Are you fed up of spending a fortune on airfare? Good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel problems. It’s a fun way to convert welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles, which can be used to obtain discounted or cheap flights from your ideal destinations. With a bit of creativity and some insider knowledge, you can fly for no cost within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about trading credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. These miles can later be used to purchase discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards will also permit you to use miles towards hotel stays or car rental offers.
How Does it Work?
The key to success in travel hacking is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and establishing a frequent flyer mile program on a select group of airlines. When you are ready to book a flight consider the cost. If the price is less than $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 above $500, you’ll want to look into those frequent flyer accounts to determine which airline offers you the most value. All it boils down to is the number of miles or points in your travel bank for every airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to hacking travel? Your first task is opening an account with a sign-up bonus. There are many great credit cards that provide various advantages and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, your spending habits, and the features that are most important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards that are perfect for travel hacking:
- 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 minimum spend limit in order to get the bonus. Each card has its own guidelines, so make sure to look up this information. Then it’s all about building up miles and using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your ideas?
After you’ve accrued the points balance, it’s time to cash them in for some sweet getaway! Different credit card providers will have different methods of redeeming your points. Here are some examples from a few of the companies I have experience with:
Getaway by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have a Chase cards, you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through this portal you’ll get access to nearly every airline, and you can make use of a combination of the points as well as cash in order to book your next trip. You can book your flight entirely on points if you have enough balance! Sometimes even if you don’t possess enough points for the entire price, you can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using the credit card of your choice.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for your flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United You have the option of paying using either points or dollars? But, be careful, if you do not have enough points you cannot combine points and dollars on flights. If you’re just a few point short United also offers the option of buying additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue offers passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience , with more legroom as well as free snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines, allowing customers to book using either JetBlue dollar or points, however, not both. The difference is that JetBlue has a unique feature that allows you to pool your points together with your family members and earn points twice as quickly. Be sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re like me and my travel companion Becca I’m sure you’re pretty frugal and it can be difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum spend for a credit card bonus. Don’t worry, we’ve been through it and we’re here to share some of our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able to pay for your rent with a credit card, do it! Be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually about 3 percent. It might be worth it in the end in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the required spending is to cover the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills coming up Ask your family members to pay for theirs and they will reimburse you.
Pay off the loan
If you have any loans take into consideration paying them off with your credit card. Just make sure you pay off the balance on your credit card in full so you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Discuss your family with them and look into any large expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to have confidence in the person you are talking to and they know why you’re taking the initiative.
If you’re celebrating the holidays, consider buying all your gifts with the credit card you have. So you’ll be able to meet the minimum spending limit and also be prepared for giving gifts. Be sure to avoid spending more than you already planning to.
There are many ways to get the most out of your travel credit card and accrue points or miles to spend on airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are some additional suggestions for maximising your rewards
Book travel expenses with your credit card
When you’re planning your next vacation, make use of the travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as any other travel expenses. You’ll not only be able to meet the minimum spend to qualify for a credit card, but you’ll also earn points or miles on these costs.
Use your credit card for all your daily expenses
Another method to reach the minimum spending requirement and earn points is by making use of your credit card for everyday costs. This can include things like food, gas, and even your phone bill. Be sure to pay off the balance in full each month so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Make the most of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or points in exchange for certain types of purchases, such as eating out or traveling. Be sure to review the rewards program of your credit card and take advantage of any bonus categories that match with your spending routines.
Consider the possibility of transferring your balance
If you have existing debt on a credit card, you might want to transfer that balance onto an account with a travel credit card that has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfers. This will let you pay off the debt without accruing interest. It will also assist you in reaching the minimum spending requirement for the credit card’s bonus.
Use your points or miles carefully
If you’ve amassed a large amount of miles or points, be sure to use them in a responsible manner. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and then compare the benefits of different redemption options. For example using your points to purchase a flight directly with the airline could give you a better value than using them for an gift card.
Another tip is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer your rewards to different loyalty program. This will allow you to get a wider selection of choices and more freedom when it comes to making use of your rewards. For example, you may be eligible to transfer your reward to the frequent flyer program of an airline or a hotel rewards program. This will give an access wider selection of hotels, flights, and other travel perks that may not be offered through the rewards program on your credit card.
In addition, you should find out whether your credit card has some perks that could reduce your travel expenses. Many cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that are invaluable when you travel.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a friend and both of you earn rewards with your credit card. Be aware that you cannot divide the cost with the same card. Also, make sure to keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
Overall, the key to making the most of your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program of your credit card and ensure that you’re making use of this program in the most effective method possible. By using an array of methods I’ve described in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards quickly, redeem rewards for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide assortment of travel-related perks.