Are you tired of paying an enormous amount on flights? Good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s a fun way to convert bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles which you can use to obtain discounted or free flights to your ideal destinations. With a bit of imagination and a little bit of insider know-how, you’ll travel for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about swapping credit card sign-up bonus as well as incentives to earn airline miles. The miles can be used to pay for discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards will also let you redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or car rental discounts.
How Does it Work?
The secret to success in 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 comes time to make a booking consider the cost. If the flight is under $300, it’s usually better to pay cash and save your miles to book a higher-priced flight. When the flights start getting higher than $500, it’s best to look into the frequent flyer account to find out which airline will give you the best deal. All it boils down to is the amount of points or miles in your travel bank for each airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets of travel hacking? First step to open an account that comes with a welcome bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that offer a variety of benefits and features. It depends on the type of airline, spending habits and what features are crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards perfect to use for hacking travel:
- 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 reach the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to get the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so be certain to verify this information. From there you can begin to rack up miles, and using them to book your dream vacation!
Ready to jet-set with your ideas?
After you’ve accrued the points balance, you’re ready to use them towards nice 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 worked with:
Escape by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of an Chase card, you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within the portal, you’ll have access to almost every airline and you can combine money and points to pay for your travel. You can even book completely on points if you have the balance for it! Sometimes even if you do not be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for total cost, you still can buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using every credit card.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United, you have the option to pay with either points or dollars? Be careful that if you do not have enough points you aren’t able to combine points and dollars on one flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re a few points away, United provides the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience with 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. The difference is that JetBlue offers a distinct feature where you can combine your points with family members to accrue points twice as quickly. Make sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me or my travel buddy Becca, you’re probably pretty economical and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum spend for credit card bonuses. Don’t worry, we’ve been through it and are here to share our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able pay your rent with credit card, go for it! Just be prepared to be charged a fee, typically around 3 percent. It might be worth it over the long term in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another way to reach the minimum spend is to cover an medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses due Ask your relatives if you could pay for theirs and they’ll pay you back.
Repay the loan
If you’re a borrower you owe, think about making payments on them with an credit card. Make sure to pay off the credit card balance completely so that you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask family for help
Discuss your family with them and see if they have any big expenses coming up which you could help pay for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to have confidence in the person you are talking to and they are aware of the reason for doing this.
If it’s the holiday season, consider buying all your gifts using the credit card you have. This way you can reach the minimum spending requirement and also be ready to give gifts. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you were already contemplating to.
There are plenty of methods to get the most out of the travel credit card. You can accumulate miles or points that you can be used towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are some additional ideas for maximizing the rewards you earn:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, make use of the travel credit card to book your hotel, flight, rental car, and any other travel expenses. You’ll not only be able to meet the minimum amount of spending required to earn your credit card bonus as well, but you’ll also earn points or miles for those costs.
Utilize your credit card to pay for all your daily costs
Another method to reach the minimum amount of spending to earn rewards is using your credit card for every day expenditures. This could include things like food, gas, and even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay the balance off in full every month to ensure you don’t pay interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or points in exchange for specific types of purchases, such as eating out or travelling. Check out your rewards program on your credit card and take advantage of any bonus categories that match with your spending habits.
Take into consideration a balance transfer
If you have existing outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer that balance to an account with a travel credit card that has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will allow you to pay off the debt without accruing interest. It will also help you hit the minimum spend for the credit card bonus.
Make use of your miles or points prudently
If you’ve amassed a large amount of miles or points make sure you use them wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card and then compare the worth of various redemption options. For example, using points to book a flight directly with the airline might offer better value than using them to purchase a gift card.
Another option is to get rewards cards that allow you to transfer reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will let you enjoy a greater variety of choices and more flexibility in making use of your rewards. For instance, you might be able to transfer your rewards to the frequent flyer program of an airline or Hotel rewards programme. This will give an access larger variety of hotels, flights and other travel benefits that may not be accessible through your credit card’s rewards program.
Additionally, try to discover the card’s benefits. some perks that could reduce your travel expenses. Many cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection, and other benefits that can be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a friend and both of you get rewards on your own credit card. Just remember that you can’t divide the cost with the same card and make sure to track your rewards separately.
Overall, the key to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to know your credit card’s rewards program and make sure you’re making use of your credit card in the most efficient method possible. By using all of the strategies I’ve listed that you can earn rewards fast, exchange them for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide variety of travel benefits.