Are you tired of paying an enormous amount on flights? Good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s a fun way to turn credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into miles that can then be used to obtain discounted or cheap flights from your dream destinations. With a bit of imagination and a little bit of insider information, you’ll be jet-setting for free within a matter of minutes.
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 then be used to pay for discount or no-cost flights. Some credit cards also allow you to redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or rental car discounts.
How Does it Work?
The secret to successful hacking travel is taking 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 comes time to make a booking, evaluate the cost. If the cost is under $300, it’s usually better to pay cash and save your miles for a more expensive flight. If the prices start to rise over $500, you’ll need to look into the frequent flyer account and find out which airline will give you the best price. 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
Ready to learn the secrets to travel hacking? The first step is to open a credit card with a sign-up bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards with many advantages and features. It is all dependent on the airline, spending habits and what features are important 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
Once you’ve been approved for a credit card, you’ll have to meet the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to receive the bonus. Every card has different guidelines, so make sure to look up the details. Then, it’s all about racking miles and using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your points?
Once you’ve accumulated the points balance, you’re ready to use them towards sweet travel! Different credit card companies will offer different ways to redeem your points, but here are some examples from some of the companies I’ve worked with:
Escape by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of an Chase card, you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through this portal you’ll have access to almost every airline. You can make use of a combination of money and points to pay for your trip. You can even book entirely using points if you’ve got the funds to pay for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for entire cost, you are able to book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using any credit card.
Are you tired of paying full price for flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United You have the option of paying using either points or dollars? But, be careful in case you do not have enough points you cannot combine points and dollars on one flight. If you’re a few point short United provides the option of buying additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience , with more space and complimentary snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to United’s which allows you to book with either JetBlue either dollars or points but not both. But, JetBlue has a unique feature that allows you to combine your points with your relatives to earn points twice as fast. Make sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me or my travel companion Becca, you’re probably pretty thrifty and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum spend for the credit card bonus. But don’t fret, we’ve been through it and we’re here to share our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able pay your rent with credit card, then do it! Make sure you pay a cost, which is usually around 3%. It might be worth it in the end in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another excellent way to meet the required spending is to pay for an medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses in the near future, ask your family members to pay for theirs and they’ll pay you back.
Make a payment to pay off a loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan take into consideration repaying them using an credit card. Just make sure you pay off the balance on your credit card in full so you don’t accrue additional debt.
Ask your family members for help
Talk to your family and look into any large expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to have confidence in the person you are talking to and they understand why you’re taking the initiative.
If it’s the holiday season 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 prepared to give gifts. Just make sure you’re not paying more than you already thinking of.
There are plenty of ways to make the most from the travel credit card and accumulate miles or points that you can use towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few more suggestions for maximising the rewards you earn:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, make use of you travel credit card for booking your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as other travel costs. You’ll not only be able to hit the minimum amount of spending required for your credit card bonus, but you’ll also be earning points or miles for those expenditures.
Use your credit card for all your daily costs
Another way to hit the minimum spending requirement to earn rewards is by utilising your credit cards for everyday expenses. This can include things like food, gas or even your phone bill. Be sure to pay the balance off in full every month to ensure you don’t accrue interest charges.
Make the most of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or bonus points for specific types of purchases, like dining or travel. Be sure to review the rewards program of your credit card and take advantage of any bonus categories that align with your spending routines.
Consider a balance transfer
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer that balance onto an account with a travel credit card that has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will allow you to pay off the debt without accruing interest and simultaneously assist you in reaching the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus.
Use your points or miles carefully
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of points or miles Make sure to utilize them wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and then compare the benefits of different redemption options. For instance you can use your points to book a ticket directly with the airline might provide you with a greater value than using them for an gift card.
Another option is to get an rewards card that permits you to transfer reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will allow 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 rewards to an airline’s frequent flyer program or a reward program for hotels. This can give you access to a larger range of flights, hotels, and other travel perks that may not be offered through the rewards program of your credit card.
In addition, you should determine whether your credit card has 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 can be very beneficial when traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with someone else and both of you earn rewards with your credit card. Be aware that you cannot split the cost on the same card. Also, make sure to keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do to making the most of your travel rewards is to know your credit card’s rewards program and make sure you’re using it in the most efficient method. Through an array of strategies I’ve outlined in this article, you’ll be able get rewards in a short time, use them for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide assortment of travel-related perks.