Are you fed up of spending an enormous amount on flights? Good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel problems. It’s a fun way to convert credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles which can be used to obtain discounted or cheap flights from your desired destinations. With a little bit of creativity and some insider information, you’ll fly for no cost in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about swapping credit card sign-up bonus and incentives for airline miles. These miles can then be used to buy discount or no-cost flights. Some credit cards also let you redeem miles towards hotel stays or rental car discounts.
How Does it Work?
The secret to successful hacking travel is taking advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and to establish frequent flyer miles for a specific group of airlines. When it comes time to book a flight, evaluate the cost. If the cost is less than $300, it’s generally better to pay cash and save your miles for a more expensive flight. If the prices start to rise 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 miles or points you have in your travel savings account for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to travel hacking? First step to open an account with a sign-up offer. There are plenty of great credit cards with a variety of benefits and features. It is all dependent on the airline, your habits with spending and what features are important 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 or debit card, you’ll need to hit the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to receive the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so make certain to verify the details. From there you can begin to rack up miles, and using them to plan your dream vacation!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your goals?
After you’ve accrued the points amount, it’s time to use them towards nice travel! Different credit card companies offer different ways to redeem your rewards, here are some examples from a few of the providers I’ve had experience with:
Escape by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have a Chase cards, you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within it, you’ll get access to virtually every airline, and you can use a combination of the points as well as cash in order to pay for your trip. You can book your flight entirely using points if you’ve got enough balance! Sometimes, even if you don’t have enough points to cover the total price, you can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with every credit card.
Are you tired of paying full price for flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option of paying using dollars or points? Be careful, if 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 short, United gives you the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience , with more space and complimentary snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to United’s that allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue points or dollars, but not both. The difference is that JetBlue offers a distinct feature where you can pool your points together with your family members and earn points twice as fast. Make sure to 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 You’re probably quite economical and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to hit the minimum amount required to earn credit card bonuses. But don’t fret as we’ve done 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 to pay your rent using credit card, go for it! Be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually at least 3 percent. It might be worth it over the long term if the bonus is high enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another way to reach the spending limit is to cover the medical bills. If you do not have any medical expenses in the near future Ask your family members to pay for theirs and they can repay you.
Make a payment to pay off a loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan you owe, think about making payments on them with your credit card. Just make sure you pay off the credit card balance completely so that you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Discuss your family with them and look into any major expenses in the near future which you could help pay for. Make sure that you are able to trust the person and they know why you’re doing this.
If you’re celebrating the holidays take into consideration buying all of your gifts with the credit card you have. This way you can meet the minimum spending limit and also be prepared for gift giving. Make sure that you’re not paying more than you already contemplating to.
There are a lot of ways to get the most out of using your credit or debit card for travel and earn miles or points to spend on airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are some additional ideas for maximizing the rewards you earn:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, make use of you travel credit card to book your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as any other travel-related expenses. Not only will you be able to meet the minimum spend to earn your credit card as well, however, you’ll also earn points or miles on the costs.
Utilize your credit card to pay for everyday expenses
Another method to reach the minimum spend to earn rewards is making use of your credit card to pay for daily expenditures. This can include items like groceries, gas and even your telephone bill. Make sure you pay the balance off each month in full so you don’t pay interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or bonus points for certain types of purchases, like eating out or traveling. 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 have existing debt on a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer that balance to an account with a travel credit card that has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfers. This will let you pay off your debts without accruing interest. It will also help you hit the minimum spend for the credit card bonus.
Make use of your miles or points wisely
If you’ve amassed a large amount of points or miles Make sure to utilize them wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card, and evaluate the value of different redemption options. For instance using points to book a flight directly with the airline could offer better return than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another option is to get rewards cards that allow you to transfer your points to other loyalty programs. This allows you to have a wider range of options and greater flexibility when making use of your rewards. For instance, you might be eligible to transfer your rewards to the frequent flyer program of an airline or Hotel rewards programme. This will give you access to a greater 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 if your credit card offers some perks that could reduce your travel costs. Some cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that are very beneficial when traveling.
If you’re traveling with a friend, both of you can earn rewards with your own credit card. Be aware that you cannot divide the cost with the same card and make sure to keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
The key to reaping the maximum benefits from your rewards for travel is to be aware of your credit card’s rewards program and make sure you’re making use of it in the most efficient method possible. Through an array of strategies I’ve outlined in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards quickly, redeem them for travel experiences that are worth it and take advantage of a broad range of travel perks.