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 an exciting method to convert credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into miles which you can use to obtain discounted or free flights to your desired destinations. With a bit of creativity and some insider know-how, you’ll travel for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about swapping credit card sign-up bonus and incentives for airline miles. The miles can be used to purchase cheap or free flight tickets. Some credit cards also let you redeem miles towards hotel stays or rental car deals.
How Does it Work?
The key to successful hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and to establish a frequent flyer mile program for a specific group of airlines. When it’s time to make a booking, evaluate the cost. If the cost is under $300, it’s best to pay cash and save your miles to book a higher-priced flight. When the flights start getting above $500, you’ll want to check your frequent flyer accounts and see which airline can give you the best deal. All it boils down to is the number of miles or points in your travel account for every airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets of travel hacking? First step opening an account with a sign-up offer. There are plenty of great credit cards that offer many advantages and features. It depends on the type of airline, spending habits and the features that are most important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards 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 reach the limit of spending minimum in order to qualify for the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so be sure to check for the details. Then you can begin to rack up miles and using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your points?
Once you’ve accumulated your points balance, you’re ready to redeem them for some nice travel! Different credit card companies will offer different ways to redeem your points, but here are some examples from a few of the ones I have experience with:
Escape by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of an Chase cards, you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In it, you’ll get access to virtually every airline. You can make use of a combination of points and cash to pay for your trip. You can book your flight entirely using points if you’ve got the funds to pay for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t have enough points to cover the entire cost, you still can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using every credit card.
Are you tired of paying full price for flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United You have the option of paying with either points or dollars? But, be careful, if you don’t have enough points, you cannot combine dollars and points for one flight. If you’re only a couple of point short United provides the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides a comfortable and enjoyable travel experience that includes extra legroom as well as free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to that of United Airlines which allows you to book with either JetBlue dollar or points, but not both. The difference is that JetBlue offers a distinct feature that allows you to join your points with your relatives to earn points twice as quickly. Make sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me and my travel buddy Becca I’m sure you’re pretty frugal and it can be difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to reach the minimum spend for a credit card bonus. Don’t worry, we’ve been through it and are here to share some of our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able to pay for your rent using credit card, go for it! Be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually about 3 percent. It may be worth it in the end if the bonus is high enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another great way to hit the spending limit is to pay for an medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses in the near future Ask your relatives if you could pay them for theirs, and they will pay you back.
Pay off the loan
If you’re a borrower you owe, think about paying them off with an credit card. Just make sure you pay the credit card balance in full so you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask family for help
Talk to your family and see if they have any big expenses coming up which you could help pay for. Make sure that you are able to trust the person and they are aware of the reason for doing this.
If it’s the holiday season take into consideration buying all your gifts with cards from your credit account. So you’ll be able to meet the minimum spending limit and also be prepared to give gifts. Just make sure you’re not paying more than you already planning to.
There are a lot of methods to get the most out of your travel credit card. You can accrue points or miles to be used towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few additional ideas for maximizing the rewards you earn:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, make use of the travel credit card to book your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as any other travel expenses. In addition, you’ll be able to hit the required amount for your credit card bonus, but you’ll also be earning points or miles on the expenses.
Make use of your credit card to pay for everyday costs
Another way to hit the minimum amount of spending and earn points is making use of your credit card for everyday expenses. This could be things like gas, groceries and even your telephone bill. Just make sure to pay off the balance in full each month so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Benefit from bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer bonus points or miles for certain types of purchases, such as dining or travel. Make sure you review your credit card’s rewards program and make use of any bonus categories that align with your spending habits.
Take into consideration a balance transfer
If you have existing debt on a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer that balance onto a travel credit card with an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfers. This will allow you to pay off the debt without accruing interest. It will also assist you in reaching the minimum spend for the credit card bonus.
Utilize your miles and points wisely
When you’ve earned a significant amount of miles or points, be sure to use the points or miles wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card and compare the value of different redemption options. For instance, using your points to purchase a flight directly through the airline may provide you with a greater return than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will allow you to enjoy a greater variety of choices and more flexibility when making use of your rewards. For example, you may be capable of transferring your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a Hotel rewards programme. This can give the benefit of a greater selection of hotels, flights, and other travel perks which are not available through the rewards program on your credit card.
Also, discover whether your credit card has some perks that could reduce your travel costs. Many cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection and other benefits that can be very beneficial when traveling.
If you’re traveling with a companion and both of you earn rewards with your own credit card. Just remember that you can’t divide the cost with the same card and make sure you keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
Overall, the key to reaping the maximum benefits from your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program of your credit card and to ensure you’re using it in the most effective method possible. By using all of the methods I’ve described that you can earn rewards quickly, redeem rewards for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide variety of travel benefits.