Are you fed up of spending an enormous amount on flights? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting method to turn credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles which you can use to score discounted or complimentary flights for your dream destinations. With a bit of creativity and some insider knowledge, you can fly for no cost within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of swapping credit card sign-up bonus and rewards for airline miles. These miles can later be used to purchase discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards permit you to use miles to pay for hotel stays or rental car discounts.
How Does it Work?
The key to success in hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and to establish frequent flyer miles with a limited number of airlines. When you are ready to book a flight consider the cost. If the price is less than $300, it’s usually better to pay in cash and use your miles to pay to take a more costly flight. When the flights start getting higher than $500, it’s best to review those frequent flyer accounts to find out which airline will give you the best price. It all comes down to the amount of miles or points in your travel account for every airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to hacking travel? Your first task is opening an account with a sign-up bonus. There are many great credit cards that provide various benefits and features. It is all dependent on the airline, your habits with spending and the features that are most essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards that are great to hack travel
- 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 need to reach the limit of spending minimum in order to get the bonus. Every card has different guidelines, so make sure to check for this information. From there, it’s all about racking miles and using them to plan your dream vacation!
Ready to jet-set with your ideas?
After you’ve accrued your points balance, it’s time to use them towards delicious getaway! Different credit card companies offer different ways to redeem your rewards, here are some examples from some of the companies I’ve had experience with:
Take a trip through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you’re a holder of an Chase card, you are able to redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through this portal you’ll have access to nearly every airline and you can make use of a combination of money and points to book your travel. You can even book completely using points if you’ve got the funds to pay for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t possess enough points for the full cost, you still can buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using any credit card.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for your flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United, you have the option to pay with either points or dollars? Be careful that if you do not have enough points you aren’t able to combine dollars and points for flights. Don’t worry, though, if you’re only a couple of points short, United also offers the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience with extra legroom as well as free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to that of United Airlines that allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue points or dollars but not both. But, JetBlue offers a distinct feature where you can join your points with your family members and earn points twice as quickly. Just make sure you can prove you’re really family before trying to hack the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel buddy Becca I’m sure you’re pretty thrifty and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to hit the minimum spend for the credit card bonus. Don’t worry, we’ve been through it and we’re here to share some of our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able pay your rent using credit card, go for it! Be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually about 3%. It may be worth it over the long term if the bonus is high enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the minimum spend is to cover the medical bills. If you do not have any medical expenses due Ask your family members to pay for theirs and they will reimburse you.
Repay a loan
If you’re a borrower you owe, think about making payments on them with the credit card you have. Just make sure you pay off the balance on your credit card completely so that you don’t accrue additional debt.
Ask your family members for help
Talk to your family and see if they have any big 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, consider buying all of your gifts with your credit card. This way you can hit that minimum spend and also be prepared to give gifts. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you already planning to.
There are many ways to get the most from using your credit or debit card for travel and earn miles or points to spend on airfares or other travel-related costs. 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 trip, make use of you travel credit card for booking your hotel, flight, rental car, and any other travel expenses. In addition, you’ll be able to hit the minimum spend to qualify for a credit card reward, however, you’ll also earn points or miles to cover those expenses.
Use your credit card to pay for your everyday expenses
Another method to reach the minimum spend and earn points is making use of your credit card to pay daily expenditures. This can include items like groceries, gas or even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay the balance off in full each month so you don’t pay interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or bonus points on certain kinds of purchases, such as eating out or travelling. Check out your credit card’s rewards program and take advantage of any bonus categories that align with your spending habits.
Take into consideration the possibility of transferring your balance
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a high-interest credit card, consider transferring that balance to the travel credit card which has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfer. This will allow you to pay off your debt without accruing interest and simultaneously help you hit the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus.
Make use of your miles or points prudently
When you’ve earned a significant amount of points or miles Make sure to utilize them wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and compare the value of different redemption options. For instance, using points to book a ticket directly with the airline might provide you with a greater return than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another tip is to use rewards cards that allow 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 capable of transferring your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or reward program for hotels. This gives an access greater selection of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks that may not be accessible through the rewards program on your credit card.
Additionally, try to find out if your credit card offers some perks that could save you money on travel-related costs. Many cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that are invaluable when you travel.
Finally, when you’re traveling with someone else, both of you can earn rewards with your own credit card. Just remember that you can’t share the costs on the same card. Also, make sure to keep track of your rewards separately.
The key to maximizing your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program of your credit card and make sure you’re using your credit card in the most effective method possible. By using an array of strategies I’ve listed that you can get rewards in a short time, use them for travel experiences that are worth it, and enjoy a wide variety of travel benefits.