Are you tired of paying an enormous amount on flights? Well, good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s a fun way to turn credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles, which you can use to score discounted or cheap flights from your desired destinations. With a little imagination and some information, you’ll be jet-setting 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 cheap or free flight tickets. Some credit cards also let you redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or rental car offers.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for successful travel hacking is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and establishing frequent flyer miles for a specific group of airlines. When it comes time to make a booking consider the cost. If the price is under $300, it’s generally better to pay in cash and save your miles for a more expensive flight. If your flights begin to climb over $500, you’ll need to review the frequent flyer account and find out which airline will give you the best price. It all comes down to the amount of points or miles you have in your travel account for each airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets of travel hacking? The first step is to open the credit card that comes that comes with a welcome bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards with a variety of features and benefits. It is all dependent on the airline, your habits with spending and the features that are most important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit card options that can be perfect to hack travel
- 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 spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to get the bonus. Every card has different rules, so make sure to look up this information. Then, it’s all about racking up miles and using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your points?
Once you’ve accumulated your points balance, it’s time to cash them in for some sweet travel! Different credit card companies will have different methods of redeeming your points, but here are a few examples from some of the companies I’ve had experience with:
Escape through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you own a Chase cards, you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through the portal, you’ll get access to virtually every airline, and you can use a combination of the points as well as cash in order to book your travel. You can even book completely using points if you’ve got enough balance! Sometimes even if you don’t have enough points to cover the total cost, you still can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with any credit card.
Are you fed up of paying full price for your flight tickets? Did you realize that when booking directly through United you can choose the option to pay with dollars or points? But, be careful in case you don’t have enough points, you cannot combine dollars and points on flights. Don’t worry, though, if you’re only a couple of points away, United also offers the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? 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 similar to United’s which allows customers to book using either JetBlue dollar or points but not both. But, JetBlue offers a distinct feature that lets you combine 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 into the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me or my travel buddy Becca, you’re probably pretty frugal and it can be difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to reach the minimum spend for the credit card bonus. But don’t fret because we’ve been there and we’re here to share some of our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able pay your rent using credit card, then do it! Be prepared to pay a fee, usually at least 3%. It could be worthwhile in the end when the bonus is large enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another great way to hit the minimum spend is to cover an medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills due, ask your relatives if you could pay them for theirs, and they’ll reimburse you.
Make a payment to pay off the loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan, consider making payments on them with an credit card. Make sure to pay the credit card balance in full so you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Discuss your family with them and see if they have 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 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 hit that minimum spend and also be ready for giving gifts. Just make sure you’re not paying more than you contemplating to.
There are many ways to make the most of your travel credit card. earn miles or points to spend on airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few additional ways to maximize your rewards:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, use the travel credit card to book your hotel, flight, rental car, and other travel costs. You’ll not only achieve the minimum amount of spending required to earn your credit card bonus as well, but you’ll also be earning points or miles for those expenses.
Make use of your credit card to pay for all your daily expenditures
Another method to reach the minimum spend in order to accumulate points making use of your credit card to pay daily costs. This could include things like food, gas, and even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay off the balance in full each month so you don’t accumulate interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or bonus points for specific types of purchases, such as eating out or traveling. Be sure to review your rewards program on your credit card and avail the bonus categories that are in line with your spending habits.
Take into consideration a balance transfer
If you’re in the middle of a outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, consider transferring that balance onto the travel credit card which has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfer. This will let you pay off the debt without accruing interest, and also assist you in reaching the minimum spending requirement for the credit card’s bonus.
Utilize your miles and points wisely
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of points or miles make sure you use the points or miles wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card and then compare the worth of various redemption options. For instance you can use points to book a flight directly with the airline might give you a better value than using them for a gift card.
Another option is to get a rewards card that allows you to transfer your points to other loyalty programs. This will allow you to get a wider selection of options and greater flexibility in making use of your rewards. For example, you may be eligible to transfer your reward to the frequent flyer program of an airline or Hotel rewards programme. This will give you access to a greater selection of hotels, flights, and other travel perks that aren’t available through the rewards program on your credit card.
Additionally, try to determine the card’s benefits. certain benefits that will help you save money on travel costs. Many cards offer 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, both of you can earn rewards using your credit card. Be aware that you cannot split the cost on the same card, and be sure you keep track of 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 make sure you’re making use of your credit card in the most effective way possible. Utilizing a combination of the strategies I’ve listed in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards quickly, redeem rewards for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide assortment of travel-related perks.