Are you tired of paying an enormous amount on flights? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s a fun way to turn credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into miles which can be used to get discounted or even free flights to your ideal destinations. With a little imagination and a little bit of insider knowledge, you can travel for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. The miles can be used to buy cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards allow you to redeem miles towards hotel stays or rental car deals.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for successful travel hacking is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and establishing frequent flyer miles with a limited number of airlines. When it’s time 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 your flights begin to climb over $500, you’ll need to review those frequent flyer accounts and determine which airline offers you the best deal. All it boils down to is the amount of miles or points you have in your travel savings account for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to travel hacking? Your first task is to open an account that comes with a welcome bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards that offer a variety of features and benefits. It depends on the type of airline, your spending habits, and what features are essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards that are excellent to use for hacking 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 hit the minimum spend limit in order to get the bonus. Each card has its own guidelines, so make sure to look up the details. Then it’s all about building miles and using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to set sail with your ideas?
After you’ve accrued your points balance, it’s time to use them towards sweet travel! Different credit card providers will have different methods for redeeming your rewards, here are some examples from a few of the companies I have experience with:
Take a trip through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you’re a holder of a Chase card, you are able to redeem your points via 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 trip. You can book your flight entirely on points if you have the balance for it! Sometimes even if you don’t have enough points to cover the entire cost, you are able to book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using any credit card.
Are you tired of paying full price for your flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option to pay with either points or dollars? Butbe aware in case you do not have enough points you cannot combine points and dollars for one flight. If you’re a few points short, United gives you the option to purchase additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience , with more space and complimentary snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to that of United Airlines which allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue points or dollars however, not both. But, JetBlue offers a distinct feature that allows you to join your points with family members to accrue points twice as quickly. Be sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack into the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel buddy Becca I’m sure you’re pretty thrifty and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to reach the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus. But don’t fret, we’ve been through it and we’re here to share our tricks and tips.
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! Just be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually at least 3%. It might be worth it in the long run in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another way to reach the required spending is to cover an medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses due then ask your family members to pay their medical bills and they’ll pay you back.
Pay off a loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan you owe, think about repaying them using an credit card. 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 see if they have any major expenses in the near future that you can contribute for. Just make sure you are able to trust the person and that they understand why you’re taking the initiative.
If you’re celebrating the holidays, consider buying all your gifts using cards from your credit account. In this way, you’ll hit that minimum spend and be ready for gift giving. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you were thinking of.
There are a lot of ways to make the most of your travel credit card. You can accumulate miles or points that you can use towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are some additional suggestions for maximising your rewards:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, use your travel credit card for booking your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as other travel costs. You’ll not only be able to hit the minimum spend to qualify for a credit card bonus as well, but you’ll also be earning points or miles to cover the costs.
Make use of your credit card to pay for all your daily expenses
Another way to meet the minimum spending requirement to earn rewards is using your credit card to pay everyday expenses. This could include things like gas, groceries and even your telephone bill. Make sure you pay off the balance in full each month so you don’t accumulate interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or points in exchange for certain types of purchases, such as eating out or travelling. Be sure to review the rewards program of your credit card and avail any bonus categories that align with your spending routines.
Take into consideration the possibility of transferring your balance
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a high-interest credit card, consider transferring that balance to a travel credit card with a 0% introductory APR for balance transfers. This will let you pay off your debt without accruing interest, and also assist you in reaching the minimum amount required to earn the credit card’s bonus.
Use your points or miles wisely
When you’ve earned a significant amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize the points or miles wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and then compare the benefits of different redemption options. For example you can use your points to book a flight directly with the airline might 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 rewards to different loyalty program. This will allow you to enjoy a greater variety of choices and more flexibility in you want to redeem your rewards. For instance, you might be capable of transferring your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a hotel rewards program. This will give an access larger range of flights, hotels, and other travel perks that may not be accessible through the rewards program of your credit card.
Additionally, try to determine if your credit card offers certain benefits that will save you money on travel-related expenses. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that could be very beneficial when traveling.
If you’re traveling with someone else each of you will be able to earn rewards with your own credit card. Be aware that you cannot divide the cost with the same card. Also, make sure to track your rewards in a separate manner.
The key 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 using this program in the most efficient way possible. Through all of the strategies I’ve outlined in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards fast, exchange them for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad variety of travel benefits.