Are you tired of spending an enormous amount on flights? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s a fun way to turn credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles which can be used to obtain discounted or free flights to your desired destinations. With a little imagination and some knowledge, you can be jet-setting for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about trading credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. These miles can then be used to buy cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards will also permit you to use miles towards hotel stays or car rental offers.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for success in travel hacking is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and to establish 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 under $300, it’s best to pay cash and use your miles to pay to take a more costly flight. When the flights start getting above $500, you’ll want to review your frequent flyer accounts and find out which airline will give you the best deal. It all comes down to the amount of points or miles you have in your travel account for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to travel hacking? Your first task is opening the credit card that comes that comes with a welcome bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards with various benefits and features. It depends on the type of airline, spending habits and what features are crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards that are great to use for hacking 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 minimum spend limit in order to receive the bonus. Every card has different rules, so be sure to check for this information. Then it’s all about building miles and using them to plan your dream trip!
Are you ready to set sail with your goals?
Once you’ve accumulated the points amount, it’s time to redeem them for some nice travel! Different credit card companies have different methods of redeeming your points. Here are some examples from a few of the ones I’ve worked with:
Escape by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own a Chase card, you are able to redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through it, you’ll get access to virtually every airline, and you can make use of a combination of the points as well as cash in order to pay for your next trip. You can even book entirely with points if you’ve enough balance! Sometimes even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for total cost, you are able to purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with any credit card.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for your flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United You have the option to pay with either points or dollars? But, be careful in case you don’t have enough points you cannot combine dollars and points on the same flight. If you’re just a few points away, United also offers the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides a comfortable and enjoyable travel experience that includes extra legroom as well as free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to that of United Airlines which allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue dollar or points, but not both. However, JetBlue offers a distinct feature that lets you combine your points with family members to accrue points twice as quickly. Just make sure you can establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel buddy Becca, you’re probably pretty frugal and it can be difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to reach the minimum amount required to earn credit card bonuses. But don’t fret because we’ve been there and we’re here to share our tips and tricks.
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! Just be prepared to be charged a fee, typically at least 3%. It could be worthwhile in the long run when the bonus is large enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another great way to hit the minimum spend is to pay for the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills due, ask your family members to pay for theirs and they’ll reimburse you.
Repay the loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan, consider paying them off with an credit card. Just make sure you pay off the credit card balance in full so you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Discuss your family with them and determine if they’ve got any big expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Make sure that you are able to have confidence in the person you are talking to and they know why you’re doing this.
If you’re celebrating the holidays, consider buying all your gifts using cards from your credit account. This way you can reach the minimum spending requirement and also be ready for giving gifts. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you planning to.
There are plenty of methods to get the most from the travel credit card. You can accrue points or miles to be used towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are some additional ways to maximize your rewards
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, use your travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel, rental car, and any other travel expenses. In addition, you’ll be able to hit the minimum spend to qualify for a credit card bonus as well, but you’ll also be earning points or miles to cover the costs.
Use your credit card to pay for your everyday expenses
Another method to reach the minimum amount of spending in order to accumulate points making use of your credit card to pay for everyday expenditures. This can include things like gas, groceries, and even your phone bill. Be sure to pay the balance off each month in full so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Make the most of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or points in exchange for specific types of purchases, like eating out or travelling. Be sure to review your rewards program on your credit card and take advantage of any bonus categories that align with your spending habits.
Consider a balance transfer
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a high-interest credit card, think about transferring that balance to the travel credit card which has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will allow you to pay off your debt without accruing interest and simultaneously help you hit the minimum spend for the credit card’s bonus.
Utilize your miles and points wisely
If you’ve amassed a large amount of points or miles Make sure to utilize the points or miles wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and then compare the worth of various redemption options. For instance, using your points to purchase a flight directly with the airline could give you a better value than using them to purchase a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer your rewards to different loyalty program. This will let you get a wider selection of options and greater flexibility when making use of your rewards. For instance, you might be eligible to transfer your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or reward program for hotels. This can give an access larger variety of hotels, flights and other travel benefits that may not be accessible through your credit card’s rewards program.
Also, discover if your credit card offers any perks that can save you money on travel-related costs. Some cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that could be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
When you travel with a companion each of you will be able to earn rewards using your credit card. Be aware that you cannot divide the cost with the same card. Also, make sure you keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
Overall, the key 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 efficient way possible. Utilizing an array of methods I’ve described, you’ll be able to earn rewards quickly, redeem them for travel experiences that are worth it and benefit from a wide variety of travel benefits.