Are you fed up of spending an enormous amount on flights? Well, good news! Travel hacking is the answer to your travel-related problems. It’s a fun way to turn credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles which you can use to obtain discounted or free flights to your ideal destinations. With a little creativity and some insider knowledge, you can travel for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of swapping credit card sign-up bonus and rewards for airline miles. These miles can later be used to purchase discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards will also permit you to use miles to pay for hotel stays or car rental offers.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for successful travel hacking is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and to establish frequent flyer miles for a specific group of airlines. When it’s time to book a flight consider the cost. If the flight is less than $300, it’s usually better to pay in cash and use your miles to pay to book a higher-priced flight. If your flights begin to climb over $500, you’ll need to look into those frequent flyer accounts to find out which airline will give you the most value. It all comes down to the amount of points or miles you have in your travel bank for every airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to hacking travel? Your first task is opening a credit card with a sign-up offer. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that provide various features and benefits. It all depends on your preferred airline, your spending habits, and what features are important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards excellent to hack travel
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
Once you’ve been approved for a credit card, you’ll have to meet the minimum spend limit in order to qualify for the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so be sure to check for this information. Then it’s all about building up miles, and using them to plan your dream vacation!
Ready to jet-set with your points?
Once you’ve accumulated the points amount, it’s time to redeem them for some sweet travel! Different credit card providers will have different methods of redeeming your points. Here are some examples from some of the companies I’ve had experience with:
Escape through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you’re a holder of a Chase cards, you are able to use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In the portal, you’ll get 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 using points if you’ve got the balance for it! Sometimes even if you do not possess enough points for the entire cost, you are able to purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using any credit card.
Are you tired of paying full price for your flight tickets? Did you realize that when booking directly through United, you have the option of paying with dollars or points? Butbe aware in case you don’t have enough points, you cannot combine dollars and points on the same flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re just a few point short United provides the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers passengers a relaxing and pleasant travel experience that includes extra legroom as well as free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is like United’s, allowing passengers to book flights using JetBlue points or dollars, but not both. The difference is that JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that lets you join your points with your relatives to earn points twice as fast. Be sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel buddy Becca You’re probably quite economical and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to hit the minimum amount required to earn credit card bonuses. Don’t worry because we’ve been there and we’re here to share our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able pay your rent with credit card, then do it! Just be prepared to be charged a fee, typically around 3%. It might be worth it over the long term in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another great way to hit the minimum spend is to cover an medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills due Ask your relatives if you could pay their medical bills and they’ll pay you back.
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 completely so that you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask family for help
Ask your family members to determine if they’ve got any large expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Make sure that you are able to have confidence in the person you are talking to and they know why you’re doing this.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season, consider buying all your gifts with the credit card you have. In this way, you’ll meet the minimum spending limit and be ready for giving gifts. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you were already thinking of.
There are a lot of ways to get the most of the travel credit card. You can accumulate miles or points that you can spend on airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few more suggestions for maximising the rewards you earn:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a vacation, make use of your travel credit card to pay for your hotel, flight, rental car, and any other travel expenses. Not only will you be able to hit the minimum amount of spending required for your credit card reward, but you’ll also earn points or miles on these costs.
Utilize your credit card to pay for everyday costs
Another way to meet the minimum amount of spending in order to accumulate points by utilising your credit cards to pay for everyday expenses. This could include things like gas, groceries or even your phone bill. Make sure you pay the balance off in full each month so you don’t pay interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or bonus points for certain types of purchases, like eating out or travelling. Make sure you review the rewards program of your credit card and avail the bonus categories that are in line with your spending routines.
Take into consideration a balance transfer
If you have existing outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, think about transferring that balance to an account with a travel credit card that has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfers. This will enable you to pay off your debts without accruing interest. It will also help you hit the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus.
Utilize your miles and points prudently
If you’ve amassed a large 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 instance you can use your points to purchase a flight directly through the airline may provide you with a greater value than using them to purchase the purchase of a gift card.
Another tip is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer points to other loyalty programs. This will let you get a wider selection of options and greater flexibility when redeeming your rewards. For example, you may be eligible to transfer your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or reward program for hotels. This can give the benefit of a larger variety of hotels, flights, and other travel perks which are not offered through the rewards program of your credit card.
Additionally, try to discover whether your credit card has any perks that can save you money on travel-related costs. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection, and other benefits that can be very beneficial when traveling.
When you travel with a companion and both of you get rewards on your own credit card. Make sure you don’t share the costs on the same card and make sure to track 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 ensure that you’re using this program in the most effective method possible. By using an array of methods I’ve described, you’ll be able to earn rewards quickly, redeem them for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide assortment of travel-related perks.