Are you tired of spending an enormous amount on flights? Good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s a fun way to turn credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into miles which you can use to obtain discounted or complimentary flights for your ideal destinations. With a bit of creativity and some insider knowledge, you can fly for no cost in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can then be used to pay for discounted or even free flights. Some credit cards also let you redeem miles for hotel stays and rental car offers.
How Does it Work?
The key to success in travel hacking is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and building out a frequent flyer mile program for a specific group of airlines. When it comes time to make a booking take a look at the price. If the flight is under $300, it’s usually better to pay cash and use your miles to pay for a more expensive flight. If your flights begin to climb above $500, you’ll want to check those frequent flyer accounts to determine which airline offers you the best price. It all boils down to the amount of miles or points in your travel bank for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to hacking travel? First step to open an account with a sign-up offer. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that offer a variety of advantages and features. It depends on the type of airline, spending habits and the features that are most essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards 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 have to meet the minimum spend limit in order to qualify for the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so make sure to check for the details. Then you can begin to rack up miles and using them to plan your dream trip!
Ready to jet-set with your ideas?
Now that you’ve built up the points balance, it’s time to redeem them for some nice vacation! Different credit card providers will have different methods for redeeming your points. Here are a few examples from some of the ones I’ve worked with:
Getaway with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of an Chase cards, you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within it, you’ll get access to nearly every airline and you can make use of a combination of points and cash to pay for your travel. You can even book completely with points if you’ve the funds to pay for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for entire cost, you still can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using any credit card.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for your flight tickets? Did you know that when you book directly through United You have the option of paying with dollars or points? Be careful that if you don’t have enough points, you cannot combine dollars and points on flights. No worries though, if you’re only a couple of points away, United gives you the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience with extra legroom and free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is like United’s which allows you to book with either JetBlue dollar or points, however, not both. But, JetBlue offers a distinct feature that lets you join your points with your relatives to earn points twice as fast. Be sure to prove you’re really family before 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 thrifty and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to reach the required amount to qualify for the credit card bonus. Don’t worry as we’ve done it and we’re here to share our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able to pay for your rent with a credit card, do it! Make sure you pay a fee, usually about 3%. It could be worthwhile over the long term in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the required spending is to cover an medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills due, ask your family members to pay for theirs and they will reimburse you.
Repay a loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan you owe, think about paying them off with the credit card you have. Be sure to pay off the credit card balance in full so you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Discuss your family with them and determine if they’ve got any major expenses in the near future that you can help pay for. Just make sure you trust the person and they are aware of the reason for doing it.
If it’s the holiday season, 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 paying more than you contemplating to.
There are plenty of ways to make the most out of your travel credit card. 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
Book travel expenses with your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, make use of the travel credit card for booking your flight, hotel, rental car, and any other travel expenses. You’ll not only be able to meet the required amount to earn your credit card, but you’ll also earn points or miles for those expenses.
Utilize your credit card to pay for everyday costs
Another way to meet the minimum spending requirement and earn points is by using your credit card to pay daily expenses. This could include things like food, gas and even your telephone bill. Make sure you pay the balance off in full every month to ensure you don’t accrue interest charges.
Benefit from bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or bonus points on certain kinds of purchases, including eating out or travelling. Make sure you review your rewards program on your credit card and make use of any bonus categories that align with your spending habits.
Take into consideration the possibility of transferring your balance
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 an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will let you pay off the debt without accruing interest. It will also aid in achieving the minimum amount required to earn the credit card’s bonus.
Utilize your miles and points carefully
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize the points or miles wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and compare the value of different redemption options. For example using points to book a flight directly with the airline could give you a better value than using them for an gift card.
Another option is to get a rewards card that allows you to transfer rewards to different loyalty program. This will let you enjoy a greater variety of options and greater freedom when it comes to making use of your rewards. For example, you may be able to transfer your rewards to an airline’s frequent flyer program or Hotel rewards programme. This can give an access greater range of flights, hotels and other travel benefits that may not be available through the rewards program on your credit card.
Additionally, try to discover whether your credit card has some perks that could reduce your travel costs. Some cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that could be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
If you’re traveling with someone else each of you will be able to get rewards on your credit card. Make sure you don’t share the costs on the same card, and be sure you keep track of your rewards separately.
The key to making the most of your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program on your credit card and make sure you’re making use of this program in the most effective method possible. Utilizing an array of methods I’ve described, you’ll be able to get rewards in a short time, use them for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide variety of travel benefits.