Are you tired of spending a fortune on airfare? Good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s a fun way to turn credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into miles which can be used to obtain discounted or cheap flights from your dream destinations. With a bit of creativity and some insider know-how, you’ll be jet-setting for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about trading credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can later be used to pay for cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards let you redeem miles for hotel stays and car rental deals.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for successful hacking travel is taking advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and to establish a frequent flyer mile program with a limited number of airlines. When you are ready to make a booking, evaluate the cost. If the price is under $300, it’s usually better to pay in cash and use your miles to pay for a more expensive flight. If the prices start to rise over $500, you’ll need to look into your frequent flyer accounts to find out which airline will give you the most value. It all boils down to the number of points or miles you have in your travel account for each airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets of travel hacking? Your first task is to open an account with a sign-up offer. There are plenty of great credit cards that offer a variety of features and benefits. It all depends on your preferred airline, your spending habits, and what features are important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards perfect to hack travel
- 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 receive the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so be sure to check for this information. From there, it’s all about racking up miles and using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to set sail with your points?
Now that you’ve built up the points balance, it’s time to redeem them for some nice vacation! Different credit card companies offer different ways to redeem 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 own an Chase cards, you are able to redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through this 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 travel. You can even book completely 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 total cost, you still 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 your flight tickets? Did you know that when you book directly through United You have the option of paying with either points or dollars? But, be careful in case you do not have enough points you cannot combine points and dollars for flights. Don’t worry, though, if you’re only a couple of point short United also offers the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers an enjoyable and comfortable travel experience that includes extra legroom and free snacks. Plus, their booking process is like United’s that allows you to book with either JetBlue dollar or points, but not both. But, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature where you can join your points with your relatives to earn points twice as fast. Be sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re like me and my travel companion Becca, you’re probably pretty economical and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to hit the minimum spend for credit card bonuses. However, don’t be worried because we’ve been there and are here to share some of our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able to pay your rent using credit card, go for it! Make sure you pay a cost, which is usually at least 3 percent. It may be worth it in the long run when the bonus is large enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the required spending is to cover the medical bills. If you do not have any medical expenses coming up, ask your relatives if you could pay them for theirs, and they will pay you back.
Pay off a loan
If you have any loans take into consideration making payments on them with the credit card you have. Make sure to pay the credit card balance completely so that you don’t accrue additional debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Discuss your family with them and determine if they’ve got any major expenses in the near future which you could 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 doing it.
If it’s the holiday season, consider buying all your gifts using cards from your credit account. In this way, you’ll meet the minimum spending limit and be ready to give gifts. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you contemplating to.
There are plenty of methods to get the most out of the travel credit card. accumulate miles or points that you can spend on airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are some additional ideas for maximizing your rewards
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, make use of your travel credit card to pay for your hotel, flight, rental car, and other travel costs. Not only will you be able to meet the minimum amount of spending required for your credit card bonus and earn points, but you’ll also be earning points or miles on the costs.
Make use of your credit card to pay for everyday expenditures
Another method to reach the minimum amount of spending to earn rewards is by utilising your credit cards to pay for everyday costs. This can include things like gas, groceries and even your telephone bill. Be sure to pay the balance off 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, such as eating out or travelling. Make sure you review your credit card’s rewards program and make use of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending routines.
Consider a balance transfer
If you have existing debt on a credit card, you might want to transfer the balance to 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 simultaneously assist you in reaching the minimum spending requirement for the credit card’s bonus.
Make use of your miles or points carefully
If you’ve amassed a large amount of miles or points make sure you use them wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and compare the value of different redemption options. For example using your points to book a flight directly with the airline might provide you with a greater value than using them for an gift card.
Another tip is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer your rewards to different loyalty program. This will allow you to have a wider range of options and greater flexibility when making use of your rewards. For instance, you might be able to transfer your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or Hotel rewards programme. This can give the benefit of a wider variety of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks which are not available through your credit card’s rewards program.
In addition, you should find out the card’s benefits. certain benefits that will help you save money on travel expenses. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection and other benefits that could be invaluable when you travel.
Finally, when you’re traveling with someone else each of you will be able to earn rewards with your credit card. Be aware that you cannot split the cost on the same card, and be sure to track your rewards separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do to reaping the maximum benefits from your rewards for travel is to be aware of your credit card’s rewards program and ensure that you’re making use of your credit card in the most efficient method possible. By using a combination of the methods I’ve described that you can earn rewards quickly, redeem rewards for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide range of travel perks.