Are you fed up of spending an enormous amount on flights? Well, good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s a fun way to convert credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into miles which can be used to obtain discounted or cheap flights from your ideal destinations. With a bit of imagination and a little bit of insider knowledge, you can be jet-setting for free within a matter of minutes.
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 purchase discount or no-cost flights. Some credit cards also permit you to use miles to pay for hotel stays or rental car discounts.
How Does it Work?
The secret to successful hacking travel is taking advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and building out a frequent flyer mile program with a limited number of airlines. When it comes time to book a flight consider the cost. If the flight is under $300, it’s generally better to pay cash and use your miles to pay to book a higher-priced flight. If the prices start to rise higher than $500, it’s best to look into your frequent flyer accounts and see which airline can give you the most value. It all comes down to the number of miles or points in your travel account for every airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to travel hacking? Your first task is opening a credit card with a sign-up bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards that offer many benefits and features. It depends on the type of airline, your spending habits, and what features are important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards that are excellent to hack travel
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
Once you’ve been approved for a credit card, you’ll need to reach the limit of spending minimum in order to qualify for the bonus. Every card has different guidelines, so make sure to look up this information. From there you can begin to rack up miles and using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your ideas?
Now that you’ve built up your points balance, you’re ready to use them towards nice vacation! Different credit card companies have different methods of redeeming your points, but here are a few examples from some of the ones I have experience with:
Escape with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have a Chase credit card, then you are able to use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within the portal, you’ll have access to virtually every airline and you can use a combination of money and points to book your travel. You can even book completely using points if you’ve got the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for full cost, you are able to book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using any credit card.
Are you fed up of paying full price for flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option of paying with dollars or points? But, be careful in case you don’t have enough points, you can’t combine dollars and points for one flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re just a few points short, United gives you the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience with extra space and complimentary snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines, allowing you to book with either JetBlue points or dollars, but not both. However, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature where you can combine your points with your family members and earn points twice as fast. Be sure to establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack into the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me and my travel companion Becca I’m sure you’re pretty thrifty and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to hit the minimum spend for credit card bonuses. Don’t worry as we’ve done it and we’re here to share some of our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able pay your rent using credit card, go for 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 excellent way to meet the required spending is to cover an medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses due then ask your family members if you can pay for theirs and they’ll reimburse you.
Repay the loan
If you have any loans you owe, think about paying them off with the credit card you have. Just make sure you pay off the balance on your credit card in full so you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
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 know why you’re doing it.
If you’re celebrating the holidays take into consideration buying all your gifts using your credit card. In this way, you’ll meet the minimum spending limit and also be ready for giving gifts. Make sure that you’re not paying more than you already contemplating to.
There are a lot of methods to get the most out of your travel credit card. earn miles or points to use towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are some additional ideas for maximizing your rewards
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, make use of your travel credit card to book your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as any other travel-related expenses. Not only will you be able to hit the minimum amount of spending required to earn your credit card bonus and earn points, but you’ll also be earning points or miles on the costs.
Make use of your credit card to pay for all your daily expenses
Another way to hit the minimum amount of spending to earn rewards is making use of your credit card for every day expenses. This could be things like food, gas or even your phone bill. Be sure to pay the balance off in full every month to ensure you don’t accumulate interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or bonus points for specific types of purchases, like dining or travel. Check out the rewards program of your credit card and make use of any bonus categories that align with your spending routines.
Think about a balance transfer
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a credit card, think about transferring that balance onto an account with a travel credit card that has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfers. This will enable you to pay off the debt without accruing interest, and also assist you in reaching the minimum spend for the credit card’s bonus.
Make use of your miles or points prudently
When you’ve earned a significant amount of points or miles, be sure to use them in a responsible manner. Examine the rewards program of your credit card, and evaluate the worth of various redemption options. For instance you can use points to purchase a flight directly with the airline might offer better value than using them for an gift card.
Another option is to get an rewards card that permits you to transfer your rewards to different loyalty program. This will let you enjoy a greater variety of choices and more flexibility in redeeming your rewards. For example, you may be eligible to transfer your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or hotel rewards program. This can give an access wider range of flights, hotels as well as other travel perks which are not available through the rewards program on your credit card.
Additionally, try to find out the card’s benefits. some perks that could help you save money on travel costs. Many cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that could be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
If you’re traveling with a friend each of you will be able to earn rewards with your own credit card. Make sure you don’t share the costs on the same card, and be sure to keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
Overall, the key to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program of your credit card and ensure that you’re using it in the most efficient method. By using an array of strategies I’ve outlined, you’ll be able to earn rewards quickly, redeem them for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide assortment of travel-related perks.