Are you tired of spending an enormous amount on flights? Good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s a fun way to turn credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into miles that can then be used to score discounted or cheap flights from your dream destinations. With a bit of creativity and some insider knowledge, you can travel for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. These miles can later be used to buy discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards will also allow you to redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or car rental offers.
How Does it Work?
The key to success in hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and to establish frequent flyer miles with a limited number of airlines. When you are ready to book a flight consider the cost. If the cost is under $300, it’s generally better to pay cash and use your miles to pay to take a more costly flight. If the prices start to rise above $500, you’ll want to check 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 you have in your travel account for each airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to hacking travel? The first step is opening an account that comes with a welcome bonus. There are many great credit cards that provide many features and benefits. It all depends on your preferred airline, your spending habits, and what features are important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit card options that can be perfect for travel hacking:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
Once 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. Every card has different rules, so be certain to verify the details. Then it’s all about building up miles, and using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your points?
Once you’ve accumulated the points amount, it’s time to cash them in for some sweet travel! Different credit card companies will have different methods for redeeming your points, but here are some examples from some of the ones I’ve worked with:
Getaway with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own an Chase credit card, then you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through this portal you’ll get access to nearly every airline and you can combine money and points to book your next trip. You can book your flight entirely using points if you’ve got the funds to pay for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t have enough points to cover the entire cost, you are able to purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using any credit card.
Are you tired of paying full price for flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option of paying with dollars or points? But, be careful, if you don’t have enough points, you cannot combine dollars and points on the same flight. If you’re just a few points away, United provides the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers an enjoyable and comfortable 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 points or dollars, but not both. The difference is that JetBlue has a unique feature that allows you to pool your points together with family members to accrue points twice as fast. Just make sure you can establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me or my travel companion Becca I’m sure you’re pretty frugal and it can be difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to hit the minimum spend for a credit card bonus. But don’t fret, we’ve been through it and are here to share our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able pay your rent using a credit card, do it! Just be prepared to pay a fee, usually about 3 percent. It might be worth it in the long run in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another great way to hit the required spending is to cover an medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills in the near future then ask your family members if you can pay for theirs and they’ll repay you.
Pay off a loan
If you’re a borrower take into consideration paying them off with your credit card. Just make sure you pay off the credit card balance in full so 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. Make sure that you are able to have confidence in the person you are talking to and they understand why you’re taking the initiative.
If you’re celebrating the holidays, consider buying all of your gifts with the credit card you have. In this way, you’ll reach the minimum spending requirement and also be prepared for giving gifts. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you planning to.
There are many ways to make the most out of using your credit or debit card for travel and accumulate miles or points that you can spend on the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few additional suggestions for maximising your rewards
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
If you’re planning a vacation, make use of your travel credit card for booking your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as any other travel expenses. Not only will you achieve the required amount to earn your credit card bonus as well, however, you’ll also earn points or miles for those expenditures.
Use your credit card for all your daily expenses
Another way to meet the minimum amount of spending and earn points is by using your credit card to pay daily expenditures. This could include items like groceries, gas or even your phone bill. Be sure to pay off the balance in full every month to ensure you don’t accrue interest charges.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer bonus points or miles on certain kinds of purchases, such as dining or travel. Be sure to review your rewards program on your credit card and take advantage of any bonus categories that align with your spending routines.
Consider a balance transfer
If you are currently in outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, think about transferring that balance onto the travel credit card which has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfers. This will let you pay off your debt without accruing interest. It will also aid in achieving the minimum spend for the credit card bonus.
Make use of your miles or points prudently
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 then compare the benefits of different redemption options. For instance you can use your points to book 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 an rewards card that permits you to transfer your reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will allow you to have a wider range of choices and more freedom when it comes to redeeming your rewards. For instance, you might be eligible to transfer your rewards to an airline’s frequent flyer program or a reward program for hotels. This will give you access to a wider range of flights, hotels as well as other travel perks that may not be offered through the rewards program of your credit card.
In addition, you should discover the card’s benefits. some perks that could reduce your travel expenses. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection, and other benefits that could be invaluable when you travel.
When you travel with someone else and both of you get rewards on your own credit card. Just remember that you can’t share the costs 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 reaping the maximum benefits from your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program of your credit card and to ensure you’re making use of your credit card in the most effective method possible. By using a combination of the strategies I’ve listed, you’ll be able to earn rewards quickly, redeem them for travel experiences that are worth it and benefit from a wide variety of travel benefits.