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 a fun way to convert 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 bit of imagination and a little bit of insider know-how, you’ll travel for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. These miles can then be used to buy discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards will also allow you to redeem miles towards hotel stays or rental car discounts.
How Does it Work?
The key to success in hacking travel is taking advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and to establish a frequent flyer mile program for a specific group of airlines. When it’s time to book a flight take a look at the price. If the price is less than $300, it’s best to pay cash and save your miles for a more expensive flight. If the prices start to rise higher than $500, it’s best to check the frequent flyer account to find out which airline will give you the most value. It all comes down to the amount of miles or points in your travel bank for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets of travel hacking? First step to open an account that comes with a welcome bonus. There are many great credit cards with a variety of features and benefits. It depends on the type of airline, your spending habits, and what features are crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards excellent for travel hacking:
- 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 qualify for the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of guidelines, so make certain to verify the details. From there, it’s all about racking up miles and using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your points?
After you’ve accrued the points balance, it’s time to redeem them for some nice vacation! Different credit card providers will have different methods of redeeming your rewards, here are some examples from a few of the ones I’ve worked with:
Take a trip with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of an Chase credit card, then you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In this portal you’ll have access to nearly every airline and you can combine money and points to pay for your trip. You can even book entirely using points if you’ve got enough balance! Sometimes, even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for full cost, you still can 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 flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United You have the option of paying using either points or dollars? Butbe aware that if you don’t have enough points, you aren’t able to combine points and dollars on flights. Don’t worry, though, if you’re a few points short, United provides the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue offers a comfortable and enjoyable travel experience that includes extra legroom as well as free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is like United’s which allows you to book with either JetBlue either dollars or points, however, not both. But, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that allows you to join your points with family members to accrue points twice as fast. 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 like me or my travel companion Becca I’m sure you’re pretty economical and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to reach the minimum spend for a credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried as we’ve done it and we’re here to share some of our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able to pay for your rent with credit card, then do it! Be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually around 3%. It may be worth it in the end in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another great way to hit the required spending is to pay for 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 can pay you back.
Make a payment to pay off the loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan, consider repaying them using the credit card you have. Make sure to pay off the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask your family members for help
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 are able to trust the person and that they are aware of the reason for taking the initiative.
If you’re celebrating the holidays, consider buying all your gifts using the credit card you have. In this way, you’ll hit that minimum spend and also be prepared to give gifts. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you were thinking of.
There are plenty of ways to get the most out of your travel credit card and accumulate miles or points that you can be used towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are some additional suggestions for maximising your rewards
Book travel expenses with your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, use you travel credit card to pay for your hotel, flight, rental car, and any other travel expenses. In addition, you’ll be able to meet the minimum spend to qualify for a credit card as well, however, you’ll also earn points or miles for the costs.
Use your credit card for everyday expenditures
Another method to reach the minimum amount of spending in order to accumulate points utilising your credit cards to pay for daily expenses. This could be things like gas, groceries, and even your phone bill. Be sure to pay off the balance in full every month to ensure you don’t accrue interest charges.
Make the most of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide bonus points or miles on certain kinds of purchases, such as eating out or travelling. Check out your credit card’s rewards program and make use of any bonus categories that match with your spending habits.
Think about a balance transfer
If you have existing debt on a high-interest credit card, think about transferring that balance to the travel credit card which has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfers. This will let you pay off your debt without accruing interest and simultaneously help you hit the minimum amount required to earn the credit card’s bonus.
Use your points or miles prudently
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize them in a responsible manner. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and then compare the worth of various redemption options. For example, using your points to purchase a flight directly with the airline could offer better value than using them to purchase a gift card.
Another tip is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will let you get a wider selection of choices and more flexibility when redeeming your rewards. For example, you may be able to transfer your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or reward program for hotels. This can give an access wider variety of hotels, flights and other travel benefits that aren’t accessible through the rewards program on your credit card.
Additionally, try to determine if your credit card offers certain benefits that will help you save money on travel expenses. A lot of credit cards provide 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 friend and both of you earn rewards with your own credit card. Just remember that you can’t divide the cost with the same card. Also, make sure to track your rewards separately.
Overall, the key to making the most of your travel rewards is to understand your credit card’s rewards program and ensure that you’re using this program in the most effective method possible. Through a combination of the strategies I’ve outlined, you’ll be able to earn rewards fast, exchange them for travel experiences that are worth it and take advantage of a broad assortment of travel-related perks.