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 method to turn credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles that can then be used to score discounted or cheap flights from your dream destinations. With a bit of creativity and some insider information, you’ll fly for no cost within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about swapping credit card sign-up bonus and rewards for airline miles. These miles can later be used to buy cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards will also allow you to redeem miles for hotel stays and rental car offers.
How Does it Work?
The secret to success in travel hacking is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and to establish a frequent flyer mile program on a select group of airlines. When it’s time to book a flight take a look at the price. If the cost is under $300, it’s usually better to pay cash and save your miles to take a more costly flight. If your flights begin to climb above $500, you’ll want to review your frequent flyer accounts and see which airline can give you the best deal. It all comes down to the number of points or miles you have you have in your travel savings account for each airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to travel hacking? First step opening the credit card that comes with a sign-up offer. There are many great credit cards that provide various benefits and features. It is all dependent on the airline, your spending habits, and the features that are most crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards excellent 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 or debit card, you’ll need to reach the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to get the bonus. Every card has different guidelines, so make certain to verify the details. Then, it’s all about racking miles and using them to plan your dream vacation!
Ready to jet-set with your goals?
After you’ve accrued your points balance, it’s time to redeem them for some delicious travel! Different credit card companies offer different ways to redeem your points. Here are some examples from some of the companies I’ve had experience with:
Take a trip by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of a Chase cards, you are able to redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through the portal, you’ll get access to nearly every airline and you can use a combination of points and cash to book your trip. You can even book entirely with points if you’ve the funds to pay for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t have enough points to cover the total cost, you are able to 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 your flight tickets? Did you know that when you book directly through United, you have the option of paying with either points or dollars? But, be careful, if you do not have enough points you can’t combine dollars and points for one flight. If you’re a few points short, United provides the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue offers an enjoyable and comfortable travel experience that includes extra space and complimentary snacks. Additionally, their booking process is like United’s which allows customers to book using either JetBlue either dollars or points but not both. But, JetBlue has a unique feature that lets you join your points with your family members and earn points twice as quickly. Make sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack into the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re like me or my travel companion Becca, you’re probably pretty thrifty and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to hit the minimum amount required to earn a credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried as we’ve done it and are here to share our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able to pay your rent with credit card, then do it! Be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually at least 3 percent. It may be worth it over the long term in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the minimum spend is to cover a medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills due, ask your relatives if you could pay them for theirs, and they’ll repay you.
Make a payment to pay off the loan
If you have any loans you owe, think about making payments on them with the credit card you have. Make sure to pay the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask family for help
Talk to your family and look into any major expenses in the near future that you can help pay for. Make sure that you are able to trust the person and they are aware of the reason for taking the initiative.
If you’re celebrating the holidays take into consideration buying all of your gifts with your credit card. This way you can hit that minimum spend and also be ready for giving gifts. Just make sure you’re not paying more than you thinking of.
There are many methods to get the most out of your travel credit card and accrue points or miles to spend on airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few more suggestions for maximising your rewards:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a vacation, make use of you travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as any other travel-related expenses. In addition, you’ll be able to hit the minimum spend for your credit card reward as well, but you’ll also earn points or miles on the expenses.
Use your credit card for all your daily expenditures
Another way to meet the minimum amount of spending and earn points is utilising your credit cards to pay for every day costs. This could include things like gas, groceries and even your telephone bill. Make sure you pay the balance off in full each month so you don’t accumulate interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or points in exchange for specific types of purchases, like eating out or traveling. Check out the rewards program of your credit card and make use of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending routines.
Take into consideration a balance transfer
If you are currently in outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer the balance to the travel credit card which has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfer. This will let you pay off your debts without accruing interest, and also help you hit the minimum spend for the credit card bonus.
Use your points or miles prudently
If you’ve amassed a large amount of points or miles make sure you use the points or miles wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card, and evaluate the worth of various redemption options. For example using points to book a flight directly with the airline could provide you with a greater value than using them for an gift card.
Another tip is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer your points to other loyalty programs. This will let you enjoy a greater variety of choices and more flexibility in you want to redeem your rewards. For instance, you might be capable of transferring your reward to the frequent flyer program of an airline or a reward program for hotels. This will give the benefit of a greater variety of hotels, flights and other travel benefits that aren’t offered through the rewards program of your credit card.
Additionally, try to determine if your credit card offers any perks that can reduce your travel costs. Many cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that could be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a friend and both of you get rewards on your own credit card. Be aware that you cannot share the costs on the same card, and be sure you keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
The key to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to understand your credit card’s rewards program and ensure that you’re making use of this program in the most effective way possible. Utilizing all of the strategies I’ve outlined, 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.