Are you tired of paying an enormous amount on flights? Well, good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting way to turn credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into miles which you can use to obtain discounted or free flights to your ideal destinations. With a 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 trading credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. The miles can be used to buy cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards will also permit you to use miles for hotel stays and car rental deals.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for successful hacking travel is taking advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and building out a frequent flyer mile program with a limited number of airlines. When you are ready to make a booking consider the cost. If the cost is less than $300, it’s best to pay cash and save your miles to book a higher-priced flight. If your flights begin to climb over $500, you’ll need to look into your frequent flyer accounts to see which airline can give you the best deal. It all boils down to the number of points or miles in your travel bank for each airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to travel hacking? The first step is opening the credit card that comes that comes with a welcome bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that provide many features and benefits. It all depends on your preferred airline, your habits with spending and the features that are most crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards that are perfect for travel hacking:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
After you’ve been accepted for a credit card you’ll need to reach the minimum spend limit in order to receive the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so make certain to verify this information. Then, it’s all about racking up miles and using them to plan your dream trip!
Ready to jet-set with your goals?
Once you’ve accumulated your points amount, it’s time to use them towards sweet vacation! Different credit card companies have different methods for redeeming your points. Here are some examples from some of the companies I’ve had experience with:
Take a trip through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you have a Chase card, you are able to use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within this portal you’ll get access to virtually every airline and you can combine points and cash to pay for your next trip. You can book your flight entirely using points if you’ve got enough balance! Sometimes even if you do not possess enough points for the entire cost, you still can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with every credit card.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United You have the option to pay with dollars or points? But, be careful in case you don’t have enough points you can’t combine points and dollars on one flight. No worries though, if you’re a few points away, United provides the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience , with more legroom as well as free snacks. Plus, their booking process is like United’s, allowing customers to book using either JetBlue dollar or points, however, not both. However, JetBlue offers a distinct feature that allows you to join your points with your relatives to earn points twice as quickly. Make sure to establish that you’re a real family member prior to 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 difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to hit the required amount to qualify for credit card bonuses. However, don’t be worried, we’ve been through it and are here to share some of our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able to pay for your rent with credit card, go for it! Be prepared to be charged a fee, typically about 3%. It could be worthwhile in the end if the bonus is high enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another way to reach the minimum spend is to pay for 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’ll reimburse you.
Repay a loan
If you’re a borrower, consider repaying them using the credit card you have. Be sure to pay off the balance on your credit card in full so you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Ask your family members to see if they have any large expenses coming up which you could help pay for. Just make sure you trust the person and they are aware of the reason for doing this.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season, consider buying all of your gifts with cards from your credit account. So you’ll be able to meet the minimum spending limit and also be ready to give gifts. Just make sure you’re not paying more than you already contemplating to.
There are plenty of ways to get the most of the travel credit card and accumulate miles or points that you can be used towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few more ways to maximize the rewards you earn:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a vacation, make use of your travel credit card to pay for your hotel, flight, rental car, and any other travel-related expenses. You’ll not only be able to meet the minimum amount of spending required to earn your credit card bonus and earn points, but you’ll also be earning points or miles to cover those expenses.
Utilize your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday costs
Another way to meet the minimum spend to earn rewards is by making use of your credit card to pay every day expenses. This could be things like gas, groceries, and even your phone bill. Be sure to pay the balance off in full each month so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Make the most of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or bonus points for certain types of purchases, such as eating out or traveling. Check out the rewards program of your credit card and avail any bonus categories that match with your spending routines.
Think about a balance transfer
If you’re in the middle of a outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, consider transferring that balance onto the travel credit card which has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfers. This will enable you to pay off the debt without accruing interest and simultaneously aid in achieving the minimum amount required to earn 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. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and then compare the benefits of different redemption options. For example you can use points to book a ticket directly with the airline could offer better return than using them for an gift card.
Another option is to get an rewards card that permits you to transfer reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will let you enjoy a greater variety of choices and more flexibility in making use of your rewards. For instance, you might be eligible to transfer your rewards to an airline’s frequent flyer program or reward program for hotels. This gives an access greater range of flights, hotels as well as other travel perks that may not be offered through the rewards program of your credit card.
In addition, you should determine whether your credit card has some perks that could save you money on travel-related costs. Some cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that can be invaluable when you travel.
If you’re traveling with a companion, both of you can earn rewards using your own credit card. Make sure you don’t split the cost on the same card and make sure you keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
The key to maximizing your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program on your credit card and to ensure you’re using it in the most efficient method possible. Through a combination of the methods I’ve described that you can earn rewards fast, exchange them for travel experiences that are worth it and benefit from a wide range of travel perks.