Are you fed up of spending an enormous amount on flights? Good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting method to convert credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into miles which can be used to obtain discounted or free flights to your desired destinations. With a little bit of creativity and some insider knowledge, you can travel for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. The miles can be used to pay for cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards will also allow you to redeem miles towards hotel stays or rental car 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 for a specific group of airlines. When you are ready to make a booking take a look at the price. If the flight is under $300, it’s best to pay cash and use your miles to pay for a more expensive flight. When the flights start getting above $500, you’ll want to review your frequent flyer accounts to find out which airline will give you the most value. It all comes down to the amount of miles or points 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? Your first task is opening a credit card with a sign-up offer. There are many great credit cards that provide various benefits and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, your habits with spending and what features are crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards great to hack travel
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
After you’ve been accepted for a credit card, you’ll need to reach the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to receive the bonus. Every card has different guidelines, so make sure to check for this information. From there it’s all about building up miles and then using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your ideas?
Now that you’ve built up your points balance, it’s time to redeem them for some sweet travel! Different credit card providers will have different methods for redeeming your points. Here are a few examples from some of the companies I’ve worked with:
Getaway with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own a Chase cards, you are able to redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within it, you’ll have access to virtually every airline. You can use a combination of money and points to book your next trip. You can even book entirely on points if you have the funds to pay for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t possess enough points for the entire cost, you are able to book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using every credit card.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for your flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United, you have the option to pay with either points or dollars? But, be careful, if you don’t have enough points you cannot combine points and dollars on flights. Don’t worry, though, if you’re only a couple of points away, United provides the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience , with more legroom and free snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines which allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue either dollars or points, however, not both. But, JetBlue has a unique feature where you can join your points with family members to accrue points twice as fast. Make sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack into the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel companion Becca You’re probably quite thrifty and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum spend for the credit card bonus. But don’t fret as we’ve done it and we’re here to share some of our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able to pay your rent with credit card, go for it! Make sure you pay a cost, which is usually around 3 percent. It may be worth it over the long term in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another way to reach the minimum spend is to pay for a medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses due, ask your family members to pay them for theirs, and they can pay you back.
Pay off a loan
If you have any loans take into consideration paying them off with an credit card. Be sure to pay off the balance on your credit card in full so you don’t accrue additional debt.
Ask family for help
Talk to your family and determine if they’ve got any large expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Just make sure you are able to trust the person and that they know why you’re doing it.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season you should consider purchasing all your gifts using cards from your credit account. In this way, you’ll meet the minimum spending limit and be ready for giving gifts. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you were already planning to.
There are plenty of ways to make the most out of your travel credit card. You can earn miles or points to use towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few additional ideas for maximizing your rewards
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, make use of the travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as other travel costs. In addition, you’ll be able to meet the minimum spend to earn your credit card reward as well, but you’ll also be earning points or miles to cover these expenditures.
Utilize your credit card to pay for everyday expenses
Another way to hit the minimum amount of spending and earn points is using your credit card for every day expenses. This could be things like gas, groceries and even your telephone bill. Make sure you 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 bonus points or miles on certain kinds of purchases, including eating out or travelling. Make sure you review the rewards program of your credit card and avail the bonus categories that are in line with your spending routines.
Consider the possibility of transferring your balance
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a high-interest credit card, consider transferring that balance onto the travel credit card which has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfers. This will let you pay off your debt without accruing interest and simultaneously aid in achieving the minimum spending requirement for the credit card bonus.
Use your points or miles carefully
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize them wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card and then compare the value of different redemption options. For instance using your points to book a flight directly with the airline might give you a better return than using them for a gift card.
Another option is to get an rewards card that permits you to transfer points to other loyalty programs. This will allow you to get a wider selection of options and greater freedom when it comes to you want to redeem your rewards. For example, you may be able to transfer your rewards to an airline’s frequent flyer program or hotel rewards program. This gives you access to a wider selection of hotels, flights, and other travel perks that aren’t available through your credit card’s rewards program.
In addition, you should find out the card’s benefits. some perks that could 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 could be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
When you travel with someone else and both of you get rewards on your own credit card. Make sure you don’t share the costs on the same card. Also, make sure to track your rewards in a separate manner.
In the end, the most important thing to do to making the most of your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program on your credit card and to ensure you’re using it in the most effective method possible. By using an array of methods I’ve described, you’ll be able to earn rewards quickly, redeem rewards for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide assortment of travel-related perks.