Are you fed up of spending an enormous amount on flights? Good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting way to convert sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles which you can use to get discounted or even cheap flights from your dream destinations. With a bit of creativity and some insider knowledge, you can travel for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about trading credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. These miles can later be used to purchase discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards will also permit you to use miles to pay for hotel stays or rental car deals.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for successful hacking travel is taking advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and building out frequent flyer miles on a select group of airlines. When it comes time to book a flight take a look at the price. If the price is under $300, it’s best 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 check the frequent flyer account and see which airline can give you the most value. All it boils down to is the amount of points or miles you have in your travel bank for each airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to travel hacking? First step to open the credit card that comes with a sign-up offer. There are plenty of great credit cards that provide many features and benefits. It all depends on your preferred airline, spending habits and the features that are most essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards great for travel hacking:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
After you’ve been accepted for a credit card, you’ll need to reach the limit of spending minimum in order to qualify for the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so make certain to verify the details. Then you can begin to rack up miles and using them to plan your dream vacation!
Ready to jet-set with your points?
Once you’ve accumulated your points balance, it’s time to cash them in for some delicious vacation! Different credit card providers will offer different ways to redeem your points. Here are some examples from a few of the companies I’ve had experience with:
Take a trip through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you have an Chase credit card, then you are able to redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through it, you’ll get access to almost every airline, and you can combine the points as well as cash in order to book your trip. You can even book completely with points if you’ve the balance for it! Sometimes even if you don’t have enough points to cover the total cost, you are able to book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with the credit card of your choice.
Are you tired of paying the full cost 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 that if you don’t have enough points you can’t combine dollars and points for one flight. If you’re a few points away, United provides the option of buying additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides passengers a relaxing and pleasant travel experience that includes extra legroom and free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines which allows customers to book using either JetBlue either dollars or points, but not both. But, JetBlue offers a distinct feature that allows you to join your points with your relatives to earn points twice as quickly. Just make sure you can prove you’re really family before trying to hack into the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me or my travel companion Becca, you’re probably pretty thrifty and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to reach the minimum spend for the credit card bonus. But don’t fret, we’ve been through it and we’re here to share some of our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able pay your rent using credit card, then do it! Make sure you be charged a fee, typically about 3 percent. It might be worth it in the end if the bonus is high enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another great way to hit the required spending is to cover an medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills coming up Ask your family members if you can pay their medical bills and they’ll reimburse you.
Pay off the loan
If you have any loans take into consideration repaying them using your credit card. Just make sure you pay the credit card balance completely so that you don’t end up with additional debt.
Ask your family members for help
Ask your family members to determine if they’ve got any major expenses in the near future 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 taking the initiative.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season you should consider purchasing all of your gifts with cards from your credit account. This way you can hit that minimum spend and also be ready for giving gifts. Be sure to avoid paying more than you thinking of.
There are plenty of ways to make the most of your travel credit card. You can accumulate miles or points that you can be used towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are some additional ways to maximize your rewards
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, use you travel credit card for booking your flight, hotel, rental car, and any other travel-related expenses. You’ll not only achieve the required amount to qualify for a credit card bonus and earn points, however, you’ll also earn points or miles to cover those costs.
Make use of your credit card to pay for all your daily expenses
Another way to meet the minimum amount of spending to earn rewards is by utilising your credit cards for daily costs. This could include things like gas, groceries or even your phone bill. Be sure to pay the balance off in full every month to ensure you don’t pay interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or bonus points on certain kinds of purchases, like eating out or traveling. Be sure to review your credit card’s rewards program and make use of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending routines.
Think about the possibility of transferring your balance
If you have existing debt on a credit card, think about transferring that balance onto a travel credit card with the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfer. This will enable you to pay off the debt without accruing interest, and also assist you in reaching the minimum spend for the credit card bonus.
Make use of your miles or points prudently
When you’ve earned a significant amount of miles or points make sure you use the points or miles wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card, and evaluate the worth of various redemption options. For instance using points to book a ticket directly with the airline could provide you with a greater value than using them to purchase a gift card.
Another tip is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer your points to other loyalty programs. This will let you have a wider range of options and greater freedom when it comes to redeeming your rewards. For example, you may be eligible to transfer your rewards to the frequent flyer program of an airline or a hotel rewards program. This gives you access to a greater variety of hotels, flights and other travel benefits that aren’t accessible through your credit card’s rewards program.
Additionally, try to discover 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 invaluable when you travel.
Finally, when you’re traveling with someone else each of you will be able to earn rewards with your own credit card. Make sure you don’t split the cost on the same card, and be sure to keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do to maximizing your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program on your credit card and ensure that you’re using it in the most efficient way possible. Through a combination of the strategies I’ve outlined that you can get rewards in a short time, use them for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad assortment of travel-related perks.