Are you tired of spending an enormous amount on flights? Good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s a fun way to turn credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles, which can be used to score discounted or free flights to your dream destinations. With a little bit of imagination and a little bit of insider know-how, you’ll be jet-setting for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about swapping credit card sign-up bonus and incentives for airline miles. The miles can be used to purchase discounted or even free flights. Some credit cards also permit you to use miles towards hotel stays or car rental deals.
How Does it Work?
The key to successful 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 you are ready to make a booking take a look at the price. If the price is under $300, it’s generally better to pay in cash and save your miles to take a more costly flight. If the prices start to rise higher than $500, it’s best to look into those frequent flyer accounts and see which airline can give you the most value. It all comes down to the amount of points or miles you have in your travel bank for each airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets of travel hacking? Your first task is to open an account that comes with a welcome bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that provide a variety of advantages and features. It depends on the type of airline, your spending habits, and the features that are most crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit card options that can be excellent for travel hacking:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
Once you’ve been approved for a credit or debit card, you’ll need to hit the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to qualify for the bonus. Every card has different rules, so be certain to verify the details. From there it’s all about building up miles, and then using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your ideas?
Once you’ve accumulated your points balance, it’s time to redeem them for some delicious vacation! Different credit card providers will have different methods of redeeming your points, but here are some examples from a few of the providers I have experience with:
Escape through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you own a Chase card, you are able to redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In the portal, you’ll get access to almost every airline and you can use 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 the funds to pay for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t possess enough points for the full cost, you are able to book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using every credit card.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for your flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United, you have the option of paying with dollars or points? But, be careful in case you don’t have enough points, you can’t combine dollars and points for flights. No worries though, if you’re a few points away, United provides the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue provides passengers a relaxing and pleasant travel experience that includes extra legroom as well as free snacks. Plus, their booking process is like United’s which allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue points or dollars but not both. The difference is that JetBlue has a unique feature where you can combine your points with your family members and earn points twice as quickly. Be sure to prove you’re really family before 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 difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum amount required to earn a credit card bonus. But don’t fret as we’ve done it and are here to share our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able pay your rent using credit card, go for it! Just be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually around 3%. It may be worth it over the long term if the bonus is high enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another way to reach the spending limit is to pay for the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills due Ask your family members to pay them for theirs, and they will repay you.
Make a payment to pay off the loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan you owe, think about paying them off with an credit card. Just make sure you pay off the balance on your credit card in full , so that you don’t end up with additional debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Ask your family members to look into any major expenses in the near future which you could help pay for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to trust the person and they know why you’re doing this.
If you’re celebrating the holidays take into consideration buying all your gifts using cards from your credit account. So you’ll be able to hit that minimum spend and also be prepared for gift giving. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you were contemplating to.
There are plenty of ways to get the most of using your credit or debit card for travel. earn miles or points to spend on flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few additional suggestions for maximising the rewards you earn:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a vacation, make use of you travel credit card to pay for your hotel, flight, rental car, and other travel costs. Not only will you achieve the required amount to qualify for a credit card bonus, but you’ll also be earning points or miles on these costs.
Use your credit card for everyday costs
Another way to meet the minimum spend and earn points is by making use of your credit card for everyday expenses. This could be things like gas, groceries or even your phone bill. Make sure you pay the balance off in full each month so you don’t accumulate interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or points in exchange on certain kinds of purchases, such as dining or travel. Be sure to review your rewards program on your credit card and avail any bonus categories that align with your spending habits.
Take into consideration a balance transfer
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a high-interest credit card, consider transferring that balance onto the travel credit card which has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will enable you to pay off your debts without accruing interest and simultaneously help you hit the minimum spend for the credit card’s bonus.
Make use of your miles or points wisely
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of points or miles, be sure to use them in a responsible manner. Review the rewards program for your credit card, and evaluate the worth of various redemption options. For instance, using your points to book a ticket directly through the airline may provide you with a greater return than using them for a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer your reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will let you have a wider range of choices and more flexibility when making use of your rewards. For example, you may be capable of transferring your reward to the frequent flyer program of an airline or a Hotel rewards programme. This gives an access wider selection of hotels, flights, and other travel perks which are not available through the rewards program of your credit card.
Also, discover if your credit card offers some perks that could help you save money on travel expenses. Some cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that are extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
If you’re traveling with a companion, both of you can earn rewards with your own credit card. Make sure you don’t split the cost on the same card and make sure to keep track of your rewards separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do to maximizing your travel rewards is to know the rewards program of your credit card and make sure you’re using this program in the most efficient way possible. Through a combination of the strategies I’ve outlined that you can get rewards in a short time, use them for travel experiences that are worth it and benefit from a wide assortment of travel-related perks.