Are you fed up of spending an enormous amount on flights? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting method to turn credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into miles that can then be used to score discounted or complimentary flights for your desired destinations. With a little bit of creativity and some insider information, you’ll travel for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of trading credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can later be used to buy discount or no-cost flights. Some credit cards also permit you to use miles for hotel stays and car rental offers.
How Does it Work?
The key to successful travel hacking is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and building out a frequent flyer mile program on a select group of airlines. When it comes time to make a booking consider the cost. If the price is under $300, it’s usually better to pay in cash and use your miles to pay to take a more costly flight. If the prices start to rise higher than $500, it’s best to review those frequent flyer accounts to see which airline can give you the best price. It all boils down to the amount of points or miles you have you have in your travel savings account for each airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to travel hacking? Your first task is to open an account with a sign-up bonus. There are many great credit cards that offer a variety of features and benefits. It is all dependent on the airline, your spending habits, and the features that are most crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards that are excellent to hack 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 hit the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to receive the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so make certain to verify the details. Then, it’s all about racking up miles and using them to plan your dream vacation!
Ready to jet-set with your points?
After you’ve accrued the points balance, it’s time to redeem them for some sweet getaway! Different credit card companies have different methods of redeeming your points. Here are a few examples from some of the ones I have experience with:
Take a trip by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have a Chase card, you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within the portal, you’ll have access to almost every airline, and you can combine money and points to pay for your travel. You can even book completely with points if you’ve the funds to pay for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t have enough points to cover the total cost, you are able to buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using any credit card.
Are you fed up of paying full price for your flight tickets? Did you know that when you book directly through United You have the option to pay with either points or dollars? But, be careful that if you do not have enough points you aren’t able to combine dollars and points on flights. No worries though, if you’re a few point short United gives you the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience with extra space and complimentary snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines which allows you to book with either JetBlue dollar or points, however, not both. The difference is that JetBlue offers a distinct feature that lets you join your points with family members to accrue points twice as fast. Make sure to establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me or my travel companion Becca I’m sure you’re pretty thrifty and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum spend for the credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried because we’ve been there 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 your rent with credit card, then do it! Just be prepared to be charged a fee, typically about 3%. It might be worth it over the long term in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another great way to hit the required spending is to pay for 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 repay you.
Make a payment to pay off the loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan take into consideration paying them off with an credit card. Make sure to pay off the balance on your credit card in full , so that you don’t accrue additional debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Talk to your family and see if they have any major expenses in the near future which you could help pay for. Just make sure you are able to trust the person and that they are aware of the reason for taking the initiative.
If it’s the holiday season take into consideration buying all of your gifts with your credit card. This way you can meet the minimum spending limit and also be prepared for giving gifts. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you already thinking of.
There are many ways to get the most of the travel credit card. You can accrue points or miles to spend on the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few additional ways to maximize the rewards you earn:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, make use of the travel credit card to pay for your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as any other travel expenses. You’ll not only achieve the required amount for your credit card bonus as well, but you’ll also earn points or miles for these costs.
Utilize your credit card to pay for all your daily expenses
Another way to meet the minimum spending requirement and earn points is by utilising your credit cards to pay daily expenses. This can include things like gas, groceries and even your telephone bill. Be sure to pay off the balance each month in full so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Benefit from bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer bonus points or miles for specific types of purchases, including eating out or traveling. Be sure to review your rewards program on your credit card and take advantage of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending routines.
Take into consideration the possibility of transferring your balance
If you have existing debt on a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer the balance to an account with a travel credit card that has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will let you pay off the debt without accruing interest, and also aid in achieving the minimum amount required to earn the credit card’s bonus.
Utilize your miles and points prudently
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize them wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card and then compare the worth of various redemption options. For example using points to purchase a flight directly with the airline could give you a better return than using them for a gift card.
Another tip is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer your points to other loyalty programs. This will allow you to enjoy a greater variety of choices and more flexibility when making use of your rewards. For example, you may be capable of transferring your rewards to the frequent flyer program of an airline or reward program for hotels. This will give the benefit of a wider range of flights, hotels, and other travel perks that aren’t accessible through your credit card’s rewards program.
In addition, you should determine the card’s benefits. some perks that could save you money on travel-related costs. Some cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that are very beneficial when traveling.
When you travel with a companion and both of you earn rewards using your own credit card. Just remember that you can’t share the costs on the same card, and be sure you keep track of your rewards separately.
The key to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to know the rewards program of your credit card and ensure that you’re making use of your credit card in the most effective way possible. Through all of the strategies I’ve outlined that you can get rewards in a short time, use them for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide range of travel perks.