Are you tired of paying an enormous amount on flights? Well, good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s a fun way to turn credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into miles which you can use to obtain discounted or free flights to your dream destinations. With a bit of creativity and some insider information, you’ll be jet-setting for free in no time.
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. The miles can be used to purchase discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards will also permit you to use miles towards hotel stays or rental car offers.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for successful hacking travel is taking advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and establishing a frequent flyer mile program with a limited number of airlines. When it comes time to book a flight take a look at the price. If the cost is under $300, it’s usually better to pay in cash and save your miles for a more expensive flight. When the flights start getting over $500, you’ll need to look into the frequent flyer account to find out which airline will give you the best deal. It all comes down to the number of miles or points in your travel account for each airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets of travel hacking? First step to open a credit card with a sign-up offer. There are plenty of great credit cards that provide a variety of benefits and features. It depends on the type of airline, your habits with spending and what features are important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit card options that can be perfect for travel hacking:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
Once you’ve been approved for a credit card, you’ll need to reach the minimum spend limit in order to get the bonus. Every card has different rules, so be sure to look up the details. Then, it’s all about racking up miles and using them to plan your dream trip!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your goals?
Once you’ve accumulated your points balance, you’re ready to redeem them for some nice travel! Different credit card providers will have different methods of redeeming your points. Here are some examples from a few of the ones I have experience with:
Getaway with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have a Chase cards, you are able to redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In this portal you’ll get access to virtually every airline, and you can make use of a combination of points and cash to pay for your travel. You can even book entirely using points if you’ve got the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for total price, you can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using the credit card of your choice.
Are you tired of paying full price for your flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United You have the option of paying with dollars or points? Butbe aware that if you don’t have enough points you aren’t able to combine points and dollars on one flight. If you’re just a few points short, United also offers the option of buying additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience , with more legroom as well as free snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to United’s, allowing passengers to book flights using JetBlue dollar or points but not both. The difference is that JetBlue has a unique feature that allows you to pool your points together with your relatives to earn points twice as fast. Be sure to establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack into the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re anything like me and my travel companion Becca I’m sure you’re pretty frugal and it can be difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried as we’ve done 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 to pay your rent using a credit card, do it! Be prepared to pay a fee, usually around 3%. It may be worth it over the long term if the bonus is high enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another way to reach the required spending is to cover a medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses coming up, ask your family members to pay their medical bills and they will repay you.
Pay off a loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan take into consideration repaying them using an credit card. Make sure to pay the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t end up with additional debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Talk to your family and see if they have any large expenses coming up which you could help pay for. Make sure that you are able to are able to trust the person and that they know why you’re doing this.
If it’s the holiday season take into consideration buying all 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 already thinking of.
There are a lot of ways to make the most from your travel credit card. accumulate miles or points that you can spend on flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few additional suggestions for maximising your rewards:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, make use of your travel credit card for booking your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as any other travel-related expenses. Not only will you be able to meet the minimum spend to earn your credit card bonus, however, you’ll also earn points or miles on these costs.
Make use of your credit card to pay for all your daily expenditures
Another way to meet the minimum spending requirement and earn points is by utilising your credit cards to pay for daily expenditures. This can include things like food, gas and even your telephone bill. Make sure you pay the balance off in full each month so you don’t pay interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or bonus points for specific types of purchases, including eating out or traveling. Check out the rewards program of your credit card and avail any bonus categories that align with your spending habits.
Think about the possibility of transferring your balance
If you’re in the middle of a outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer that balance to a travel credit card with an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfers. This will let you pay off your debts without accruing interest, and also aid in achieving the minimum spending requirement for the credit card’s bonus.
Make use of your miles or points wisely
If you’ve amassed a large amount of miles or points, be sure to use the points or miles wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and compare the value of different redemption options. For instance you can use your points to purchase a flight directly with the airline might give you a better return than using them for an gift card.
Another suggestion is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer your rewards to different loyalty program. This will allow you to get a wider selection of choices and more flexibility in making use of your rewards. For instance, you might be eligible to transfer your rewards to an airline’s frequent flyer program or a hotel rewards program. This gives the benefit of a wider variety of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks that may not be accessible through your credit card’s rewards program.
Also, determine whether your credit card has certain benefits that will save you money on travel-related costs. Some cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection and other benefits that are very beneficial when traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a friend each of you will be able to get rewards on your own credit card. Make sure you don’t divide the cost with the same card. Also, make sure to track your rewards separately.
The key to making the most of 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 effective way possible. By using all of the strategies I’ve listed that you can earn rewards quickly, redeem them for travel experiences that are worth it and take advantage of a broad range of travel perks.