Are you tired of paying a fortune on airfare? Well, good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting way to turn credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles, which can be used to get discounted or even free flights to your desired destinations. With a bit of creativity and some insider know-how, you’ll be jet-setting for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. The miles can be used to pay for discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards let you redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or car rental discounts.
How Does it Work?
The key to successful hacking travel is taking advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and establishing a frequent flyer mile program for a specific group of airlines. When it comes time to book a flight take a look at the price. If the cost is under $300, it’s best to pay cash and use your miles to pay for a more expensive flight. If the prices start to rise above $500, you’ll want to look into your frequent flyer accounts and find out which airline will give you the most value. All it boils down to is the amount of points or miles you have in your travel bank for each airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to hacking travel? First step to open the credit card that comes with a sign-up bonus. There are many great credit cards with various benefits and features. It depends on the type of airline, your habits with spending and the features that are most crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit card options that can be excellent to hack 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 hit the minimum spend limit in order to get the bonus. Every card has different guidelines, so make sure to check for the details. From there you can begin to rack up miles and then using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your goals?
Now that you’ve built up the points balance, you’re ready to redeem them for some sweet getaway! Different credit card companies will have different methods for redeeming your rewards, here are some examples from some of the providers I’ve worked with:
Escape through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you own a Chase credit card, then you can redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. In the portal, you’ll get access to nearly every airline, and you can combine money and points to book your travel. You can even book completely with points if you’ve the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you do not be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for total cost, you still can buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with every credit card.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for your flight tickets? Did you not know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option of paying with dollars or points? Butbe aware, if you do not have enough points you cannot combine points and dollars for flights. No worries though, if you’re just a few point short United also offers the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience , with more legroom as well as free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to that of United Airlines, allowing you to book with either JetBlue dollar or points, but not both. However, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature where you can pool your points together with your relatives to earn points twice as quickly. Just make sure you can establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel buddy Becca, you’re probably pretty frugal and it can be daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to hit the required amount to qualify for a credit card bonus. Don’t worry, 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 using a credit card, do it! Make sure you pay a cost, which is usually around 3 percent. It could be worthwhile in the long run if the bonus is high enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another excellent way to meet the minimum spend is to cover the medical bills. If you do not have any medical expenses due then ask your family members to pay them for theirs, and they’ll reimburse you.
Pay off the loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan you owe, think about making payments on them with the credit card you have. Make sure to pay off the balance on your credit card 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 major expenses in the near future that you can help pay for. Make sure that you are able to have confidence in the person you are talking to and they know why you’re doing it.
If you’re celebrating the holidays you should consider purchasing all your gifts using cards from your credit account. So you’ll be able to reach the minimum spending requirement and also be ready for gift giving. Be sure to avoid spending more than you thinking of.
There are a lot of ways to make the most of the travel credit card and accrue points or miles to use towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are some additional suggestions for maximising your rewards
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a vacation, make use of your travel credit card to book your hotel, flight, rental car, and other travel costs. You’ll not only achieve the minimum spend to earn your credit card, but you’ll also earn points or miles for the expenses.
Make use of your credit card to pay for everyday expenses
Another way to hit the minimum amount of spending to earn rewards is using your credit card to pay daily expenses. This could include things like gas, groceries and even your telephone bill. Just make sure to pay off the balance in full each month so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Benefit from bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or bonus points on certain kinds of purchases, including dining or travel. Check out 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 are currently in debt on a credit card, think about transferring that balance onto an account with a travel credit card that has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfers. This will enable you to pay off your debts without accruing interest and simultaneously assist you in reaching the minimum amount required to earn the credit card’s bonus.
Make use of your miles or points wisely
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of points or miles make sure you use the points or miles wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and then compare the value of different redemption options. For instance you can use your points to purchase a flight directly with the airline could give you a better value than using them for an gift card.
Another suggestion is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer your points to other loyalty programs. This will allow you to get a wider selection of choices and more flexibility when making use of your rewards. For instance, you might be able to transfer your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or reward program for hotels. This will give an access greater range of flights, hotels as well as other travel perks that may not be available through the rewards program of your credit card.
Also, discover the card’s benefits. some perks that could help you save money on travel expenses. Many cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that are extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
If you’re traveling with a companion and both of you earn rewards using your own credit card. Be aware that you cannot share the costs on the same card, and be sure you keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
In the end, the most important thing to do to maximizing your travel rewards is to know your credit card’s rewards program and make sure you’re using your credit card in the most effective method possible. Through an array of strategies I’ve listed, you’ll be able to earn rewards fast, exchange them for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide variety of travel benefits.