Are you fed up of spending an enormous amount on flights? Well, good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s a fun way to convert welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles that can then be used to get discounted or even free flights to your dream destinations. With a bit of creativity and some insider information, you’ll fly for no cost in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. These miles can later be used to buy discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards will also let you redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or car rental offers.
How Does it Work?
The key to success in hacking travel is taking advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and establishing a frequent flyer mile program on a select group of airlines. When you are ready to book a flight consider the cost. If the price is under $300, it’s usually better to pay in cash and save your miles to take a more costly flight. When the flights start getting above $500, you’ll want to review those frequent flyer accounts to see which airline can give you the best deal. All it boils down to is the amount of points or miles you have in your travel savings account for every airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to travel hacking? Your first task is opening the credit card that comes with a sign-up offer. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that offer many advantages and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, your habits with spending and what features are important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit card options that can be perfect 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 hit the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to get the bonus. Every card has different guidelines, so make certain to verify this information. Then, it’s all about racking up miles and using them to plan your dream trip!
Are you ready to set sail with your points?
After you’ve accrued the 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 ones I’ve had experience with:
Escape through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you have an Chase cards, you are able to redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. In the portal, you’ll have access to almost every airline and you can make use of a combination of the points as well as cash in order to pay for your travel. You can even book entirely on points if you have enough balance! Sometimes, even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for entire 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 full price for flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United, you have the option of paying using either points or dollars? Be careful in case you don’t have enough points you can’t combine dollars and points for one flight. If you’re just a few points short, United gives you the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue offers passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience , with more legroom as well as free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is like United’s, allowing passengers to book flights using JetBlue dollar or points however, not both. However, JetBlue offers a distinct feature that allows you to combine your points with family members to accrue points twice as fast. Make sure to establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me or my travel companion Becca, you’re probably pretty frugal and it can be daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to hit the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried, we’ve been through it and are here to share some of our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able to pay for your rent with credit card, go for it! Just be prepared to be charged a fee, typically around 3 percent. It may be worth it over the long term when the bonus is large enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another way to reach the spending limit is to pay for an medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills in the near future Ask your family members to pay them for theirs, and they’ll repay you.
Repay a loan
If you have any loans you owe, think about repaying them using the credit card you have. Be sure to pay off the credit card balance completely so that you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Talk to your family and determine if they’ve got any big expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to are able to trust the person and that they understand why you’re taking the initiative.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season take into consideration buying all of your gifts with the credit card you have. In this way, you’ll reach the minimum spending requirement and also be ready for giving gifts. Be sure to avoid spending more than you were already contemplating to.
There are many methods to get the most out of using your credit or debit card for travel. You can accumulate miles or points that you can spend on airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are some additional ideas for maximizing your rewards
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 any other travel expenses. You’ll not only achieve the minimum amount of spending required to earn your credit card, however, you’ll also earn points or miles for those costs.
Make use of your credit card to pay for everyday costs
Another method to reach the minimum spend and earn points is by using your credit card to pay for daily expenses. This could include things like gas, groceries, and even your phone bill. Be sure to pay the balance off in full every month to ensure you don’t accrue interest charges.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or points in exchange for specific types of purchases, like dining or travel. Make sure you review the rewards program of your credit card and take advantage of any bonus categories that match with your spending habits.
Take into consideration a balance transfer
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a high-interest credit card, consider transferring the balance to a travel credit card with an introductory rate of 0% 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’s bonus.
Make use of your miles or points carefully
If you’ve amassed a large amount of points or miles Make sure to utilize the points or miles wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and compare the worth of various redemption options. For example, using points to book a flight directly with the airline could offer better value than using them for a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer points to other loyalty programs. This allows you to get a wider selection of options and greater flexibility when redeeming your rewards. For example, you may be capable of transferring your reward to an airline’s frequent flyer program or a Hotel rewards programme. This can give you access to a larger 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 certain benefits that will save you money on travel-related costs. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that can be invaluable when you travel.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a companion, both of you can get rewards on your own credit card. Make sure you don’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 the rewards program of your credit card and make sure you’re making use of this program in the most efficient method possible. Through all of the methods I’ve described that you can earn rewards quickly, redeem rewards for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide variety of travel benefits.