Are you tired of spending an enormous amount on flights? Well, good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting way to convert sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles, that can then be used to get discounted or even complimentary flights for your ideal destinations. With a little bit of creativity and some insider know-how, you’ll travel for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about swapping credit card sign-up bonus and rewards for airline miles. The miles can be used to purchase cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards let you redeem miles towards hotel stays or car rental deals.
How Does it Work?
The key to successful hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and building out frequent flyer miles with a limited number of airlines. When it’s time to book a flight, evaluate the cost. If the price is under $300, it’s generally better to pay cash and use your miles to pay for a more expensive flight. When the flights start getting higher than $500, it’s best to look into your frequent flyer accounts and see which airline can give you the most value. It all boils down to the number of miles or points in your travel bank for each airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to hacking travel? First step to open a credit card that comes with a welcome bonus. There are many great credit cards with various advantages and features. It depends on the type of airline, your habits with spending and what features are crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit card options that can be great 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 reach the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to receive the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so be sure to check for the details. From there you can begin to rack up miles, and then using them to book your dream trip!
Ready to jet-set with your points?
After you’ve accrued the points balance, it’s time to cash them in for some sweet getaway! Different credit card companies will have different methods of redeeming your points, but here are a few examples from some of the companies I’ve had experience with:
Take a trip through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you’re a holder of an Chase credit card, then you can redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through this portal you’ll get access to nearly every airline, and you can use a combination of the points as well as cash in order to pay for your trip. You can even book completely with points if you’ve enough balance! Sometimes even if you don’t have enough points to cover the total cost, you still can 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 know that when you book directly through United, you have the option to pay with either points or dollars? Butbe aware, if you don’t have enough points, you aren’t able to combine points and dollars for the same flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re a few point short United provides the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience , with more legroom as well as 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, however, not both. However, JetBlue offers a distinct feature that lets you combine your points with your family members and earn points twice as fast. Make sure to establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack into the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me and my travel companion Becca You’re probably quite thrifty and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to reach the minimum spend for credit card bonuses. However, don’t be worried, we’ve been through it and we’re here to share our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able pay your rent using a credit card, do it! Just be prepared to be charged a fee, typically around 3 percent. It might be worth it over the long term if the bonus is high enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the spending limit is to cover a medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses due then ask your family members if you can pay for theirs and they can repay you.
Make a payment to pay off the loan
If you have any loans take into consideration repaying them using the credit card you have. Make sure to pay the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Talk to your family and look into any large expenses coming up which you could help pay for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to trust the person and they are aware of the reason for doing this.
If it’s the holiday season take into consideration buying all of your gifts with your credit card. In this way, you’ll meet the minimum spending limit and also be ready to give gifts. Be sure to avoid spending more than you were thinking of.
There are many methods to get the most out of using your credit or debit card for travel. You can earn miles or points to be used towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few additional ideas for maximizing your rewards
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
If you’re planning a vacation, make use of the travel credit card to book your flight, hotel, rental car, and any other travel-related expenses. Not only will you be able to meet the required amount to earn your credit card bonus, but you’ll also earn points or miles on the expenditures.
Make use of your credit card to pay for all your daily costs
Another way to hit the minimum spend and earn points is using your credit card to pay for every day expenditures. This can include items like groceries, gas and even your telephone bill. Be sure to pay off the balance in full each month so you don’t pay interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or points in exchange for certain types of purchases, including eating out or traveling. Check out your credit card’s rewards program and take advantage of any bonus categories that align with your spending routines.
Consider a balance transfer
If you are currently in debt on a credit card, consider transferring the balance to a travel credit card with an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will enable you to pay off your debt without accruing interest. It will also aid in achieving the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus.
Utilize your miles and points prudently
If you’ve amassed a large amount of points or miles Make sure to utilize them wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and compare the value of different redemption options. For example using your points to purchase a flight directly with the airline could give you a better value than using them for an gift card.
Another option is to get rewards cards that allow you to transfer points to other loyalty programs. This will let you get a wider selection of choices and more flexibility in you want to redeem your rewards. For example, you may be capable of transferring your rewards to an airline’s frequent flyer program or Hotel rewards programme. This gives the benefit of a greater selection of hotels, flights, and other travel perks that aren’t available through the rewards program of your credit card.
In addition, you should find out the card’s benefits. certain benefits that will help you save money on travel expenses. Many cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that can be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a friend, both of you can get rewards on your credit card. Be aware that you cannot divide the cost with the same card. Also, make sure you keep track of your rewards 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 make sure you’re making use of this program in the most efficient way possible. Through all of the strategies I’ve listed, you’ll be able to earn rewards fast, exchange them for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide variety of travel benefits.