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 miles that can then be used to obtain discounted or free flights to your desired destinations. With a little bit of creativity and some insider know-how, you’ll be jet-setting for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about swapping credit card sign-up bonus and rewards for airline miles. These miles can later be used to purchase cheap or free flight tickets. Some credit cards also permit you to use miles towards hotel stays or rental car deals.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for successful travel hacking is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and building out frequent flyer miles on a select group of airlines. When you are ready to book a flight, evaluate the cost. If the cost is under $300, it’s usually better to pay in cash and use your miles to pay for a more expensive flight. If your flights begin to climb above $500, you’ll want to look into your frequent flyer accounts to find out which airline will give you the best price. It all boils down to the amount of points or miles in your travel account for each airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to hacking travel? The first step is to open a credit card that comes with a welcome bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards that provide many advantages and features. It is all dependent on the airline, your spending habits, and the features that are most crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards perfect to hack 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 spending limit for minimum expenditure 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 racking up miles, and using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your ideas?
Once you’ve accumulated the points balance, you’re ready to cash them in for some nice getaway! Different credit card providers will have different methods of redeeming your points, but here are some examples from a few of the ones I’ve had experience with:
Getaway through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you own a Chase card, you are able to use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through this portal you’ll have access to nearly every airline. You can make use of a combination of points and cash to book your travel. You can even book entirely on points if you have enough balance! Sometimes even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for full price, you can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with every credit card.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for your flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United You have the option to pay with dollars or points? Be careful that if you don’t have enough points, you cannot combine dollars and points for the same flight. No worries though, if you’re just a few points away, United also offers the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue offers passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience , with more legroom and free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is like United’s, allowing passengers to book flights using JetBlue dollar or points but not both. But, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature where you can combine your points with family members to accrue points twice as fast. Be sure to establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack into the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me and my travel buddy Becca, you’re probably pretty economical and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to hit the required amount to qualify for a credit card bonus. 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 big one! If you’re able to pay for your rent with credit card, go for it! Make sure you be charged a fee, typically at least 3 percent. It could be worthwhile over the long term if the bonus is high enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another great way to hit the spending limit is to cover a medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills in the near future Ask your family members if you can pay them for theirs, and they will repay you.
Repay the loan
If you’re a borrower 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 accumulate more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Discuss your family with them and see if they have any large expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to are able to trust the person and that they know why you’re doing this.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season you should consider purchasing all of your gifts with your credit card. So you’ll be able to reach the minimum spending requirement and also be prepared for gift giving. Be sure to avoid spending more than you thinking of.
There are a lot of ways to get the most out of the travel credit card and accumulate miles or points that you can be used towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few additional ways to maximize your rewards
Book travel expenses with your credit card
If you’re planning a vacation, make use of you travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as any other travel-related expenses. Not only will you be able to hit the minimum spend for your credit card reward, however, you’ll also earn points or miles for these costs.
Make use of your credit card to pay for all your daily expenses
Another method to reach the minimum amount of spending to earn rewards is using your credit card for everyday expenses. This could include items like groceries, gas and even your telephone bill. Just make sure to pay the balance off in full every month to ensure you don’t pay interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer bonus points or miles on certain kinds of purchases, such as eating out or traveling. Make sure you review your rewards program on your credit card and avail any bonus categories that align with your spending habits.
Consider a balance transfer
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a high-interest credit card, think about transferring that balance to an account with a travel credit card that has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfer. This will allow you to pay off your debts without accruing interest. It will also aid in achieving the minimum spend for the credit card’s bonus.
Make use of your miles or points wisely
When you’ve earned a significant amount of points or miles Make sure to utilize the points or miles wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card and compare the benefits 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 an gift card.
Another tip is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer your reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will allow you to get a wider selection of options and greater flexibility when redeeming your rewards. For instance, you might be eligible to transfer your rewards to an airline’s frequent flyer program or a hotel rewards program. This can give you access to a wider selection of hotels, flights and other travel benefits that aren’t offered through your credit card’s rewards program.
Also, discover the card’s benefits. some perks that could reduce your travel expenses. Some cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection, and other benefits that could be invaluable when you travel.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a friend each of you will be able to earn rewards with your credit card. Just remember that you can’t split the cost on the same card. Also, make sure to track your rewards in a separate manner.
In the end, the most important thing to do to maximizing your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program on your credit card and ensure that you’re using your credit card in the most effective method. Utilizing an array of strategies I’ve outlined in this article, you’ll be able get rewards in a short time, use them for travel experiences that are worth it and benefit from a wide range of travel perks.