Are you tired of spending an enormous amount on flights? Well, good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting way to convert credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles which you can use to get discounted or even cheap flights from your desired 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 all about trading credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can later be used to pay for cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards will also let you redeem miles towards hotel stays or car rental discounts.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for successful hacking travel is taking advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and to establish frequent flyer miles for a specific group of airlines. When it comes time to make a booking, evaluate the cost. If the flight is less than $300, it’s usually better to pay in cash and use your miles to pay to take a more costly flight. If your flights begin to climb above $500, you’ll want to review your frequent flyer accounts to determine which airline offers you the best price. It all comes down to the number of miles or points you have in your travel savings account for each airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets of travel hacking? The first step is opening an account with a sign-up bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards with a variety of benefits and features. It depends on the type of airline, spending habits and the features that are most important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit card options that can be excellent 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 need to hit the minimum spend limit in order to qualify for the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of guidelines, so make sure to look up this information. From there, it’s all about racking up miles, and using them to plan your dream trip!
Ready to jet-set with your points?
Once you’ve accumulated the points balance, you’re ready to redeem them for some sweet travel! Different credit card companies have different methods for redeeming your rewards, here are a few examples from some of the providers I’ve worked with:
Take a trip by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own an Chase cards, you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through this portal you’ll have access to nearly every airline. You can make use of a combination of the points as well as cash in order to pay for your travel. You can book your flight entirely with points if you’ve the balance for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t have enough points to cover the entire cost, you still can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using any credit card.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for your flight tickets? Did you know that when you book directly through United, you have the option of paying with dollars or points? Be careful, if you don’t have enough points you aren’t able to combine dollars and points for the same flight. No worries though, if you’re a few point short United provides the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience , with more space and complimentary snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to United’s which allows you to book with either JetBlue points or dollars, however, not both. However, JetBlue has a unique feature that lets you combine your points with your relatives to earn points twice as fast. Make sure to establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me and my travel buddy Becca I’m sure you’re pretty frugal and it can be challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum spend for credit card bonuses. However, don’t be worried because we’ve been there and are here to share our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able to pay for your rent using credit card, go for it! Just be prepared to be charged a fee, typically about 3%. It might be worth it in the long run when the bonus is large enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another great way to hit the spending limit is to pay for the medical bills. If you do not have any medical expenses in the near future then ask your family members to pay them for theirs, and they’ll repay you.
Make a payment to pay off the loan
If you have any loans, consider paying them off with the credit card you have. Be sure to pay off the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Talk to your family and look into any large expenses coming up which you could help pay for. Make sure that you are able to are able to trust the person and that they know why you’re taking the initiative.
If it’s the holiday season you should consider purchasing all of your gifts with your credit card. In this way, you’ll reach the minimum spending requirement and be ready for gift giving. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you were planning to.
There are many ways to get the most out of the travel credit card. earn miles or points to use towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few additional suggestions for maximising the rewards you earn:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, make use of the travel credit card to book your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as any other travel-related expenses. In addition, you’ll be able to meet the minimum spend to earn your credit card bonus, however, you’ll also earn points or miles to cover the expenses.
Make use of your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday expenditures
Another method to reach the minimum spend and earn points is using your credit card to pay every day costs. This can include items like groceries, gas and even your telephone bill. Just make sure to pay the balance off each month in full so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Take advantage of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or bonus points on certain kinds 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 are currently in debt on a high-interest credit card, think about transferring that balance to the travel credit card which has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfers. This will let you pay off your debt without accruing interest, and also aid in achieving the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus.
Use your points or miles prudently
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of points or miles, be sure to use them in a responsible manner. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and compare the benefits of different redemption options. For example using your points to book a ticket directly with the airline could provide you with a greater return than using them for an gift card.
Another option is to get a rewards card that allows you to transfer your reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will allow you to have a wider range of options and greater flexibility when redeeming your rewards. For instance, you might be capable of transferring your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a reward program for hotels. This gives an access wider variety of hotels, flights, and other travel perks that aren’t offered through your credit card’s rewards program.
In addition, you should discover if your credit card offers any perks that can 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 very beneficial when traveling.
If you’re traveling with a friend each of you will be able to get rewards on your own credit card. Just remember that you can’t share the costs on the same card and make sure to track the rewards you earn separately.
Overall, the key to maximizing your travel rewards is to understand your credit card’s rewards program and make sure you’re using it in the most efficient method possible. By using all of the methods I’ve described, you’ll be able to earn rewards quickly, redeem them for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide assortment of travel-related perks.