Are you fed up of spending a fortune on airfare? Good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s a fun way to convert credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into miles which you can use to get discounted or even free flights to your ideal destinations. With a little imagination and a little bit of insider knowledge, you can travel for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about swapping credit card sign-up bonus as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can later be used to buy cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards allow you to redeem miles towards hotel stays or car rental offers.
How Does it Work?
The secret to successful travel hacking is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and establishing a frequent flyer mile program with a limited number of airlines. When you are ready to make a booking take a look at the price. If the price is less than $300, it’s generally better to pay cash and save your miles to book a higher-priced flight. If the prices start to rise over $500, you’ll need to review the frequent flyer account and find out which airline will give you the best deal. All it boils down to is the amount of points or miles you have in your travel account for every airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets of travel hacking? First step opening the credit card that comes with a sign-up bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that provide various features and benefits. It depends on the type of airline, spending habits and what features are essential 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
Once you’ve been approved for a credit or debit card, you’ll need to reach the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to qualify for the bonus. Each card has its own guidelines, so make sure to look up this information. Then it’s all about building up miles and using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to set sail with your goals?
After you’ve accrued your points balance, it’s time to cash them in for some nice vacation! Different credit card providers will offer different ways to redeem your points. Here are some examples from a few of the providers I’ve had experience with:
Take a trip by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of a Chase credit card, then you can redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through it, you’ll get access to nearly every airline. You can make use of a combination of points and cash to pay for your travel. 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 entire cost, you still can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using every credit card.
Are you tired of paying full price for your flight tickets? 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 dollars and points on the same flight. No worries though, if you’re just a few points away, United gives you the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides passengers a relaxing and pleasant travel experience that includes extra legroom as well as free snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to United’s that allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue points or dollars however, not both. But, JetBlue offers a distinct feature that lets you 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 or my travel companion Becca, you’re probably pretty frugal and it can be difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to reach the minimum spend for the credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried, we’ve been through it and are here to share our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able pay your rent with credit card, then do it! Make sure you pay a fee, usually at least 3%. It might be worth it in the end if the bonus is high enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another great way to hit the required spending is to pay for a medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills coming up, ask your relatives if you could 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, consider making payments on them with your credit card. Be sure to pay the credit card balance in full so you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Talk to your family and see if they have any major expenses in the near future which you could help pay for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to have confidence in the person you are talking to and they know why you’re doing it.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season, consider buying all your gifts using your credit card. In this way, you’ll reach the minimum spending requirement and also be ready for giving gifts. Be sure to avoid paying more than you already contemplating to.
There are plenty of methods to get the most of your travel credit card. accumulate miles or points that you can use towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few additional ideas for maximizing your rewards:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
When you’re planning your next vacation, make use of you travel credit card to pay for your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as other travel costs. In addition, you’ll be able to hit the required amount to earn your credit card as well, but you’ll also earn points or miles for these expenses.
Make use of your credit card to pay for everyday expenditures
Another way to hit the minimum amount of spending to earn rewards is by making use of your credit card to pay for every day costs. This can include things like food, gas or even your phone bill. Be sure to pay off the balance in full each month so you don’t pay interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide bonus points or miles for certain types of purchases, including eating out or travelling. Be sure to review your credit card’s rewards program and avail any bonus categories that align with your spending habits.
Consider the possibility of transferring your balance
If you have existing debt on a credit card, consider transferring that balance to a travel credit card with an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfers. This will allow you to pay off your debt without accruing interest. It will also help you hit the minimum spending requirement for the credit card’s bonus.
Use your points or miles carefully
When you’ve earned a significant amount of miles or points, be sure to use them wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and compare the worth of various redemption options. For example using points to purchase a flight directly with the airline might give you a better value than using them to purchase a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer your points to other loyalty programs. This allows you to have a wider range of choices and more flexibility in making use of your rewards. For example, you may be able to transfer your reward to an airline’s frequent flyer program or Hotel rewards programme. This will give an access larger range of flights, hotels, and other travel perks that may not be accessible through the rewards program of your credit card.
In addition, you should find out whether your credit card has certain benefits that will save you money on travel-related expenses. Some cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that could be very beneficial when traveling.
If you’re traveling with someone else and both of you earn rewards with your credit card. Just remember that you can’t share the costs on the same card and make sure you keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
Overall, the key to making the most of your travel rewards is to understand your credit card’s rewards program and to ensure you’re using it in the most effective way possible. By using an array of strategies I’ve outlined that you can get rewards in a short time, use them for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad variety of travel benefits.