Are you tired of paying an enormous amount on flights? Well, good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s a fun way to convert credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles, which you can use to score discounted or cheap flights from your ideal destinations. With a bit of imagination and some information, you’ll travel 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. These miles can later be used to purchase cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards let you redeem miles for hotel stays and rental car deals.
How Does it Work?
The secret to success in hacking travel is taking advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and to establish a frequent flyer mile program on a select group of airlines. When it’s time to make a booking, evaluate the cost. If the flight is under $300, it’s generally better to pay 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 those frequent flyer accounts to see which airline can give you the best price. It all comes down to the amount of miles or points in your travel account for every airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to travel hacking? The first step is to open an account that comes with a welcome bonus. There are many great credit cards with many features and benefits. 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 cards perfect for travel hacking:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
If you’ve been approved for a credit or debit card, you’ll need to reach the minimum spend limit in order to receive the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so make certain to verify this information. From there you can begin to rack up miles, and using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to set sail with your goals?
After you’ve accrued the points balance, it’s time to cash them in for some delicious vacation! Different credit card providers will have different methods of redeeming your points, but here are a few examples from some of the ones I have experience with:
Take a trip through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you’re a holder of an Chase cards, you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In the portal, you’ll have access to almost every airline, and you can make use of a combination of the points as well as cash in order to pay for your next trip. You can even book completely with points if you’ve enough balance! Sometimes, even if you don’t possess enough points for the total cost, you are able to purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using the credit card of your choice.
Are you fed up of paying full price for your flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option of paying using either points or dollars? Be careful that if you do not have enough points you cannot combine dollars and points on the same flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re only a couple of points away, United gives you the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience , with more legroom as well as free snacks. Plus, their booking process is like United’s that allows you to book with either JetBlue points or dollars however, not both. The difference is that JetBlue has a unique feature that allows you to join your points with your relatives to earn points twice as fast. Just make sure you can prove you’re really family before trying to hack into the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me or my travel buddy Becca I’m sure you’re pretty frugal and it can be daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to reach the minimum spend for credit card bonuses. Don’t worry, we’ve been through it and we’re here to share our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able to pay for your rent using a credit card, do it! Be prepared to be charged a fee, typically about 3 percent. It may be worth it in the end when the bonus is large enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another way to reach the spending limit is to pay for an medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses due then ask your family members if you can pay their medical bills and they can reimburse you.
Make a payment to pay off the loan
If you have any loans you owe, think about repaying them using an credit card. Just make sure you pay the credit card balance in full so you don’t accumulate additional debt.
Ask family for help
Discuss your family with them and see if they have any large expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to trust the person and they know why you’re doing it.
If you’re celebrating the holidays you should consider purchasing all your gifts with your credit card. In this way, you’ll reach the minimum spending requirement and also be ready to give gifts. Be sure to avoid spending more than you already contemplating to.
There are a lot of ways to get the most out of the travel credit card. You can accrue points or miles to use towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few additional suggestions for maximising your rewards:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, use your travel credit card to book your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as other travel costs. In addition, you’ll be able to meet the required amount to qualify for a credit card reward, however, you’ll also earn points or miles for those expenditures.
Make use of your credit card to pay for all your daily expenditures
Another method to reach the minimum spending requirement in order to accumulate points utilising your credit cards for everyday expenses. This can include items like groceries, gas or even your phone bill. Make sure you pay the balance off in full each month so you don’t pay interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide bonus points or miles for certain types of purchases, including eating out or traveling. Make sure you review your rewards program on your credit card and avail any bonus categories that align with your spending habits.
Take into consideration the possibility of transferring your balance
If you are currently in debt on a high-interest credit card, consider transferring that balance onto a travel credit card with a 0% introductory APR for balance transfer. This will enable you to pay off your debts without accruing interest. It will also aid in achieving the minimum spending requirement for the credit card bonus.
Utilize your miles and points carefully
If you’ve amassed a large amount of points or miles, be sure to use the points or miles wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card, and evaluate the benefits of different redemption options. For instance, using your points to book a flight directly with the airline could give you a better value than using them to purchase a gift card.
Another option is to get rewards cards that allow you to transfer your reward points into other loyalty programmes. This allows you to get a wider selection of choices and more flexibility when redeeming your rewards. For example, you may be capable of transferring your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a reward program for hotels. This will give you access to a greater selection of hotels, flights and other travel benefits that aren’t offered through your credit card’s rewards program.
In addition, you should find out if your credit card offers some perks that could reduce your travel costs. Some cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that can be very beneficial when traveling.
When you travel with someone else and both of you earn rewards with your credit card. Just remember that you can’t split the cost on the same card, and be sure to track your rewards in a separate manner.
Overall, the key to maximizing your travel rewards is to know your credit card’s rewards program and to ensure you’re using it in the most effective method possible. By using a combination of the strategies I’ve listed, you’ll be able to earn rewards quickly, redeem rewards for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide range of travel perks.