Are you tired of paying an enormous amount on flights? Well, good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting way to turn credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles, which can be used to score discounted or free flights to your desired destinations. With a bit of imagination and some knowledge, you can travel for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of swapping credit card sign-up bonus as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can then be used to purchase discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards will also allow you to redeem miles towards hotel stays or car rental deals.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for successful travel hacking is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and building out frequent flyer miles on a select group of airlines. When you are ready to book a flight, evaluate the cost. If the price is under $300, it’s best to pay in cash and use your miles to pay to book a higher-priced flight. If your flights begin to climb over $500, you’ll need to review your frequent flyer accounts to determine which airline offers you the best deal. It all comes down to the number of points or miles you have in your travel account for each airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets of travel hacking? Your first task is opening the credit card that comes that comes with a welcome bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards with various benefits and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, spending habits and what features are important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards that are great to hack travel
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
If you’ve been approved for a credit card, you’ll need to reach the minimum spend limit in order to get the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so be certain to verify this information. Then, it’s all about racking up miles, and using them to plan your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your goals?
After you’ve accrued the points amount, it’s time to redeem them for some nice getaway! Different credit card companies will have different methods of redeeming your rewards, here are some examples from a few of the companies I’ve worked with:
Escape by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own a Chase cards, you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within this portal you’ll have access to nearly every airline, and you can use a combination of the points as well as cash in order to pay for your trip. You can even book completely on points if you have the balance for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t possess enough points for the full cost, you are able to purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using the credit card of your choice.
Are you fed up of paying full price for your flight tickets? Did you know that when you book directly through United, you have the option to pay with either points or dollars? Butbe aware that if you don’t have enough points you cannot combine dollars and points for the same flight. No worries though, if you’re only a couple of points away, United also offers the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience with extra legroom as well as free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to that of United Airlines, allowing customers to book using either JetBlue dollar or points, but not both. However, JetBlue has a unique feature where you can pool your points together with family members to accrue points twice as quickly. Just make sure you can establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack into the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me and my travel buddy Becca, you’re probably pretty economical and it’s difficult to think of spending 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 a huge one! If you’re able to pay your rent with a credit card, do it! Make sure you pay a fee, usually at least 3%. It may be worth it in the long run if the bonus is high enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another way to reach the minimum spend is to cover the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills coming up then ask your family members if you can pay their medical bills and they will repay you.
Repay a loan
If you have any loans you owe, think about paying them off with an credit card. Be sure to pay off the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Discuss your family with them and see if they have any big expenses coming up that you can contribute 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 in the middle of the holiday season, consider buying all your gifts with the credit card you have. In this way, you’ll meet the minimum spending limit and be ready for gift giving. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you already contemplating to.
There are plenty of ways to make the most of the travel credit card. You can earn miles or points to be used towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few more ways to maximize 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 hotel, flight, rental car, and any other travel-related expenses. Not only will you be able to hit the minimum amount of spending required to qualify for a credit card, but you’ll also earn points or miles on the expenses.
Use your credit card to pay for your everyday expenditures
Another way to meet the minimum amount of spending to earn rewards is utilising your credit cards to pay for everyday expenditures. This could be things like food, gas, and even your phone bill. Make sure you pay off the balance in full each month so you don’t accumulate interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or bonus points for certain types of purchases, like eating out or travelling. Make sure you review your credit card’s rewards program and make use of any bonus categories that align with your spending routines.
Take into consideration the possibility of transferring your balance
If you’re in the middle of a outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer that balance to a travel credit card with an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfers. This will allow you to pay off your debts without accruing interest, and also aid in achieving the minimum spending requirement for the credit card bonus.
Make use of your miles or points wisely
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points, be sure to use them in a responsible manner. Review the rewards program for your credit card, and evaluate the value of different redemption options. For example you can use points to book a ticket directly with the airline might provide you with a greater return than using them for a 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 get a wider selection of choices and more flexibility when making use of your rewards. For example, you may be able to transfer your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a hotel rewards program. This gives you access to a larger selection of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks that aren’t accessible through your credit card’s rewards program.
In addition, you should determine if your credit card offers some perks that could save you money on travel-related expenses. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that are very beneficial when traveling.
If you’re traveling with a companion, both of you can earn rewards using your own credit card. Just remember that you can’t split the cost on the same card. Also, make sure you keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
In the end, the most important thing to do to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to know your credit card’s rewards program and make sure you’re using this program in the most efficient way possible. Utilizing an array of methods I’ve described in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards fast, exchange rewards for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad assortment of travel-related perks.