Are you tired of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting method to turn credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles, which can be used to score discounted or cheap flights from your ideal destinations. With a little bit of imagination and a little bit of insider knowledge, you can be jet-setting for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. The miles can be used to pay for cheap or free flight tickets. Some credit cards also allow you to redeem miles for hotel stays and rental car discounts.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for success in hacking travel is taking advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and to establish frequent flyer miles on a select group of airlines. When it comes time to make a booking take a look at the price. If the cost is less than $300, it’s usually better to pay in cash and save your miles to book a higher-priced flight. If the prices start to rise above $500, you’ll want to look into the frequent flyer account to see which airline can give you the best deal. All it boils down to is the amount of points or miles in your travel account for each airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to travel hacking? First step opening the credit card that comes with a sign-up offer. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that offer various advantages and features. It depends on the type of airline, your spending habits, and the features that are most crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards great 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 have to meet the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to qualify for the bonus. Every card has different guidelines, so make certain to verify the details. From there you can begin to rack up miles, and then using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your points?
Now that you’ve built up the points balance, it’s time to cash them in for some nice travel! Different credit card companies will offer different ways to redeem your points. Here are some examples from a few of the companies I’ve had experience with:
Take a trip with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of a Chase cards, you are able to use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through this portal you’ll have access to almost every airline, and you can use a combination of the points as well as cash in order to pay for your travel. You can book your flight entirely 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 total cost, you are able to purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using any credit card.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United You have the option to pay with either points or dollars? Be careful in case you don’t have enough points you can’t combine points and dollars for the same flight. If you’re only a couple of point short United provides 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 extra legroom as well as free snacks. Plus, their booking process is like United’s which allows you to book with either JetBlue either dollars or points, however, not both. But, JetBlue offers a distinct feature that lets you pool your points together with family members to accrue points twice as quickly. Be sure to establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack into the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re like me or my travel companion Becca I’m sure you’re pretty economical and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to hit the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus. But don’t fret, we’ve been through it and are here to share some of our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able to pay for your rent using credit card, then do it! Just be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually at least 3%. It may be worth it in the end when the bonus is large enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another way to reach the required spending is to cover an medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses in the near future, ask your relatives if you could pay their medical bills and they’ll pay you back.
Pay off a loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan, consider making payments on them with an credit card. Make sure to 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 see if they have any big expenses coming up which you could help pay for. Just make sure you trust the person and they understand why you’re doing this.
If you’re celebrating the holidays take into consideration buying all of your gifts with your credit card. So you’ll be able to hit that minimum spend and also be ready to give gifts. Just make sure you’re not paying more than you already thinking of.
There are a lot of methods to get the most from the travel credit card and earn miles or points to be used towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few additional ways to maximize the rewards you earn:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, use you travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel, rental car, and any other travel-related expenses. You’ll not only achieve the required amount to qualify for a credit card reward as well, however, you’ll also earn points or miles for those expenses.
Make use of your credit card to pay for everyday expenditures
Another way to hit the minimum spending requirement to earn rewards is by utilising your credit cards for everyday expenditures. This could include items like groceries, gas or even your phone bill. Make sure you pay off the balance each month in full so you don’t pay interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or points in exchange for specific types of purchases, including eating out or travelling. Check out your rewards program on your credit card and take advantage of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending habits.
Think about a balance transfer
If you are currently in debt on a credit card, you might want to transfer that balance to 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 and simultaneously aid in achieving the minimum spend for the credit card bonus.
Use your points or miles prudently
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points make sure you use them wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card and compare the worth of various redemption options. For example using your points to purchase a flight directly through the airline may offer better value than using them to purchase an gift card.
Another suggestion is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer reward points into other loyalty programmes. This allows you to have a wider range of choices and more flexibility in making use of your rewards. For example, you may be able to transfer your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or hotel rewards program. This can give you access to a greater range of flights, hotels as well as other travel perks which are not accessible through the rewards program of your credit card.
Also, determine if your credit card offers some perks that could reduce your travel costs. Many cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that can be very beneficial when traveling.
When you travel with a friend, both of you can earn rewards with your credit card. Make sure you don’t divide the cost with the same card and make sure to track the rewards you earn separately.
The key to maximizing your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program on your credit card and make sure you’re using your credit card in the most effective method possible. Through 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 take advantage of a broad assortment of travel-related perks.