Are you tired of paying an enormous amount on flights? Good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s a fun way to convert credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles, that can then be used to score discounted or complimentary flights for your ideal destinations. With a little creativity and some insider information, you’ll travel for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of swapping credit card sign-up bonus and incentives for airline miles. The miles can 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 success in travel hacking is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and to establish frequent flyer miles on a select group of airlines. When you are ready to book a flight, evaluate the cost. If the flight is under $300, it’s usually better to pay in cash and save your miles to book a higher-priced flight. If your flights begin to climb above $500, you’ll want to check the frequent flyer account and see which airline can give you the best price. All it boils down to is the amount of miles or points you have in your travel savings account for each airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets of travel hacking? The first step is to open the credit card that comes with a sign-up bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards that offer various advantages and features. It is all dependent on the airline, your habits with spending and the features that are most essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few 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 card you’ll need to hit the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to receive the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so be sure to check for this information. Then it’s all about building up miles and then using them to book your dream trip!
Ready to jet-set with your goals?
After you’ve accrued your points amount, it’s time to redeem them for some delicious travel! Different credit card companies will offer different ways to redeem your rewards, here are some examples from a few of the providers I’ve worked with:
Escape by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own a Chase credit card, then you are able to redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. In the portal, you’ll get access to almost every airline and you can make use of a combination of money and points to book your next trip. You can even book completely with points if you’ve the balance for it! Sometimes even if you don’t have enough points to cover the full cost, you are able to buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with the credit card of your choice.
Are you tired of paying full price for your flight tickets? Did you realize that when booking directly through United You have the option of paying with dollars or points? Butbe aware that if you do not have enough points you can’t combine dollars and points on one flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re just a few points short, United gives you the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue offers passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience , with more legroom as well as free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines that allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue points or dollars, however, not both. But, JetBlue has a unique feature that allows you to join your points with your relatives to earn points twice as quickly. Be sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me and my travel companion Becca You’re probably quite frugal and it can be difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum amount required to earn credit card bonuses. Don’t worry, we’ve been through it and are here to share our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able to pay for your rent using a credit card, do it! Just be prepared to be charged a fee, typically around 3 percent. It could be worthwhile over the long term when the bonus is large enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another great way to hit the spending limit is to cover the medical bills. If you do not have any medical expenses in the near future, ask your relatives if you could pay for theirs and they’ll repay you.
Repay a loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan, consider repaying them using the credit card you have. Be sure to pay the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t accrue additional debt.
Ask family for help
Talk to your family and see if they have any major expenses in the near future which you could help pay for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to are able to trust the person and that they are aware of the reason for doing this.
If it’s the holiday season take into consideration buying all your gifts with the credit card you have. In this way, you’ll hit that minimum spend and also be prepared for gift giving. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you thinking of.
There are many ways to make the most out of the travel credit card 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 the rewards you earn:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, use the travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as any other travel-related expenses. You’ll not only be able to hit the minimum spend for your credit card bonus and earn points, however, you’ll also earn points or miles on these costs.
Make use of your credit card to pay for all your daily expenditures
Another method to reach the minimum amount of spending to earn rewards is making use of your credit card to pay daily expenditures. This can include things like food, gas and even your telephone bill. Make sure you pay the balance off each month in full so you don’t pay interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or bonus points for specific types of purchases, such as eating out or travelling. Make sure you review the rewards program of your credit card and make use of any bonus categories that align with your spending routines.
Take into consideration the possibility of transferring your balance
If you are currently in outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, consider transferring that balance onto an account with a travel credit card that has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfers. This will allow you to pay off the debt without accruing interest. It will also help you hit the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus.
Use your points or miles wisely
If you’ve amassed a large amount of miles or points make sure you use them in a responsible manner. Examine the rewards program of your credit card, and evaluate the value of different redemption options. For example using your points to book a ticket directly with the airline could offer better return than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another option is to get rewards cards that allow you to transfer points to other loyalty programs. This will let you get a wider selection of choices and more flexibility when you want to redeem your rewards. For instance, you might be eligible to transfer your rewards to the frequent flyer program of an airline or reward program for hotels. This gives you access to a larger range of flights, hotels as well as other travel perks which are not accessible through the rewards program of your credit card.
In addition, you should find out whether your credit card has certain benefits that will help you save money on travel expenses. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that are extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
When you travel with a friend, both of you can get rewards on your credit card. Be aware that you cannot divide the cost with the same card, and be sure you keep track of your rewards separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do to making the most of your rewards for travel is to be aware of your credit card’s rewards program and to ensure you’re using this program in the most effective way possible. By using a combination of the strategies I’ve listed, you’ll be able to get rewards in a short time, use them for travel experiences that are worth it and take advantage of a broad range of travel perks.