Are you fed up of spending an enormous amount on flights? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking is the answer to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting method to turn credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into miles which can be used to score discounted or complimentary flights for your desired destinations. With a little 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 and incentives for airline miles. These miles can then be used to pay for discounted or even free flights. Some credit cards also allow you to redeem miles towards hotel stays or car rental discounts.
How Does it Work?
The key to success in travel hacking is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and building out a frequent flyer mile program for a specific group of airlines. When it’s time to book a flight, evaluate the cost. If the flight is under $300, it’s generally better to pay cash and save your miles to take a more costly flight. When the flights start getting over $500, you’ll need to look into those frequent flyer accounts and find out which airline will give you the best deal. All it boils down to is the amount of points or miles in your travel bank for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to travel hacking? First step to open an account with a sign-up bonus. There are many great credit cards that provide a variety of features and benefits. It is all dependent on the airline, your habits with spending and the features that are most important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards great to hack travel
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
If you’ve been approved for a credit or debit card, you’ll need to reach the limit of spending minimum in order to qualify for the bonus. Every card has different rules, so make certain to verify the details. From there you can begin to rack miles and using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your points?
Once you’ve accumulated the points amount, it’s time to cash them in for some nice vacation! Different credit card companies have different methods for redeeming your points, but here are some examples from a few of the ones I have experience with:
Take a trip through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you own a Chase card, you are able to use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In the portal, you’ll get access to almost every airline, and you can use a combination of money and points to pay for your next trip. You can book your flight entirely on points if you have the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you do not be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for total price, you can buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using every 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 to pay with dollars or points? Butbe aware, if you don’t have enough points, you aren’t able to combine points and dollars on flights. If you’re just a few point short United provides the option of buying additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides passengers a relaxing and pleasant travel experience that includes extra legroom as well as free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines that allows customers to book using either JetBlue dollar or points but not both. However, JetBlue has a unique feature that lets you join your points with your family members and earn points twice as quickly. Be sure to establish that you’re a real family member prior to 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 quite thrifty and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to hit the required amount to qualify for the 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 a huge one! If you’re able to pay for your rent with credit card, go for it! Make sure you pay a fee, usually about 3%. It could be worthwhile in the long run when the bonus is large enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another way to reach the spending limit is to cover a medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills coming up then ask your relatives if you could pay for theirs and they will reimburse you.
Repay a loan
If you have any loans you owe, think about paying them off with an credit card. Just make sure you pay off the balance on your credit card in full , so that you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Discuss your family with them and see if they have any large expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Make sure that you are able to trust the person and they know why you’re taking the initiative.
If you’re celebrating the holidays you should consider purchasing all of your gifts with your credit card. So you’ll be able to meet the minimum spending limit and be ready for giving gifts. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you were contemplating to.
There are many methods to get the most out of using your credit or debit card for travel and accumulate miles or points that you can be used towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few more ways to maximize the rewards you earn:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
When you’re planning your next vacation, make use of your travel credit card for booking your hotel, flight, rental car, and other travel costs. In addition, you’ll be able to hit the minimum amount of spending required to earn your credit card and earn points, but you’ll also be earning points or miles for those expenditures.
Use your credit card for everyday expenditures
Another way to hit the minimum spend and earn points is by using your credit card for everyday costs. This could include things like gas, groceries and even your telephone bill. Be sure to pay the balance off in full each month so you don’t pay interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or bonus points on certain kinds of purchases, like eating out or traveling. Make sure you review your credit card’s rewards program and avail the bonus categories that are in line with your spending routines.
Consider the possibility of transferring your balance
If you have existing debt on a credit card, think about transferring that balance to an account with a travel credit card that has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will allow you to pay off your debt without accruing interest, and also assist you in reaching the minimum spending requirement for the credit card’s bonus.
Utilize your miles and points prudently
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of points or miles make sure you use the points or miles wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and compare the worth of various redemption options. For instance, using your points to book a ticket directly through the airline may give you a better value than using them to purchase the purchase of a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer rewards to different loyalty program. This will let you enjoy a greater variety of choices and more freedom when it comes to you want to redeem your rewards. For example, you may be capable of transferring your reward to the frequent flyer program of an airline or a reward program for hotels. This will give an access greater range of flights, hotels and other travel benefits which are not offered through the rewards program on your credit card.
In addition, you should discover if your credit card offers certain benefits that will save you money on travel-related expenses. Many cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that can be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a companion each of you will be able to earn rewards with your own credit card. Be aware that you cannot share the costs on the same card and make sure to keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do 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 way possible. Utilizing a combination of the methods I’ve described, you’ll be able to earn rewards quickly, redeem rewards for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide range of travel perks.