Are you fed up of spending an enormous amount on flights? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting method to turn credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles which can be used to score discounted or complimentary flights for your dream destinations. With a little bit of creativity and some insider knowledge, you can be jet-setting 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 cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards will also allow you to redeem miles towards hotel stays or car rental discounts.
How Does it Work?
The secret to successful hacking travel is taking advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and to establish a frequent flyer mile program for a specific group of airlines. When you are ready to book a flight take a look at the price. If the cost is under $300, it’s usually better to pay in cash and use your miles to pay to take a more costly flight. When the flights start getting above $500, you’ll want to check those frequent flyer accounts to find out which airline will give you the best deal. It all boils down to the amount of points or miles in your travel bank for each airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to hacking travel? First step opening the credit card that comes that comes with a welcome bonus. There are many great credit cards with many benefits and features. It depends on the type of airline, your habits with spending and what features are important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards perfect for travel hacking:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
Once you’ve been approved for a credit or debit 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 make sure to check for this information. Then you can begin to rack up miles and using them to book your dream vacation!
Ready to jet-set with your ideas?
After you’ve accrued your points amount, it’s time to use them towards nice getaway! Different credit card companies have different methods of redeeming your points, but here are some examples from a few of the ones I have experience with:
Take a trip through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you own a Chase card, you can redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through this portal you’ll have access to nearly every airline, and you can use a combination of points and cash to book your travel. You can book your flight entirely on points if you have the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you don’t have enough points to cover the total cost, you still can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using any credit card.
Are you fed up of paying full price for your flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United you can choose the option of paying with either points or dollars? Butbe aware that if you don’t have enough points, you can’t combine dollars and points on flights. If you’re just a few points short, United gives you the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience , with more legroom and free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is like United’s that allows you to book with either JetBlue dollar or points, however, not both. But, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that lets you combine your points with family members to accrue points twice as quickly. Be sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack into the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me and my travel buddy Becca You’re probably quite thrifty and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to reach the required amount to qualify for credit card bonuses. However, don’t be worried, we’ve been through it and we’re here to share some of 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 credit card, go for it! Just be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually at least 3 percent. It could be worthwhile in the long run in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the minimum spend is to pay for a medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses coming up, ask your family members if you can pay their medical bills and they’ll repay you.
Make a payment to pay off the loan
If you have any loans you owe, think about paying them off with an credit card. Just make sure you pay the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Ask your family members to look into any major expenses in the near future that you can help pay for. Make sure that you are able to have confidence in the person you are talking to and they know why you’re taking the initiative.
If you’re celebrating the holidays, consider buying all of your gifts with your credit card. This way you can meet the minimum spending limit and also be prepared for giving gifts. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you were contemplating to.
There are many methods to get the most of the travel credit card. earn miles or points to be used towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are some additional suggestions for maximising your rewards
Make travel reservations using your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, make use of the travel credit card to book your hotel, flight, rental car, and other travel costs. Not only will you be able to meet the minimum amount of spending required for your credit card reward and earn points, however, you’ll also earn points or miles to cover these expenses.
Make use of your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday costs
Another method to reach the minimum spend to earn rewards is by making use of your credit card to pay daily expenses. This can include items like groceries, gas, and even your phone 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 bonus points or miles for specific types of purchases, like dining or travel. Be sure to review your rewards program on your credit card and take advantage of any bonus categories that align with your spending habits.
Consider the possibility of transferring your balance
If you are currently in debt on a high-interest credit card, think about transferring that balance to a travel credit card with the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfers. This will enable you to pay off your debt without accruing interest, and also aid in achieving the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus.
Utilize your miles and points prudently
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize them in a responsible manner. Review the rewards program for your credit card and compare the benefits of different redemption options. For instance you can use points to book a ticket directly through the airline may give you a better return than using them for a gift card.
Another option is to get a rewards card that allows you to transfer reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will allow you to get a wider selection of choices and more freedom when it comes to making use of your rewards. For instance, you might be eligible to transfer your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or Hotel rewards programme. This can give the benefit of a larger range of flights, hotels and other travel benefits that may not be offered through the rewards program of your credit card.
Also, discover if your credit card offers certain benefits that will reduce your travel expenses. Many cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection, and other benefits that could be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
When you travel with a companion, both of you can get rewards on your credit card. Make sure you don’t divide the cost with the same card. Also, make sure to track your rewards in a separate manner.
The key to making the most of your travel rewards is to understand your credit card’s rewards program and make sure you’re making use of this program in the most effective way possible. By using an array of strategies I’ve outlined, you’ll be able to earn rewards fast, exchange them for travel experiences that are worth it and benefit from a wide assortment of travel-related perks.