Are you tired of paying a fortune on airfare? Good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting method to convert bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles that can then be used to get discounted or even free flights to your dream destinations. With a bit of imagination and a little bit of insider know-how, you’ll fly for no cost within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. The miles can be used to purchase cheap or free flight tickets. Some credit cards also let you redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or rental car deals.
How Does it Work?
The secret to successful hacking travel is taking advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and establishing frequent flyer miles for a specific group of airlines. When you are ready to book a flight take a look at the price. If the price is less than $300, it’s generally better to pay in cash and save your miles to book a higher-priced flight. If the prices start to rise over $500, you’ll need to review those frequent flyer accounts and determine which airline offers you the best price. It all boils down to the amount of points or miles you have in your travel account for each airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets of travel hacking? First step to open a credit card that comes with a welcome bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards with many benefits and features. It is all dependent on the airline, your habits with spending and what features are essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit card options that can be perfect 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 spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to qualify for the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of guidelines, so make sure to look up the details. Then, it’s all about racking up miles and using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to set sail with your goals?
Now that you’ve built up your points balance, it’s time to use them towards delicious getaway! Different credit card companies have different methods for redeeming your points. Here are a few examples from some of the ones I’ve worked with:
Getaway by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own a Chase card, you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within the portal, you’ll have access to nearly every airline, and you can combine the points as well as cash in order to book your trip. You can book your flight entirely on points if you have the balance for it! Sometimes even if you do not have enough points to cover the entire cost, you are able to book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using the credit card of your choice.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United You have the option of paying using dollars or points? Butbe aware, 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 points away, United gives you the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue provides passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience , with more legroom as well as free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to United’s that allows customers to book using either JetBlue dollar or points, but not both. But, JetBlue has a unique feature that allows you to join your points with family members to accrue points twice as fast. Make sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack into the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me and my travel companion Becca, you’re probably pretty frugal and it can be challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum amount required to earn credit card bonuses. Don’t worry as we’ve done it and we’re here to share our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able to pay your rent using credit card, then do it! Be prepared to be charged a fee, typically around 3%. It could be worthwhile in the end when the bonus is large enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the required spending is to pay for a medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills due, ask your family members if you can pay for theirs and they can repay you.
Make a payment to pay off a loan
If you have any loans you owe, think about paying them off with the credit card you have. Just make sure you pay the credit card balance completely so that you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask family for help
Talk to your family and see if they have any big expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to trust the person and they are aware of the reason for doing it.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season, consider buying all your gifts with cards from your credit account. So you’ll be able to hit that minimum spend and also be ready for giving gifts. Be sure to avoid spending more than you already contemplating to.
There are many ways to make the most out of the travel credit card and earn miles or points to spend on flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few more suggestions for maximising your rewards
Make travel reservations using your credit card
When you’re planning your next vacation, make use of the travel credit card for booking your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as any other travel-related expenses. In addition, you’ll achieve the required amount for your credit card reward, but you’ll also be earning points or miles to cover these expenses.
Use your credit card for everyday costs
Another way to hit the minimum amount of spending to earn rewards is by utilising your credit cards to pay for daily expenditures. This can include items like groceries, gas or even your phone bill. Make sure you pay off the balance each month in full so you don’t accumulate interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer bonus points or miles for specific types of purchases, like eating out or travelling. Check out your credit card’s rewards program and take advantage of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending routines.
Take into consideration a balance transfer
If you are currently in debt on a high-interest credit card, consider transferring that balance onto an account with a travel credit card that has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfers. This will enable you to pay off your debt without accruing interest. It will also help you hit the minimum amount required to earn the credit card’s bonus.
Utilize your miles and points prudently
If you’ve amassed a large amount of miles or points make sure you 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 purchase a flight directly through the airline may give you a better return than using them for an gift card.
Another tip is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer your rewards to different loyalty program. This will allow you to have a wider range of choices and more freedom when it comes to making use of your rewards. For example, you may be eligible to transfer your rewards to the frequent flyer program of an airline or reward program for hotels. This will give the benefit of a larger range of flights, hotels, and other travel perks that may not be offered through the rewards program on your credit card.
In addition, you should find out whether your credit card has any perks that can save you money on travel-related costs. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection, and other benefits that could be invaluable when you travel.
When you travel with a friend each of you will be able to earn rewards using your own credit card. Make sure you don’t share the costs on the same card, and be sure to keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
In the end, the most important thing to do to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to know your credit card’s rewards program and to ensure you’re making use of this program in the most effective method. Utilizing a combination of the strategies I’ve outlined, you’ll be able to get rewards in a short time, use them for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad assortment of travel-related perks.