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 problems. It’s an exciting method to convert credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into miles which can be used to get discounted or even complimentary flights for your desired destinations. With a little creativity and some insider information, you’ll fly for no cost in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. These miles can then be used to pay for discounted or even free flights. Some credit cards also permit you to use miles for hotel stays and car rental deals.
How Does it Work?
The secret to success in travel hacking is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and building out frequent flyer miles with a limited number of airlines. When it’s time to book a flight, evaluate the cost. If the cost is less than $300, it’s usually better to pay cash and save your miles for a more expensive flight. If the prices start to rise over $500, you’ll need to look into the frequent flyer account to see which airline can give you the best price. All it boils down to is the number of points or miles you have in your travel savings account for each airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets of travel hacking? The first step is to open the credit card that comes with a sign-up bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that offer a variety of advantages and features. It is all dependent on the airline, your spending habits, and what features are essential 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
Once you’ve been approved for a credit card you’ll need to hit the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to get the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so make certain to verify this information. From there it’s all about building up miles, and using them to plan your dream trip!
Are you ready to set sail with your ideas?
Once you’ve accumulated your points balance, it’s time to redeem them for some sweet vacation! Different credit card companies will offer different ways to redeem your points. Here are some examples from a few of the ones I have experience with:
Getaway with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have an Chase card, you are able to redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within the portal, you’ll get access to nearly every airline. You can make use of a combination of points and cash to pay for your travel. You can book your flight entirely on points if you have the balance for it! Sometimes even if you do not possess enough points for the total cost, you are able to book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using the credit card of your choice.
Are you tired of paying full price for your flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United, you have the option of paying with either points or dollars? Butbe aware, if you don’t have enough points you cannot combine dollars and points on the same flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re a few points short, United gives you the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue provides passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience with extra legroom and free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is like United’s, allowing customers to book using either JetBlue dollar or points, but not both. However, JetBlue offers a distinct feature that lets you pool your points together with your relatives to earn points twice as quickly. Be sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me or my travel buddy Becca I’m sure you’re pretty thrifty and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to hit the required amount to qualify for a credit card bonus. But don’t fret, we’ve been through it and we’re here to share our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able to pay your rent using a credit card, do it! Just be prepared to be charged a fee, typically about 3%. It might be worth it over the long term in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another great way to hit the minimum spend is to cover a medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills in the near future, ask your family members if you can pay their medical bills and they can reimburse you.
Pay off the loan
If you’re a borrower take into consideration repaying them using an credit card. Be sure to pay the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t end up with additional debt.
Ask your family members for help
Discuss your family with them and determine if they’ve got any large expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to have confidence in the person you are talking to and they are aware of the reason for taking the initiative.
If you’re celebrating the holidays you should consider purchasing all of your gifts with the credit card you have. So you’ll be able to hit that minimum spend and also be prepared for giving gifts. Make sure that you’re not paying more than you already contemplating to.
There are plenty of ways to make the most of using your credit or debit card for travel and accumulate miles or points that you can be used towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few more suggestions for maximising your rewards:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
When you’re planning your next vacation, make use of the travel credit card to pay for your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as any other travel-related expenses. In addition, you’ll be able to hit the minimum amount of spending required for your credit card bonus, however, you’ll also earn points or miles on those expenses.
Utilize your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday costs
Another way to meet the minimum spend and earn points is making use of your credit card for daily expenditures. This can include things like food, gas, and even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay off the balance in full every month to ensure you don’t accumulate interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or bonus points for certain types of purchases, such as eating out or travelling. Be sure to review your credit card’s rewards program and make use of any bonus categories that align with your spending routines.
Think about a balance transfer
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a credit card, think about transferring that balance to the travel credit card which has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfer. This will enable you to pay off your debts without accruing interest, and also help you hit the minimum spend for the credit card bonus.
Use your points or miles prudently
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points make sure you use the points or miles wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card, and evaluate the benefits of different redemption options. For example you can use points to book a flight directly with the airline might provide you with a greater value than using them for an gift card.
Another suggestion is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer your rewards to different loyalty program. This will let you get a wider selection of choices and more flexibility when you want to redeem your rewards. For example, you may be able to transfer your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a reward program for hotels. This gives you access to a larger range of flights, hotels, and other travel perks that aren’t offered through your credit card’s rewards program.
Additionally, try to determine if your credit card offers some perks that could reduce your travel expenses. Many cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that could be invaluable when you travel.
If you’re traveling with a companion and both of you get rewards on your credit card. Make sure you don’t share the costs on the same card and make sure to track the rewards you earn separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do to making the most of your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program on your credit card and to ensure you’re making use of this program in the most effective way possible. Utilizing all of the methods I’ve described that you can earn rewards quickly, redeem rewards for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide assortment of travel-related perks.