Are you fed up of spending an enormous amount on flights? Well, good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s a fun way to convert credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles, which you can use to obtain discounted or complimentary flights for your ideal destinations. With a bit of imagination and a little bit of insider knowledge, you can travel for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. The miles can be used to purchase cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards permit you to use miles to pay for hotel stays or rental car offers.
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 on a select group of airlines. When you are ready to make a booking, evaluate the cost. If the flight is less than $300, it’s best to pay cash and save your miles to take a more costly flight. When the flights start getting over $500, you’ll need to check your frequent flyer accounts and find out which airline will give you the most value. It all boils down to the number of miles or points you have in your travel savings account for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to travel hacking? Your first task is opening an account with a sign-up bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that provide many benefits and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, your habits with spending and the features that are most important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards that are perfect to hack travel
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
After you’ve been accepted for a credit or debit card, you’ll need to reach the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to receive the bonus. Each card has its own guidelines, so make sure to check for the details. From there you can begin to rack up miles and using them to plan your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your ideas?
Now that you’ve built up the points balance, you’re ready to redeem them for some nice vacation! Different credit card companies will have different methods for redeeming your rewards, here are some examples from some of the providers I’ve had experience with:
Take a trip with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own a Chase cards, you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within the portal, you’ll get access to nearly every airline. You can make use of a combination of money and points to book your trip. You can book your flight entirely with points if you’ve enough balance! 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 cash using any credit card.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for your flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United, you have the option of paying with dollars or points? Butbe aware in case you don’t have enough points you can’t combine dollars and points for flights. No worries though, if you’re just a few points away, United gives you the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue offers an enjoyable and comfortable travel experience that includes extra legroom and free snacks. Plus, their booking process is like United’s that allows you to book with either JetBlue dollar or points but not both. But, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that lets you join your points with your relatives to earn 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 anything like me and my travel companion Becca, you’re probably pretty frugal and it can be daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the required amount to qualify for credit card bonuses. However, don’t be worried as we’ve done it and we’re here to share some of our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able pay your rent with a credit card, do it! Just be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually around 3 percent. It might be worth it over the long term if the bonus is high enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another way to reach the spending limit is to cover a medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills coming up Ask your family members if you can pay for theirs and they will pay you back.
Repay a loan
If you’re a borrower take into consideration making payments on them with your credit card. Just make sure you pay off the balance on your credit card in full , so that you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Ask your family members to determine if they’ve got 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 doing it.
If it’s the holiday season, consider buying all of your gifts with the credit card you have. So you’ll be able to hit that minimum spend and also be prepared for gift giving. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you were already planning to.
There are many methods to get the most from your travel credit card and accrue points or miles to spend on flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few additional suggestions for maximising your rewards
Book travel expenses with your credit card
If you’re planning a vacation, make use of the travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel, rental car, and any other travel expenses. Not only will you be able to hit the required amount to qualify for a credit card bonus as well, however, you’ll also earn points or miles to cover these expenditures.
Make use of your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday costs
Another method to reach the minimum amount of spending and earn points is by making use of your credit card to pay every day expenditures. This can include things like food, gas and even your telephone bill. Just make sure to pay off the balance in full each month so you don’t accumulate 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 travelling. Be sure to review your rewards program on your credit card and avail any bonus categories that align with your spending routines.
Think about a balance transfer
If you are currently in outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, consider transferring that balance to an account with a travel credit card that has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfer. This will enable you to pay off the debt without accruing interest and simultaneously aid in achieving the minimum amount required to earn the credit card’s bonus.
Make use of your miles or points carefully
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize the points or miles wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card and compare the worth of various redemption options. For instance using your points to book a ticket directly with the airline might offer better value than using them for a gift card.
Another option is to get an rewards card that permits you to transfer your reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will allow you to enjoy a greater variety of options and greater freedom when it comes to redeeming your rewards. For example, you may be able to transfer your reward to an airline’s frequent flyer program or Hotel rewards programme. This gives you access to a greater selection of hotels, flights, and other travel perks that may not be offered through the rewards program on your credit card.
Also, discover if your credit card offers some perks that could save you money on travel-related costs. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that are invaluable when you travel.
When you travel with someone else, both of you can earn rewards using your own credit card. Just remember that you can’t divide the cost with the same card and make sure you keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
The key to maximizing your travel rewards is to know the rewards program on your credit card and make sure you’re making use of it in the most effective way possible. Through all of the methods I’ve described that you can get rewards in a short time, use them for travel experiences that are worth it and benefit from a wide variety of travel benefits.