Are you tired of paying an enormous amount on flights? Good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting method to turn credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into miles which can be used to get discounted or even complimentary flights for your ideal destinations. With a bit of imagination and some knowledge, you can be jet-setting for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. The miles can be used to purchase discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards allow you to redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or rental car discounts.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for successful hacking travel is taking advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and building out frequent flyer miles for a specific group of airlines. When it comes time to book a flight consider the cost. If the price is less than $300, it’s best to pay cash and save your miles to book a higher-priced flight. When the flights start getting over $500, you’ll need to look into those frequent flyer accounts and determine which airline offers you the best deal. All it boils down to is the number of points or miles in your travel bank for each airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to travel hacking? First step to open a credit card with a sign-up offer. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards with various benefits and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, your spending habits, and what features are essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit card options that can be great to hack travel
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
Once you’ve been approved for a credit or debit card, you’ll need to reach the minimum spend limit in order to receive the bonus. Every card has different rules, so be sure to look up the details. From there you can begin to rack up miles and using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to set sail with your ideas?
Once you’ve accumulated the points balance, you’re ready to use them towards sweet getaway! Different credit card providers will have different methods for redeeming your points. Here are some examples from a few of the providers I’ve worked with:
Getaway through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you’re a holder of an Chase cards, you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through it, you’ll have access to nearly every airline. You can use a combination of points and cash to book your travel. You can even book completely on points if you have the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you don’t possess enough points for the full cost, you still can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using every credit card.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for flights? Did you realize that when booking 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 points and dollars for the same flight. No worries though, if you’re a few points short, United provides the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides passengers a relaxing and pleasant travel experience that includes extra space and complimentary snacks. Additionally, their booking process is like United’s, allowing you to book with either JetBlue either dollars or points, however, not both. However, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that allows you to combine your points with your relatives to earn points twice as quickly. 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 or my travel companion Becca, you’re probably pretty thrifty and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum spend for the credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried because we’ve been there and we’re here to share some of our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able pay your rent with a credit card, do it! Just be prepared to be charged a fee, typically at least 3 percent. It may be worth it in the end if the bonus is high enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another great way to hit the minimum spend is to cover the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills in the near future then ask your relatives if you could pay them for theirs, and they’ll pay you back.
Make a payment to pay off a loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan you owe, think about making payments on them with the credit card you have. Be sure to pay off the balance on your credit card completely so that you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask family for help
Ask your family members to see if they have any large expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Just make sure you are able to trust the person and that they know why you’re taking the initiative.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season take into consideration buying all your gifts with your credit card. In this way, you’ll reach the minimum spending requirement and also be ready to give gifts. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you already contemplating to.
There are a lot of ways to get the most from the travel credit card. accumulate miles or points that you can spend on the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few additional ways to maximize your rewards
Book travel expenses with your credit card
When you’re planning your next vacation, make use of your travel credit card for booking your flight, hotel, rental car, and other travel costs. In addition, you’ll achieve the minimum spend to qualify for a credit card bonus, however, you’ll also earn points or miles to cover these expenses.
Utilize your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday expenses
Another method to reach the minimum amount of spending and earn points is by utilising your credit cards to pay for everyday expenditures. This can include things like gas, groceries or even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay off the balance each month in full so 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, including dining or travel. Check out your credit card’s rewards program and make use of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending habits.
Think about a balance transfer
If you’re in the middle of a outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, consider transferring that balance onto the travel credit card which has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfer. This will let you pay off the debt without accruing interest. It will also help you hit 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 miles or points make sure you use them in a responsible manner. Check out the rewards program on your credit card, and evaluate the worth of various redemption options. For instance, using your points to book a ticket directly through the airline may give you a better return than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another tip is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer your rewards to different loyalty program. This will let you 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 hotel rewards program. This gives you access to a greater selection of hotels, flights, and other travel perks which are not offered through the rewards program of your credit card.
Also, determine if your credit card offers certain benefits that will reduce your travel expenses. Some cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection, and other benefits that can be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
If you’re traveling with a friend and both of you earn rewards using your own credit card. Be aware that you cannot share the costs on the same card. Also, make sure to keep track of your rewards separately.
Overall, the key to maximizing your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program of your credit card and ensure that you’re making use of your credit card in the most efficient way possible. By using an array of methods I’ve described that you can earn rewards fast, exchange rewards for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide variety of travel benefits.