Are you fed up of spending an enormous amount on flights? Well, good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting way to turn credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles which you can use to score discounted or free flights to your desired destinations. With a little bit of creativity and some insider knowledge, you can travel for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of trading credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. The miles can be used to buy discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards will also allow you to redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or rental car deals.
How Does it Work?
The secret to successful hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and building out frequent flyer miles with a limited number of airlines. When it comes time to make a booking, evaluate the cost. If the cost is less than $300, it’s best to pay in cash and use your miles to pay for a more expensive flight. When the flights start getting over $500, you’ll need to look into the frequent flyer account and see which airline can give you the best price. It all comes 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 hacking travel? The first step is opening the credit card that comes with a sign-up offer. There are many great credit cards with a variety of features and benefits. It is all dependent on the 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 great to use for hacking 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 hit the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to receive the bonus. Every card has different guidelines, so make certain to verify this information. From there, it’s all about racking up miles and then using them to book your dream vacation!
Ready to jet-set with your ideas?
Once you’ve accumulated the points balance, it’s time to redeem them for some nice vacation! Different credit card companies have different methods for redeeming your points, but here are a few examples from some of the providers I have experience with:
Getaway by using 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 virtually every airline. You can combine the points as well as cash in order to book your travel. You can book your flight entirely with points if you’ve the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you do not possess enough points for the entire price, you can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using the credit card of your choice.
Are you fed up of paying full price for flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United, you have the option of paying with dollars or points? But, be careful that if you do not have enough points you can’t combine points and dollars for flights. Don’t worry, though, if you’re only a couple of points away, United provides the option to purchase additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience , with more space and complimentary snacks. Additionally, their booking process is like United’s, allowing customers to book using either JetBlue either dollars or points however, not both. The difference is that JetBlue offers a distinct feature where you can combine your points with your relatives to earn points twice as quickly. Just make sure you can establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me or my travel buddy Becca I’m sure you’re pretty economical and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum amount required to earn credit card bonuses. However, don’t be worried as we’ve done it and we’re here to share some of our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able to pay for your rent using credit card, go for it! Be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually around 3%. It may be worth it in the end when the bonus is large enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another great way to hit the minimum spend is to cover a medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses in the near future Ask your family members to pay their medical bills and they will repay you.
Pay off a loan
If you’re a borrower you owe, think about repaying them using an credit card. Make sure to pay the credit card balance completely so that you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Ask your family members to determine if they’ve got any large expenses coming up which you could help pay for. Make sure that you are able to are able to trust the person and that they understand why you’re taking the initiative.
If you’re celebrating the holidays take into consideration buying all your gifts with cards from your credit account. So you’ll be able to hit that minimum spend and also be ready to give gifts. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you contemplating to.
There are a lot of ways to get the most out of the travel credit card. earn miles or points to be used towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few additional ideas for maximizing your rewards:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
If you’re planning a vacation, make use of you travel credit card to book your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as any other travel expenses. In addition, you’ll achieve the minimum spend to earn your credit card and earn points, however, you’ll also earn points or miles for those costs.
Utilize your credit card to pay for all your daily expenditures
Another method to reach the minimum spending requirement to earn rewards is utilising your credit cards for daily costs. This can include things like food, gas or even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay the balance off in full every month to ensure you don’t accrue interest charges.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or points in exchange on certain kinds of purchases, such as eating out or traveling. Make sure you review the rewards program of your credit card and make use of any bonus categories that align with your spending routines.
Think about the possibility of transferring your balance
If you have existing outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, consider transferring that balance onto a travel credit card with the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfers. This will allow you to pay off your debts without accruing interest, and also assist you in reaching the minimum spending requirement for the credit card bonus.
Utilize your miles and points prudently
If you’ve amassed a large amount of points or miles, be sure to use the points or miles wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card and compare the value of different redemption options. For example using points to purchase a flight directly through the airline may give you a better return than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer rewards to different loyalty program. This allows you to get a wider selection of options and greater freedom when it comes to you want to redeem your rewards. For instance, you might be eligible to transfer your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or hotel rewards program. This gives an access greater variety of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks that aren’t available through your credit card’s rewards program.
Additionally, try to discover the card’s benefits. any perks that can reduce your travel costs. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection, and other benefits that can be invaluable when you travel.
When you travel with a friend, both of you can earn rewards using your credit card. Just remember that you can’t share the costs on the same card and make sure you keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
The key to making the most of your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program of your credit card and make sure you’re making use of it in the most effective way possible. By using a combination of the methods I’ve described in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards fast, exchange rewards for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad assortment of travel-related perks.