Are you tired of spending an enormous amount on flights? Well, good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s a fun way to turn credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles, that can then be used to get discounted or even free flights to your dream destinations. With a little bit of imagination and a little bit of insider know-how, you’ll fly for no cost within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. These miles can later be used to buy discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards will also permit you to use miles to pay for hotel stays or rental car deals.
How Does it Work?
The secret to success in travel hacking is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and building out a frequent flyer mile program on a select group of airlines. When it comes time to make a booking consider the cost. If the price is under $300, it’s generally better to pay cash and save your miles to book a higher-priced flight. If the prices start to rise above $500, you’ll want to review your frequent flyer accounts and determine which airline offers you the best price. All it boils down to is the amount of miles or points you have in your travel savings account for every airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to hacking travel? The first step is to open a credit card that comes with a welcome bonus. There are many great credit cards that offer many advantages and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, your spending habits, and the features that are most essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit card options that can be excellent for travel hacking:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
After you’ve been accepted for a credit or debit card, you’ll have to meet the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to receive the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so make sure to look up the details. From there, it’s all about racking miles and using them to plan your dream trip!
Ready to jet-set with your points?
Once you’ve accumulated the points balance, you’re ready to cash them in for some sweet vacation! Different credit card providers 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’re a holder of a Chase credit card, then you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within the portal, you’ll get access to nearly every airline. You can use a combination of points and cash to pay for your travel. 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 entire 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 the full cost for flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United You have the option to pay with dollars or points? Be careful in case you don’t have enough points you can’t combine points and dollars on flights. No worries though, if you’re just a few points short, United gives you the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience with extra legroom and free snacks. Plus, their booking process is like United’s which allows customers to book using either JetBlue points or dollars however, not both. The difference is that JetBlue has a unique feature that allows you to pool your points together with your family members and earn points twice as fast. Just make sure you can prove you’re really family before trying to hack into the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re like me and my travel buddy Becca, you’re probably pretty thrifty and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum amount required to earn a credit card bonus. Don’t worry because we’ve been there and are here to share our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able pay your rent using credit card, go for it! Just be prepared to pay a fee, usually about 3%. It might be worth it in the end when the bonus is large enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the minimum spend is to cover a medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses due then ask your family members if you can pay their medical bills and they’ll reimburse you.
Repay the loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan take into consideration repaying them using an credit card. Make sure to pay the credit card balance completely so that you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask family for help
Talk to your family and look into any major expenses in the near future that you can help pay for. Make sure that you are able to have confidence in the person you are talking to and they understand why you’re doing it.
If you’re celebrating the holidays you should consider purchasing all of your gifts with cards from your credit account. In this way, you’ll reach the minimum spending requirement and be ready for giving gifts. Just make sure you’re not paying more than you contemplating to.
There are many ways to make the most of the travel credit card. earn miles or points to spend on airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few more ideas for maximizing your rewards:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, use you travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as any other travel-related expenses. In addition, you’ll be able to hit the required amount to qualify for a credit card, but you’ll also be earning points or miles to cover these costs.
Use your credit card for everyday expenditures
Another way to meet the minimum spend to earn rewards is utilising your credit cards for every day expenses. This could be things like gas, groceries or even your phone bill. Make sure you pay off the balance 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, including eating out or travelling. Make sure you review your credit card’s rewards program and make use of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending routines.
Take into consideration the possibility of transferring your balance
If you have existing outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, think about transferring that balance onto a travel credit card with an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfers. This will allow you to pay off the debt without accruing interest and simultaneously help you hit the minimum spend for the credit card’s bonus.
Use your points or miles prudently
When you’ve earned a significant amount of points or miles make sure you use the points or miles wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card and compare the worth of various redemption options. For example using your points to book a flight directly with the airline might provide you with a greater 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 your reward points into other loyalty programmes. This allows you to have a wider range of choices and more flexibility in making use of your rewards. For instance, you might be eligible to transfer your reward to the frequent flyer program of an airline or hotel rewards program. This can give the benefit of a greater variety of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks which are not available through the rewards program on your credit card.
Also, determine whether your credit card has certain benefits that will help you save money on travel costs. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that are invaluable when you travel.
When you travel with a friend each of you will be able to get rewards on your own credit card. Just remember that you can’t share the costs on the same card. Also, make sure to keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to understand your credit card’s rewards program and to ensure you’re making use of it in the most effective method. Utilizing an array of methods I’ve described in this article, you’ll be able get rewards in a short time, use them for travel experiences that are worth it and benefit from a wide variety of travel benefits.