Are you tired of spending an enormous amount on flights? Well, good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s a fun way to convert bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles that can then be used to obtain discounted or free flights to your dream destinations. With a little bit of imagination and a little bit of insider information, you’ll be jet-setting for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. These miles can then be used to purchase discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards will also let you redeem miles for hotel stays and car rental offers.
How Does it Work?
The secret to successful hacking travel is taking advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and to establish frequent flyer miles for a specific group of airlines. When you are ready to book a flight take a look at the price. If the flight is less than $300, it’s usually better to pay in cash and save your miles to book a higher-priced flight. When the flights start getting above $500, you’ll want to review your frequent flyer accounts and find out which airline will give you the most value. It all comes down to the number of points or miles in your travel account for each airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to hacking travel? Your first task is to open an account with a sign-up offer. There are plenty of great credit cards that provide a variety of benefits and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, your habits with spending and what features are essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards great for travel hacking:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
If you’ve been approved for a credit card you’ll need to hit the minimum spend limit in order to receive the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so be sure to look up this information. From there, it’s all about racking miles and using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your goals?
After you’ve accrued the points amount, it’s time to cash them in for some nice vacation! Different credit card providers will have different methods for redeeming your rewards, here are some examples from a few of the providers I’ve had experience with:
Escape with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of an Chase credit card, then you are able to use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In this portal you’ll get access to almost every airline, and you can use a combination of points and cash 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 do not be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for total cost, you are able to book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using the credit card of your choice.
Are you fed up of paying full price for your flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United You have the option of paying using either points or dollars? But, be careful, if you don’t have enough points you aren’t able to combine dollars and points for flights. No worries though, if you’re only a couple of points away, United also offers the option to purchase additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience , with more legroom as well as free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to that of United Airlines which allows you to book with either JetBlue either dollars or points however, not both. The difference is that JetBlue has a unique feature where you can join your points with family members to accrue points twice as fast. Just make sure you can verify that you are a family member before trying to hack into the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re like me or my travel companion Becca You’re probably quite frugal and it can be challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to reach the minimum amount required to earn a credit card bonus. But don’t fret because we’ve been there 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 credit card, go for it! Make sure you be charged a fee, typically about 3 percent. It might be worth it over the long term in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the minimum spend is to cover the medical bills. If you do not have any medical expenses due, ask your relatives if you could pay them for theirs, and they can repay you.
Pay off a loan
If you’re a borrower take into consideration paying them off with your credit card. Be sure to pay the credit card balance completely so that you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask family for help
Discuss your family with them and look into any large expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Just make sure you are able to trust the person and that they understand why you’re taking the initiative.
If you’re celebrating the holidays, consider buying all your gifts using your credit card. So you’ll be able to meet the minimum spending limit and also be ready for gift giving. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you already thinking of.
There are plenty of ways to make the most of the travel credit card. You can accrue points or miles to use towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few more ways to maximize the rewards you earn:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a vacation, make use of the travel credit card for booking your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as other travel costs. You’ll not only achieve the minimum spend to qualify for a credit card as well, however, you’ll also earn points or miles on these costs.
Use your credit card for all your daily costs
Another way to meet the minimum spend to earn rewards is making use of your credit card for everyday expenditures. 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 accumulate interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or points in exchange for specific types of purchases, like dining or travel. Make sure you review your credit card’s rewards program and avail any bonus categories that match with your spending habits.
Take into consideration the possibility of transferring your balance
If you have existing debt on a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer that balance onto the travel credit card which has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfer. This will enable you to pay off your debts without accruing interest. It will also help you hit the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus.
Utilize your miles and points wisely
When you’ve earned a significant amount of points or miles make sure you use them in a responsible manner. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and compare the worth of various redemption options. For instance, using your points to book a flight directly with the airline might provide you with a greater value than using them for an gift card.
Another suggestion is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer your rewards to different loyalty program. This allows you to get a wider selection of choices and more flexibility in you want to redeem your rewards. For instance, you might be able to transfer your reward to the frequent flyer program of an airline or hotel rewards program. This will give the benefit of a larger range of flights, hotels as well as other travel perks which are not available through the rewards program on your credit card.
Additionally, try to determine the card’s benefits. any perks that can save you money on travel-related costs. Some cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that could be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a companion each of you will be able to earn rewards using your credit card. Make sure you don’t share the costs on the same card. Also, make sure to track the rewards you earn separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do to maximizing your travel rewards is to know the rewards program on your credit card and to ensure you’re using this program in the most effective method possible. Through all of the strategies I’ve listed that you can earn rewards fast, exchange rewards for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad variety of travel benefits.