Are you tired of spending an enormous amount on flights? Good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting method to convert credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles, which you can use to score discounted or free flights to your dream destinations. With a little bit of imagination and some information, you’ll fly for no cost in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. These miles can then be used to buy discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards let you redeem miles towards hotel stays or car rental deals.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for successful hacking travel is taking advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and to establish frequent flyer miles with a limited number of airlines. When you are ready to book a flight take a look at the price. If the price is under $300, it’s generally better to pay cash and save your miles to book a higher-priced flight. When the flights start getting above $500, you’ll want to check your frequent flyer accounts and determine which airline offers you the most value. It all boils down to the number of points or miles you have you have in your travel savings account for every airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to hacking travel? First step to open a credit card with a sign-up bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards that offer a variety of benefits and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, spending habits and what features are essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards that are perfect to use for hacking travel:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
If you’ve been approved for a credit card, you’ll have to meet the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to qualify for the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of guidelines, so make certain to verify this information. From there you can begin to rack up miles and using them to plan your dream vacation!
Ready to jet-set with your points?
Now that you’ve built up the points balance, it’s time to use them towards nice getaway! Different credit card companies will have different methods for redeeming your points, but here are some examples from some of the companies I have experience with:
Getaway by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of a Chase cards, you can redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. In this portal you’ll get access to almost every airline. You can combine money and points to book your trip. You can even book entirely with points if you’ve the balance for it! Sometimes even if you don’t possess enough points for the full cost, you still can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with the credit card of your choice.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for your flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United, you have the option of paying using either points or dollars? Be careful in case you don’t have enough points you cannot combine points and dollars for flights. No worries though, if you’re only a couple of points away, United provides the option of buying additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue provides an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience with extra legroom and free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to United’s, allowing customers to book using either JetBlue either dollars or points, but not both. However, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature where you can combine your points with your relatives to earn points twice as quickly. Make sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack into the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re anything like me and my travel companion Becca You’re probably quite frugal and it can be difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to hit the minimum amount required to earn credit card bonuses. However, don’t be worried, we’ve been through it and we’re 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 using credit card, then do it! Be prepared to be charged a fee, typically at least 3 percent. It may be worth it in the end when the bonus is large enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another excellent way to meet the spending limit is to cover a medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses coming up, ask your relatives if you could pay for theirs and they’ll reimburse you.
Pay off a loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan, consider repaying them using the credit card you have. Make sure to pay the credit card balance in full so you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask family for help
Ask your family members to see if they have any big expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to trust the person and they understand why you’re taking the initiative.
If you’re celebrating the holidays take into consideration buying all your gifts using cards from your credit account. So you’ll be able to hit that minimum spend and also be ready for giving gifts. Be sure to avoid spending more than you already planning to.
There are plenty of methods to get the most from the travel credit card. You can earn miles or points to use towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are some additional ideas for maximizing your rewards
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, make use of the travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as other travel costs. You’ll not only be able to meet the minimum amount of spending required for your credit card bonus, however, you’ll also earn points or miles to cover the expenditures.
Utilize your credit card to pay for all your daily costs
Another way to meet the minimum amount of spending to earn rewards is by utilising your credit cards to pay for daily expenses. This could include things like gas, groceries, and even your phone bill. Be sure to pay the balance off each month in full so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Benefit from bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide bonus points or miles for certain types of purchases, such as eating out or travelling. Be sure to review the rewards program of your credit card and avail any bonus categories that match with your spending routines.
Take into consideration 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 an account with a travel credit card that has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfers. This will allow you to pay off your debt without accruing interest, and also help you hit the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus.
Make use of your miles or points carefully
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points, be sure to use them wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and then compare the benefits of different redemption options. For instance using your points to purchase a flight directly through the airline may provide you with a greater value than using them to purchase a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer points to other loyalty programs. This allows you to get a wider selection of choices and more flexibility when making use of your rewards. For example, you may be able to transfer your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or Hotel rewards programme. This can give you access to a larger variety of hotels, flights, and other travel perks that may not be offered through the rewards program on your credit card.
In addition, you should discover if your credit card offers any perks that can help you save money on travel expenses. Many cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that could be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
If you’re traveling with someone else and both of you earn rewards with 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 separately.
Overall, the key to maximizing your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program on your credit card 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 get rewards in a short time, use rewards for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide variety of travel benefits.