Essentialist Travel

Are you tired of paying an enormous amount on flights? Well, good news! Travel hacking is the answer to your travel-related problems. It’s a fun way to convert sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles that can then be used to score discounted or free flights to your dream destinations. With a little bit of creativity and some insider information, you’ll be jet-setting for free within a matter of minutes.

The Basics of Travel Hacking

Travel hacking is all about trading credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. These miles can later be used to pay for cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards will also let you redeem miles towards hotel stays or rental car discounts.

How Does it Work?

The most effective method for success in travel hacking is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and to establish a frequent flyer mile program with a limited number of airlines. When it comes time to make a booking consider the cost. If the price is less than $300, it’s best to pay cash and save your miles for a more expensive flight. If the prices start to rise above $500, you’ll want to check the frequent flyer account and determine which airline offers you the best price. It all comes down to the amount of miles or points you have in your travel savings account for each airline.

Start with Travel Hacking

Are you ready to discover the secrets of travel hacking? Your first task is to open the credit card that comes with a sign-up bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards that offer many benefits and features. It is all dependent on the airline, your habits with spending and the features that are most important to you.

Top Credit Card Picks

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

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

If you’ve been approved for a credit card, you’ll need to hit the minimum spend limit in order to qualify for the bonus. Each card has its own guidelines, so make certain to verify this information. Then, it’s all about racking up miles and using them to book your dream vacation!

Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your points?

Now that you’ve built up your points amount, it’s time to redeem them for some sweet getaway! Different credit card companies will offer different ways to redeem your rewards, here are a few examples from some of the providers I’ve had experience with:

Getaway by using Chase Ultimate Rewards

If you own a Chase cards, you are able to redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through this portal you’ll have access to virtually every airline. You can use a combination of points and cash to book your next trip. You can even book entirely using points if you’ve got the balance for it! Sometimes even if you do not be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for full cost, you still can buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using any credit card.

 

United

Are you fed up of paying full price for your flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United You have the option to pay with either points or dollars? Be careful in case you don’t have enough points, you aren’t able to combine points and dollars on one flight. No worries though, if you’re a few points short, United also offers the option to purchase additional miles.

JetBlue

Looking for a flight within the United States? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience , with more legroom as well as free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is like United’s which allows customers to book using either JetBlue dollar or points but not both. However, JetBlue offers a distinct feature where you can pool your points together with your family members and earn points twice as quickly. Just make sure you can prove you’re really family before trying to hack into the system.

Hit that Minimum Spend

If you’re anything like me and my travel buddy Becca I’m sure you’re pretty thrifty and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to reach the minimum spend for credit card bonuses. However, don’t be worried as we’ve done it and we’re here to share some of our tips and tricks.

Pay your rent (if you can)

This is an important one! If you’re able to pay your rent with credit card, go for it! Just be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually about 3%. It may be worth it over the long term in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.

Make a payment on a medical expense

Another excellent way to meet the required spending is to pay for a medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills in the near future then ask your relatives if you could pay their medical bills and they’ll pay you back.

Pay off a loan

If you have any loans you owe, think about paying them off with an credit card. Make sure to pay off the balance on your credit card in full , so that you don’t accumulate additional debt.

Ask family for help

Discuss your family with them and look into any big expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Just make sure you trust the person and they are aware of the reason for doing it.

Buy gifts

If you’re celebrating the holidays you should consider purchasing all of your gifts with the credit card you have. In this way, you’ll meet the minimum spending limit and also be ready for giving gifts. Just make sure you’re not paying more than you already contemplating to.

There are plenty of ways to make the most from your travel credit card. You can earn miles or points to be used towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few more suggestions for maximising your rewards

Make travel reservations using your credit card

If you’re planning a vacation, make use of your travel credit card for booking your hotel, flight, rental car, and any other travel-related expenses. You’ll not only be able to meet the minimum spend for your credit card bonus as well, but you’ll also earn points or miles on these costs.

Make use of your credit card to pay for all your daily expenditures

Another way to hit the minimum spending requirement in order to accumulate points utilising your credit cards to pay every day expenses. This can include things like food, gas, and even your phone bill. Be sure to pay off the balance in full every month to ensure you don’t accumulate interest.

Benefit from bonus categories

A lot of travel credit cards provide bonus points or miles on certain kinds of purchases, including dining or travel. Be sure to review the rewards program of your credit card and take advantage of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending habits.

Consider the possibility of transferring your balance

If you have existing outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, consider transferring that balance onto a travel credit card with an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will enable you to pay off your debt without accruing interest and simultaneously help you hit the minimum amount required to earn the credit card’s bonus.

Make use of your miles or points wisely

When you’ve earned a significant amount of miles or points, be sure to use them wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and compare the worth of various redemption options. For instance you can use your points to book a ticket directly with the airline could provide you with a greater value than using them to purchase a gift card.

Another tip is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer points to other loyalty programs. This allows you to enjoy a greater variety of choices and more flexibility when you want to redeem your rewards. For example, you may be able to transfer your reward to the frequent flyer program of an airline or hotel rewards program. This gives an access larger variety of hotels, flights and other travel benefits which are not offered through your credit card’s rewards program.

Also, find out if your credit card offers any perks that can save you money on travel-related expenses. Many cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection and other benefits that can be invaluable when you travel.

When you travel with a companion and both of you get rewards on your own credit card. Be aware that you cannot divide the cost with the same card and make sure to track your rewards in a separate manner.

The key to maximizing your travel rewards is to know the rewards program of your credit card and ensure that you’re making use of it in the most effective way possible. Utilizing a combination of the strategies I’ve outlined that you can get rewards in a short time, use rewards for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide assortment of travel-related perks.