Are you tired of paying an enormous amount on flights? Good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting method to convert credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles that can then be used to obtain discounted or complimentary flights for your dream destinations. With a little imagination and a little bit of insider know-how, you’ll be jet-setting 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. The miles can be used to buy cheap or free flight tickets. Some credit cards also permit you to use miles to pay for hotel stays or car rental discounts.
How Does it Work?
The secret to successful hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and establishing a frequent flyer mile program on a select group of airlines. When it’s time to book a flight take a look at the price. If the flight is less than $300, it’s usually better to pay in cash and save your miles to take a more costly flight. When the flights start getting higher than $500, it’s best to look into your frequent flyer accounts to see which airline can give you the most value. All it boils down to is the amount of points or miles in your travel account for each airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets of travel hacking? First step to open a credit card with a sign-up offer. There are plenty of great credit cards that offer a variety of features and benefits. It all depends on your preferred airline, your habits with spending and what features are important 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
If 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 card has different rules, so make sure to check for the details. From there it’s all about building 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 amount, it’s time to use them towards delicious travel! Different credit card companies will have different methods for redeeming your rewards, here are a few examples from some of the companies I have experience with:
Escape through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you have an Chase card, you can redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. In this portal you’ll get access to virtually every airline. You can combine money and points to pay for your next trip. You can book your flight entirely using points if you’ve got the balance for it! Sometimes even if you do not have enough points to cover the full cost, you are able to purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using any credit card.
Are you tired of paying full price for your flight tickets? Did you know that when you book directly through United, you have the option to pay with dollars or points? Be careful in case you do not have enough points you aren’t able to combine points and dollars on flights. Don’t worry, though, if you’re a few points away, United provides the option to purchase additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience , with more legroom as well as free snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines that allows customers to book using either JetBlue points or dollars, however, not both. However, JetBlue offers a distinct feature that allows you to pool your points together 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 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 to hit the required amount to qualify for a credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried as we’ve done it and we’re here to share our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able to pay for your rent using a credit card, do it! Just be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually about 3 percent. It may be worth it in the long run in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the minimum spend is to cover an medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses in the near future Ask your family members to pay their medical bills and they will pay you back.
Repay a loan
If you’re a borrower take into consideration repaying them using your credit card. Be sure to pay the credit card balance in full so you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask family for help
Ask your family members to see if they have any major expenses in the near future that you can help pay for. Make sure that you are able to are able to trust the person and that they understand why you’re doing it.
If it’s the holiday season, consider buying all your gifts with your credit card. In this way, you’ll reach the minimum spending requirement and also be ready for gift giving. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you thinking of.
There are a lot of methods to get the most from your travel credit card. accumulate miles or points that you can be used towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are some additional suggestions for maximising your rewards
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
When you’re planning your next vacation, make use of you travel credit card for booking your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as any other travel expenses. Not only will you be able to hit the minimum spend to earn your credit card, however, you’ll also earn points or miles for those costs.
Use your credit card for everyday costs
Another way to meet the minimum spending requirement and earn points is making use of your credit card for daily expenditures. This could be things like food, gas and even your telephone bill. Make sure you pay off the balance in full each month so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer bonus points or miles for specific types of purchases, such as eating out or traveling. Be sure to review 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’re in the middle of a debt on a credit card, consider transferring the balance to a travel credit card with a 0% introductory APR for balance transfers. This will let you pay off your debts without accruing interest. It will also assist you in reaching the minimum spending requirement for the credit card bonus.
Utilize your miles and points prudently
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize them wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card, and evaluate the worth of various redemption options. For example, using points to book a flight directly through the airline may give you a better return than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer your reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will let you get a wider selection of options and greater flexibility when redeeming your rewards. For example, you may be eligible to transfer your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a hotel rewards program. This gives the benefit of a larger range of flights, hotels as well as other travel perks that aren’t accessible through the rewards program on your credit card.
In addition, you should discover whether your credit card has any perks that can save you money on travel-related costs. Some cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that can be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
If you’re traveling with a companion, both of you can get rewards on your credit card. Make sure you don’t divide the cost with the same card. Also, make sure to keep track of your rewards separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do to making the most of your travel rewards is to know the rewards program of your credit card and to ensure you’re using it in the most efficient method possible. Through an array of strategies I’ve outlined in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards quickly, redeem them for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide variety of travel benefits.