Are you tired of spending an enormous amount on flights? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting way to convert welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles which can be used to obtain discounted or free flights to your ideal destinations. With a bit of creativity and some insider know-how, you’ll be jet-setting for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about swapping credit card sign-up bonus as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can later be used to buy discount or no-cost flights. Some credit cards also allow you to redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or rental car offers.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for success in travel hacking is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and building out frequent flyer miles with a limited number of airlines. When it comes time to make a booking consider the cost. If the price is less than $300, it’s best to pay cash and save your miles to book a higher-priced flight. If your flights begin to climb above $500, you’ll want to look into your frequent flyer accounts and see which airline can give you the best price. It all comes down to the amount of points or miles you have in your travel account for every airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to hacking travel? First step to open the credit card that comes with a sign-up bonus. There are a lot of fantastic 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 some credit card options that can be perfect to use for hacking travel:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
After you’ve been accepted for a credit or debit card, you’ll need to hit the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to receive the bonus. Each card has its own guidelines, so make certain to verify the details. Then, it’s all about racking miles and using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to set sail with your points?
After you’ve accrued your points balance, it’s time to use them towards delicious vacation! Different credit card companies will have different methods for redeeming your rewards, here are a few examples from some of the ones I have experience with:
Getaway with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own a Chase card, you are able to redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. In this portal you’ll have access to nearly every airline. You can make use of a combination of points and cash to pay for your travel. You can even book entirely using points if you’ve got the balance for it! Sometimes even if you don’t have enough points to cover the full cost, you still can book flights using 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 flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United, you have the option of paying using either points or dollars? Be careful that if you do not have enough points you cannot combine points and dollars on flights. Don’t worry, though, if you’re only a couple of point short United provides the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience with extra legroom and free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines that allows you to book with either JetBlue either dollars or points, but not both. However, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that allows you to pool your points together with your family members and earn points twice as quickly. Be sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack into the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re like me or my travel companion Becca, you’re probably pretty economical and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum amount required to earn a credit card bonus. But don’t fret because we’ve been there and we’re here to share some of our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able to pay for your rent with a credit card, do it! Be prepared to be charged a fee, typically about 3 percent. It could be worthwhile over the long term in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another great way to hit the spending limit is to cover an medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills due, ask your relatives if you could pay them for theirs, and they’ll repay you.
Make a payment to pay off a loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan take into consideration repaying them using your credit card. Make sure to pay off the balance on your credit card in full so you don’t end up with additional debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Talk to your family and see if they have any major expenses in the near future that you can 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 taking the initiative.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season take into consideration buying all your gifts with your credit card. In this way, you’ll meet the minimum spending limit and be ready for giving gifts. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you planning to.
There are plenty of methods to get the most out of your travel credit card and accumulate miles or points that you can spend on the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. 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 your travel credit card to book your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as other travel costs. Not only will you be able to meet the minimum spend to earn your credit card and earn points, however, you’ll also earn points or miles for these costs.
Utilize your credit card to pay for all your daily costs
Another way to meet the minimum spending requirement to earn rewards is by making use of your credit card to pay for everyday expenses. This can include items like groceries, gas or even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay the balance off in full every month to ensure you don’t accrue interest charges.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or bonus points for specific types of purchases, such as eating out or travelling. Be sure to review your rewards program on your credit card and make use of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending habits.
Think about a balance transfer
If you are currently in debt on a high-interest credit card, consider transferring the balance to the travel credit card which has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will let you pay off the debt without accruing interest and simultaneously aid in achieving the minimum spending requirement for the credit card’s bonus.
Make use of your miles or points wisely
When you’ve earned a significant amount of miles or points make sure you use them wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card and then compare the benefits of different redemption options. For example you can use your points to purchase a flight directly with the airline could offer better value than using them for an gift card.
Another option is to get rewards cards that allow you to transfer reward points into other loyalty programmes. This allows you to enjoy a greater variety of choices and more flexibility when redeeming your rewards. For example, you may be capable of transferring your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a reward program for hotels. This gives the benefit of a wider selection of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks which are not available through the rewards program on your credit card.
Additionally, try to find out the card’s benefits. certain benefits that will save you money on travel-related expenses. Some cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that are very beneficial when traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with someone else and both of you earn rewards using your own credit card. Just remember that you can’t split the cost on the same card and 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 the rewards program on your credit card and to ensure you’re using this program in the most effective method. Utilizing all of the methods I’ve described in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards fast, exchange them for travel experiences that are worth it and take advantage of a broad variety of travel benefits.