Disney Travel Posters

Are you fed up of spending a fortune on airfare? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting way to convert sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles which you can use to get discounted or even cheap flights from your desired destinations. With a bit of creativity and some insider knowledge, you can fly for no cost in no time.

The Basics of Travel Hacking

Travel hacking is about exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. The miles can be used to pay for discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards will also permit you to use miles towards hotel stays or car rental deals.

How Does it Work?

The key to success in hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and establishing frequent flyer miles 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 usually better to pay cash and save your miles to take a more costly flight. If your flights begin to climb above $500, you’ll want to review those frequent flyer accounts and find out which airline will give you the most value. It all boils down to the amount of points or miles you have in your travel bank for every airline.

Start with Travel Hacking

Ready to learn the secrets to travel hacking? Your first task is opening the credit card that comes with a sign-up bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards with a variety of features and benefits. It is all dependent on the airline, your spending habits, and the features that are most essential to you.

Top Credit Card Picks

Here are a few credit card options that can be great for travel hacking:

  • Chase Sapphire Reserve
  • Chase United Explorer
  • JetBlue Mastercard
  • Capital One Venture X

After you’ve been accepted for a credit or debit card, you’ll need to hit the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to qualify for the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so be sure to look up the details. Then you can begin to rack miles and then using them to book your dream vacation!

Are you ready to set sail with your points?

Now that you’ve built up the points balance, you’re ready to redeem them for some nice getaway! Different credit card companies have different methods of redeeming your points, but here are a few examples from some of the ones I’ve worked with:

Escape through Chase Ultimate Reward

If you own a Chase cards, you are able to redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within this portal you’ll have access to almost every airline and you can use a combination of money and points to book your next trip. You can even book completely with points if you’ve enough balance! Sometimes, even if you don’t have enough points to cover the full price, you can buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using any credit card.

 

United

Are you fed up of paying the full cost for flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United you can choose the option of paying with dollars or points? Butbe aware, if you don’t have enough points you can’t combine dollars and points for the same flight. If you’re a few points short, United also offers the option to purchase additional miles.

JetBlue

Are you looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue provides an enjoyable and comfortable travel experience that includes extra legroom and free snacks. Plus, their booking process is like United’s that allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue either dollars or points but not both. The difference is that JetBlue offers a distinct feature that allows you to pool your points together with your relatives to earn points twice as fast. Be sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack the system.

Reach that Minimum Spend

If you’re anything like me and my travel companion Becca, you’re probably pretty frugal and it can be challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to hit the minimum spend for credit card bonuses. But don’t fret because we’ve been there and we’re here to share some of our tricks and tips.

Pay your rent (if you can)

This is a huge one! If you’re able pay your rent using credit card, then do it! Make sure you pay a fee, usually around 3%. It might be worth it in the long run if the bonus is high enough.

Make a payment on a medical expense

Another way to reach the minimum spend is to cover a medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses coming up Ask your family members if you can pay their medical bills and they’ll repay you.

Make a payment to pay off the loan

If you’re in the middle of a loan take into consideration making payments on them with your credit card. Be sure to pay off the balance on your credit card in full , so that you don’t end up with more debt.

Ask family for help

Ask your family members to see if they have any large expenses coming up which you could help pay for. Make sure that you are able to have confidence in the person you are talking to and they are aware of the reason for doing it.

Buy gifts

If you’re celebrating the holidays you should consider purchasing all your gifts with the credit card you have. So you’ll be able to meet the minimum spending limit and also be ready to give gifts. Make sure that you’re not paying more than you thinking of.

There are a lot of ways to get the most of the travel credit card and accumulate miles or points that you can be used towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few more suggestions for maximising 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 or rental car, as well as any other travel-related expenses. You’ll not only be able to meet the required amount to earn your credit card, but you’ll also earn points or miles for the costs.

Make use of your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday expenses

Another method to reach the minimum spend to earn rewards is utilising your credit cards to pay for everyday expenditures. This could include items like groceries, gas and even your telephone bill. Be sure to pay off the balance each month in full so you don’t accrue interest charges.

Make the most of bonus categories

Some travel credit cards will offer miles or bonus points for specific types of purchases, such as eating out or travelling. Be sure to review your rewards program on your credit card and avail any bonus categories that align with your spending habits.

Think about a balance transfer

If you have existing debt on a high-interest credit card, consider transferring that balance to the travel credit card which has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfer. This will allow you to pay off the debt without accruing interest, and also assist you in reaching the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus.

Make use of your miles or points carefully

If you’ve amassed a large amount of miles or points, be sure to use the points or miles wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card, and evaluate the worth of various redemption options. For example, using points to book a ticket directly with the airline could offer better value than using them for the purchase of a gift card.

Another option is to get rewards cards that allow you to transfer reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will allow you to enjoy a greater variety of options and greater flexibility when redeeming your rewards. For instance, you might be eligible to transfer your rewards to the frequent flyer program of an airline or a hotel rewards program. This can give you access to a larger variety of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks that may not be accessible through your credit card’s rewards program.

Also, find out whether your credit card has any perks that can reduce your travel costs. 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 using your own credit card. Make sure you don’t divide the cost with the same card, and be sure you keep track of your rewards separately.

The key to making the most of your travel rewards is to know the rewards program on your credit card and ensure that you’re making use of it in the most efficient method possible. By using all of the methods I’ve described in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards fast, exchange them for travel experiences that are worth it and benefit from a wide range of travel perks.