Are you tired of spending an enormous amount on flights? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting way to turn credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles, that can then be used to obtain discounted or complimentary flights for your dream destinations. With a bit of creativity and some insider information, you’ll fly for no cost in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can then be used to purchase discount or no-cost flights. Some credit cards also let you redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or car rental offers.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for successful hacking travel is taking advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and to establish a frequent flyer mile program for a specific group of airlines. When it’s time to book a flight, evaluate the cost. If the price is under $300, it’s best to pay in cash and use your miles to pay to book a higher-priced flight. When the flights start getting over $500, you’ll need to check your frequent flyer accounts and find out which airline will give you the best price. All it boils down to is the amount of points or miles you have in your travel bank for each airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets of travel hacking? Your first task is opening a credit card with a sign-up bonus. There are many great credit cards that offer many advantages and features. It is all dependent on the airline, your habits with spending and what features are essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards that are perfect for travel hacking:
- 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 reach the minimum spend limit in order to qualify for the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so be sure to look up this information. Then it’s all about building up miles and using them to plan your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your points?
Now that you’ve built up your points amount, it’s time to redeem them for some sweet travel! Different credit card companies will offer different ways to redeem your points, but here are some examples from a few of the companies I’ve worked with:
Escape through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you have an Chase cards, you are able to use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In the portal, you’ll have access to virtually every airline. You can use a combination of the points as well as cash in order to pay for your trip. You can even book completely with points if you’ve the balance for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for total cost, you still can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using every credit card.
Are you fed up of paying full price for your flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option of paying with dollars or points? Butbe aware in case you do not have enough points you aren’t able to combine dollars and points on one flight. No worries though, if you’re a few points short, United gives you the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue provides passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience with extra legroom as well as free snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to United’s that allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue either dollars or points, but not both. The difference is that JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that lets you pool your points together with your family members and earn points twice as fast. Just make sure you can establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel companion Becca, you’re probably pretty economical and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum spend for the credit card bonus. But don’t fret as we’ve done it and are here to share our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able to pay your rent with a credit card, do it! Be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually at least 3 percent. It might be worth it in the long run when the bonus is large enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another great way to hit the required spending is to cover an medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses due Ask your relatives if you could pay them for theirs, and they will repay you.
Repay the loan
If you have any loans take into consideration paying them off with the credit card you have. Make sure to pay off the credit card balance completely so that you don’t end up with additional debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Talk to your family and determine if they’ve got any big expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to trust the person and they know why you’re doing it.
If you’re celebrating the holidays take into consideration buying all of your gifts with cards from your credit account. So you’ll be able to reach the minimum spending requirement and be ready for gift giving. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you thinking of.
There are a lot of methods to get the most of using your credit or debit card for travel. You can accrue points or miles to spend on airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few additional ideas for maximizing your rewards:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, use you travel credit card to book your flight, hotel, rental car, and other travel costs. Not only will you be able to hit the required amount for your credit card as well, but you’ll also earn points or miles for those expenditures.
Utilize your credit card to pay for all your daily expenses
Another method to reach the minimum amount of spending and earn points is utilising your credit cards to pay for daily expenditures. This could be items like groceries, gas and even your telephone bill. Just make sure to pay off the balance each month in full so you don’t accumulate interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide bonus points or miles on certain kinds of purchases, including eating out or travelling. Make sure you review the rewards program of your credit card and avail any bonus categories that match with your spending routines.
Take into consideration the possibility of transferring your balance
If you have existing debt on a credit card, consider transferring that balance to a travel credit card with an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will let you pay off your debt without accruing interest. It will also help you hit the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus.
Use your points or miles carefully
When you’ve earned a significant amount of points or miles Make sure to utilize the points or miles wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card, and evaluate the benefits of different redemption options. For example using your points to book a ticket directly through the airline may offer better value than using them to purchase the purchase of a gift card.
Another option is to get rewards cards that allow you to transfer rewards to different loyalty program. This will let you get a wider selection of options and greater flexibility in making use of your rewards. For example, you may be eligible to transfer your rewards to the frequent flyer program of an airline or a Hotel rewards programme. This can give the benefit of a larger range of flights, hotels as well as other travel perks that aren’t accessible through your credit card’s rewards program.
In addition, you should find out whether your credit card has some perks that could reduce your travel costs. Many cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection, and other benefits that can be invaluable when you travel.
When you travel with a friend and both of you earn rewards using your credit card. Be aware that you cannot split the cost on the same card and make sure to track 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 know the rewards program of your credit card and to ensure you’re using your credit card in the most efficient way possible. Utilizing a combination of the strategies I’ve listed, you’ll be able to get rewards in a short time, use them for travel experiences that are worth it and benefit from a wide range of travel perks.