Are you tired of spending an enormous amount on flights? Well, good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting way to turn credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles that can then be used to score discounted or complimentary flights for your dream destinations. With a bit of imagination and a little bit of insider information, you’ll travel for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about swapping credit card sign-up bonus and rewards for airline miles. These miles can then be used to buy cheap or free flight tickets. Some credit cards also permit you to use miles for hotel stays and car rental offers.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for successful hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and establishing a frequent flyer mile program on a select group of airlines. When it comes time to book a flight, evaluate the cost. If the flight is less than $300, it’s usually better to pay cash and use your miles to pay to book a higher-priced flight. If the prices start to rise above $500, you’ll want to check your frequent flyer accounts and find out which airline will give you the best price. It all boils down to the amount of miles or points in your travel account for every airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets of travel hacking? First step opening an account that comes with a welcome bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that provide various features and benefits. It is all dependent on the airline, your spending habits, and what features are essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards that are excellent to hack 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 reach the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to receive the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so make sure to look up the details. From there you can begin to rack up miles and using them to plan your dream vacation!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your points?
Now that you’ve built up your points balance, it’s time to use them towards sweet travel! Different credit card providers will have different methods of redeeming your points, but here are a few examples from some of the companies I have experience with:
Escape through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you own an Chase card, you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within the portal, you’ll get access to virtually every airline, and you can make use of a combination of money and points to pay for 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 total price, you 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 flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option of paying using dollars or points? Butbe aware, if you do not have enough points you can’t 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.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue provides a comfortable and enjoyable travel experience that includes extra legroom and free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines which allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue either dollars or points, but not both. However, JetBlue has a unique feature that lets you combine your points with your family members and earn points twice as fast. Be sure to establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack into the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel companion Becca, you’re probably pretty frugal and it can be challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to hit the required amount to qualify for the credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried as we’ve done it 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 your rent using a credit card, do it! Make sure you pay a cost, which is usually around 3%. It may be worth it in the end when the bonus is large enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another great way to hit the required spending is to cover the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills due, ask your family members if you can pay their medical bills and they will repay you.
Repay a loan
If you have any loans, consider paying them off with the credit card you have. Make sure to pay off the credit card balance in full so you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask family for help
Discuss your family with them and see if they have any large expenses coming up which you could help pay for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to are able to trust the person and that they know why you’re doing it.
If it’s the holiday season you should consider purchasing all your gifts with your credit card. So you’ll be able to meet the minimum spending limit and also be ready for gift giving. Be sure to avoid spending more than you were already planning to.
There are a lot of methods to get the most of the travel credit card. accrue points or miles to 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
Whenever you’re planning a trip, make use of the travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel, rental car, and other travel costs. In addition, you’ll be able to hit the required amount to qualify for a credit card bonus, but you’ll also be earning points or miles to cover those expenditures.
Make use of your credit card to pay for everyday expenditures
Another way to hit the minimum spend to earn rewards is by using your credit card for every day costs. This could include things like gas, groceries and even your telephone bill. Be sure to pay the balance off in full every month to ensure you don’t accumulate interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer bonus points or miles on certain kinds of purchases, including dining or travel. Be sure to review the rewards program of your credit card and make use of any bonus categories that align with your spending habits.
Consider a balance transfer
If you have existing debt on a credit card, you might want to transfer that balance onto a travel credit card with the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfer. This will allow you to pay off your debts without accruing interest. It will also assist you in reaching the minimum spend for the credit card’s bonus.
Make use of your miles or points wisely
When you’ve earned a significant amount of points or miles, be sure to use the points or miles wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card and then compare the value of different redemption options. For example, using your points to book a flight directly with the airline might offer better value than using them to purchase an gift card.
Another option is to get an rewards card that permits you to transfer your points to other loyalty programs. This will let you get a wider selection of choices and more freedom when it comes to making use of your rewards. For instance, you might be capable of transferring your reward to an airline’s frequent flyer program or a Hotel rewards programme. This can give the benefit of a larger range of flights, hotels and other travel benefits that aren’t available through the rewards program on your credit card.
In addition, you should find out if your credit card offers any perks that can help you save money on travel costs. Some cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that can be invaluable when you travel.
If you’re traveling with a friend and both of you earn rewards using your credit card. Make sure you don’t share the costs on the same card, and be sure you keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
Overall, the key to reaping the maximum benefits from your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program on your credit card and ensure that you’re making use of this program in the most efficient method possible. Through a combination of the methods I’ve described, you’ll be able to earn rewards fast, exchange rewards for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide range of travel perks.