Are you fed up of spending an enormous amount on flights? Good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting method to turn credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles that can then be used to score discounted or complimentary flights for your dream destinations. With a little bit of imagination and some knowledge, you can travel for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. These miles can then be used to buy discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards let you redeem miles for hotel stays and car rental discounts.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for success in hacking travel is taking advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and building out frequent flyer miles with a limited number of airlines. When you are ready to make a booking consider the cost. If the cost is under $300, it’s best to pay in cash and use your miles to pay to take a more costly flight. When the flights start getting over $500, you’ll need to look into those frequent flyer accounts to determine which airline offers you the most value. All it boils down to is the amount of points or miles you have in your travel bank for each airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets of travel hacking? Your first task is to open an account that comes with a welcome bonus. There are many great credit cards that offer various benefits and features. It is all dependent on the airline, your spending habits, and what features are crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards great 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 or debit card, you’ll have to meet the limit of spending minimum in order to receive the bonus. Every card has different guidelines, so make sure to check for the details. From there it’s all about building up miles and using them to book your dream vacation!
Ready to jet-set with your goals?
Once you’ve accumulated the points balance, it’s time to use them towards delicious getaway! Different credit card companies will offer different ways to redeem your rewards, here are some examples from a few of the providers I’ve worked with:
Take a trip through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you own an Chase credit card, then you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within this portal you’ll have access to virtually every airline. You can use a combination of the points as well as cash in order to pay for your trip. You can book your flight entirely with points if you’ve the balance for it! Sometimes even if you do not have enough points to cover the entire price, you can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using 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 have the option of paying using either points or dollars? But, be careful that if you do not have enough points you aren’t able to combine dollars and points on the same flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re just a few points short, United provides the option of buying additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers an enjoyable and comfortable travel experience that includes extra space and complimentary snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to United’s, allowing passengers to book flights using JetBlue points or dollars however, not both. But, JetBlue has a unique feature that allows you to pool your points together with family members to accrue points twice as fast. Just make sure you can prove you’re really family before trying to hack the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re anything like me and my travel buddy Becca You’re probably quite thrifty and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to hit the minimum spend for a credit card bonus. Don’t worry as we’ve done it and we’re here to share our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able to pay for your rent with credit card, then do it! Just be prepared to pay a fee, usually at least 3 percent. It could be worthwhile in the end in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the minimum spend is to cover the medical bills. If you do not have any medical expenses due Ask your relatives if you could pay their medical bills and they’ll reimburse you.
Repay the loan
If you have any loans, consider making payments on them with your credit card. Make sure to pay off the balance on your credit card in full so you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Discuss your family with them and see if they have any big expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Just make sure you are able to trust the person and that they know why you’re doing it.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season you should consider purchasing all your gifts using your credit card. This way you can meet the minimum spending limit and also be ready for gift giving. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you were already contemplating to.
There are a lot of ways to get the most of your travel credit card. accumulate miles or points that you can use towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are some additional ideas for maximizing your rewards:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, make use of the travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as other travel costs. In addition, you’ll achieve the required amount to qualify for a credit card reward and earn points, however, you’ll also earn points or miles to cover the expenses.
Make use of your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday costs
Another method to reach the minimum spending requirement and earn points is by utilising your credit cards to pay for every day expenditures. This can include items like groceries, gas, and even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay the balance off in full each month so you don’t accumulate interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide bonus points or miles for specific types of purchases, such as eating out or travelling. Be sure to review your credit card’s rewards program and take advantage of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending habits.
Think about the possibility of transferring your balance
If you are currently in debt on a high-interest credit card, consider transferring that balance onto an account with a travel credit card that has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfers. This will enable you to pay off your debt without accruing interest and simultaneously aid in achieving 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 the points or miles wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card and then compare the value of different redemption options. For example using your points to book a ticket directly with the airline might offer better value than using them for a gift card.
Another tip is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer your rewards to different loyalty program. This will let you get a wider selection of choices and more flexibility when making use of your rewards. For instance, you might be eligible to transfer your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or Hotel rewards programme. This can give the benefit of a greater range of flights, hotels and other travel benefits that may not be available through the rewards program on your credit card.
Additionally, try to determine if your credit card offers some perks that could reduce your travel costs. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that can be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
If you’re traveling with a companion and both of you earn rewards using your credit card. Be aware that you cannot share the costs on the same card, and be sure to keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
The key to making the most of your travel rewards is to understand your credit card’s rewards program and make sure you’re making use of your credit card in the most effective method possible. Utilizing a combination of the strategies I’ve listed, you’ll be able to get rewards in a short time, use rewards for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide variety of travel benefits.