Are you tired of spending an enormous amount on flights? Well, good news! Travel hacking is the answer to your travel-related problems. It’s a fun way to convert credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles, which can be used to obtain discounted or free flights to your dream destinations. With a little imagination and some knowledge, you can travel for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. These miles can then be used to purchase discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards will also let you redeem miles for hotel stays and rental car deals.
How Does it Work?
The secret to success in hacking travel is taking advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and to establish a frequent flyer mile program with a limited number of airlines. When it’s time to book a flight, evaluate the cost. If the flight is under $300, it’s generally better to pay in cash and use your miles to pay for a more expensive flight. When the flights start getting higher than $500, it’s best to check your frequent flyer accounts and find out which airline will give you the best price. It all comes down to the number of points or miles in your travel account for every airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to travel hacking? First step opening an account that comes with a welcome bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards that offer a variety of advantages and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, your spending habits, and the features that are most important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards excellent to hack travel
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
Once you’ve been approved for a credit card you’ll need to reach the minimum spend limit in order to get the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so be certain to verify the details. Then, it’s all about racking up miles and using them to book your dream trip!
Ready to jet-set with your points?
Now that you’ve built up the points balance, you’re ready to redeem them for some sweet getaway! Different credit card companies offer different ways to redeem your points. Here are some examples from a few of the providers I have experience with:
Escape with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of a Chase credit card, then you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within the portal, you’ll get access to virtually every airline and you can combine money and points to book your trip. You can book your flight entirely with points if you’ve the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you do not possess enough points for the full cost, you still can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with any credit card.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option to pay with either points or dollars? Be careful, if you don’t have enough points you cannot combine points and dollars on one flight. If you’re just a few point short United provides the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue offers an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience with extra legroom and free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is like United’s that allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue either dollars or points, however, not both. The difference is that JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that lets you join your points with your family members and 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.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re like me or my travel buddy Becca You’re probably quite economical and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to hit the minimum spend for the credit card bonus. Don’t worry because we’ve been there and are here to share some of our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able to pay for your rent using credit card, go for it! Be prepared to be charged a fee, typically at least 3%. It could be worthwhile over the long term in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another great way to hit the required spending is to cover an medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills coming up then ask your family members to pay their medical bills and they’ll repay you.
Make a payment to pay off the loan
If you’re a borrower take into consideration repaying them using your credit card. Be sure to pay off the credit card balance in full so you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Ask your family members to determine if they’ve got any big expenses coming up 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 this.
If it’s the holiday season you should consider purchasing all your gifts using the credit card you have. In this way, you’ll meet the minimum spending limit and be ready for gift giving. Make sure that you’re not paying more than you already thinking of.
There are many ways to make the most from your travel credit card and earn miles or points to spend on flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few additional suggestions for maximising the rewards you earn:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, use your travel credit card for booking your hotel, flight, rental car, and other travel costs. You’ll not only achieve the minimum amount of spending required to qualify for a credit card bonus, but you’ll also earn points or miles for those expenditures.
Make use of your credit card to pay for all your daily expenditures
Another method to reach the minimum amount of spending and earn points is by utilising your credit cards to pay for daily expenditures. This could include things like food, gas, and even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay the balance off each month in full so you don’t pay interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide bonus points or miles on certain kinds of purchases, including dining or travel. Check out the rewards program of your credit card and take advantage of any bonus categories that align with your spending habits.
Think about a balance transfer
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a credit card, consider transferring the balance to the travel credit card which has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfers. This will let you pay off your debts without accruing interest. It will also aid in achieving the minimum amount required to earn the credit card’s bonus.
Utilize your miles and points carefully
If you’ve amassed a large amount of miles or points make sure you use the points or miles wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and compare the value of different redemption options. For example using your points to purchase a flight directly with the airline might give you a better return than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another tip is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer your rewards to different loyalty program. This will allow you to enjoy a greater variety of choices and more freedom when it comes to you want to redeem your rewards. For example, you may be able to transfer your reward to an airline’s frequent flyer program or a Hotel rewards programme. This gives you access to a wider selection of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks which are not accessible through the rewards program of your credit card.
Also, discover the card’s benefits. certain benefits that will help you save money on travel expenses. Many cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection, and other benefits that are invaluable when you travel.
If you’re traveling with a companion, both of you can earn rewards using your own credit card. Just remember that you can’t share the costs on the same card. Also, make sure you 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 understand your credit card’s rewards program and to ensure you’re using it in the most effective method. Utilizing all of the strategies I’ve outlined, you’ll be able to get rewards in a short time, use them for travel experiences that are worth it, and enjoy a wide range of travel perks.