty and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum spend for the credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried as we’ve done it and we’re here to share some of our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able to pay your rent using credit card, then do it! Be prepared to be charged a fee, typically about 3 percent. 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 way to reach the minimum spend is to cover a medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses coming up Ask your family members if you can pay them for theirs, and they can reimburse you.
Make a payment to pay off a loan
If you’re a borrower take into consideration repaying them using the credit card you have. Just make sure you pay the credit card balance completely so that you don’t accrue additional debt.
Ask your family members for help
Ask your family members to see if they have any big expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Make sure that you are able to are able to trust the person and that they know why you’re doing this.
If it’s the holiday season you should consider purchasing all of your gifts with your credit card. In this way, you’ll meet the minimum spending limit and also be prepared for giving gifts. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you were already thinking of.
There are plenty of methods to get the most of the travel credit card. You can accumulate miles or points that you can use towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few additional ideas for maximizing your rewards
Book travel expenses with your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, use your travel credit card for booking your flight, hotel, rental car, and any other travel-related expenses. You’ll not only be able to meet the minimum spend for your credit card reward, however, you’ll also earn points or miles to cover those expenses.
Use your credit card for all your daily expenses
Another way to hit the minimum amount of spending and earn points is using your credit card for every day expenses. This can include things like gas, groceries or even your phone bill. Be 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 bonus points or miles for specific types of purchases, such as dining or travel. Be sure to review your rewards program on your credit card and take advantage of any bonus categories that match with your spending routines.
Consider the possibility of transferring your balance
If you’re in the middle of a 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 allow you to 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
When you’ve earned a significant amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize them in a responsible manner. Review the rewards program for your credit card and then compare the worth of various redemption options. For instance, using your points to book a ticket directly with the airline could give you a better value than using them to purchase an gift card.
Another suggestion is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will let you enjoy a greater variety of choices and more flexibility in making use of your rewards. For instance, you might be able to transfer your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a hotel rewards program. This can give an access wider range of flights, hotels as well as other travel perks that aren’t accessible through the rewards program of your credit card.
Additionally, try to find out the card’s benefits. some perks that could 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 could be very beneficial when traveling.
When you travel with a friend and both of you get rewards on your credit card. Be aware that you cannot split the cost on the same card, and be sure you keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
The key to maximizing your travel rewards is to know your credit card’s rewards program and make sure you’re making use of it in the most effective way possible. Through an array of methods I’ve described that you can get rewards in a short time, use them for travel experiences that are worth it, and enjoy a wide range of travel perks.