Are you fed up of spending an enormous amount on flights? Good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting way to convert welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles, which you can use to get discounted or even free flights to your dream destinations. With a little imagination and some information, you’ll travel for free in no time.
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 discounted or even free flights. Some credit cards also allow you to redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or car rental discounts.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for successful hacking travel is taking advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and to establish a frequent flyer mile program on a select group of airlines. When it comes time to book a flight consider the cost. If the flight is less than $300, it’s best to pay cash and use your miles to pay for a more expensive flight. If the prices start to rise above $500, you’ll want to check those frequent flyer accounts and determine which airline offers you the best price. It all boils down to the amount of points or miles you have in your travel bank for each airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to travel hacking? First step opening a credit card with a sign-up bonus. There are many great credit cards that offer many features and benefits. It all depends on your preferred airline, your habits with spending and what features are important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit card options that can be great to use for hacking travel:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
If you’ve been approved for a credit or debit card, you’ll need to reach the limit of spending minimum in order to get the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so make sure to look up the details. Then it’s all about building miles and using them to book your dream vacation!
Ready to jet-set with your goals?
Once you’ve accumulated your points amount, it’s time to cash them in for some nice travel! Different credit card companies 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 a Chase credit card, then you are able to redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within the portal, you’ll get access to nearly every airline, and you can use a combination of points and cash to pay for your next trip. You can even book completely with points if you’ve enough balance! Sometimes even if you do not possess enough points for the full cost, you are able to book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with the credit card of your choice.
Are you fed up of paying full price for flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United you can choose the option of paying with either points or dollars? Butbe aware in case you don’t have enough points, you cannot combine dollars and points for the same flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re only a couple of points short, United provides the option to purchase additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue provides passengers a relaxing and pleasant travel experience that includes extra legroom and free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is like United’s which allows you to book with either JetBlue dollar or points, however, not both. The difference is that JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that lets you join your points with family members to accrue points twice as fast. Make 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 anything 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 spend for the credit card bonus. Don’t worry, we’ve been through it and we’re here to share our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able to pay for your rent with credit card, then do it! Just be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually about 3%. It could be worthwhile in the end when the bonus is large enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another great way to hit the minimum spend is to cover an medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses due then ask your family members if you can pay them for theirs, and they can repay you.
Make a payment to pay off the loan
If you have any loans you owe, think about making payments on them with an credit card. Make sure to pay off the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Talk to your family and see if they have any large expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Make sure that you are able to are able to trust the person and that they understand why you’re doing this.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season take into consideration buying all your gifts with your credit card. This way you can hit that minimum spend and be ready for gift giving. Just make sure you’re not paying more than you thinking of.
There are many ways to get the most out of your travel credit card. accumulate miles or points that you can be used towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are some additional ideas for maximizing your rewards
Book travel expenses with your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, use the travel credit card to book your flight, hotel, rental car, and other travel costs. You’ll not only be able to meet the minimum amount of spending required for your credit card bonus and earn points, but you’ll also earn points or miles for the costs.
Use your credit card for everyday costs
Another way to meet the minimum spend in order to accumulate points by using your credit card to pay for every day expenditures. This could include things like gas, groceries, and even your phone bill. Make sure you pay off the balance in full every month to ensure you don’t pay interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or points in exchange for certain types of purchases, such as dining or travel. Be sure to review the rewards program of your credit card and avail the bonus categories that are in line with your spending routines.
Think about a balance transfer
If you’re in the middle of a outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, think about transferring that balance onto a travel credit card with the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfer. This will let you pay off your debts without accruing interest, and also aid in achieving the minimum spend for the credit card bonus.
Use your points or miles carefully
When you’ve earned a significant amount of miles or points, be sure to use them in a responsible manner. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and compare the benefits of different redemption options. For instance you can use points to book a flight directly through the airline may offer better return than using them for a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer your points to other loyalty programs. This will allow you to enjoy a greater variety of choices and more freedom when it comes to making use of your rewards. For instance, you might be able to transfer your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a hotel rewards program. This can give you access to a wider selection of hotels, flights and other travel benefits that aren’t offered through the rewards program on your credit card.
Also, discover the card’s benefits. any perks that can save you money on travel-related costs. Many cards offer travel insurance and 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 earn rewards using your own credit card. Just remember that you can’t split the cost on the same card, and be sure to track your rewards in a separate manner.
Overall, the key to reaping the maximum benefits from your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program on your credit card and ensure that you’re making use of your credit card in the most efficient way possible. Through an array of strategies I’ve listed that you can get rewards in a short time, use them for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad variety of travel benefits.