Are you tired of paying 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 way to convert credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles, which can be used to score discounted or free flights to your ideal destinations. With a bit of imagination and some knowledge, you can fly for no cost in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about trading credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can later be used to purchase discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards will also let you redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or car rental offers.
How Does it Work?
The key to success in hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and building out a frequent flyer mile program with a limited number of airlines. When it’s time to book a flight, evaluate the cost. If the cost is less than $300, it’s best to pay in cash and save your miles to book a higher-priced flight. If your flights begin to climb higher than $500, it’s best to look into the frequent flyer account and determine which airline offers you the most value. All it boils down to is the amount of miles or points in your travel bank for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to travel hacking? First step opening the credit card that comes with a sign-up offer. There are plenty of great credit cards that provide various advantages and features. It depends on the type of airline, spending habits and the features that are most important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards that are excellent to hack 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 spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to receive the bonus. Every card has different guidelines, so make certain to verify this information. Then, it’s all about racking up miles and using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to set sail with your points?
Now that you’ve built up your points balance, it’s time to use them towards sweet vacation! Different credit card providers will offer different ways to redeem your rewards, here are some examples from some of the ones I’ve worked with:
Escape by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of a Chase credit card, then you are able to redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through this portal you’ll get access to almost every airline. You can make use of a combination of money and points to pay for your trip. You can even book completely on points if you have the balance for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t have enough points to cover the total cost, you are able to purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using every credit card.
Are you fed up of paying full price for your flight tickets? Did you know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option of paying using dollars or points? But, be careful, if you don’t have enough points, you cannot combine dollars and points on one flight. No worries though, if you’re only a couple of points short, United provides the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue offers passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience , with more legroom as well as free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is like United’s that allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue dollar or points, however, not both. But, JetBlue offers a distinct feature that allows you to combine your points with your relatives to earn points twice as quickly. 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 anything like me and my travel buddy Becca, you’re probably 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. Don’t worry because we’ve been there and we’re here to share our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able to pay for your rent with a credit card, do it! Be prepared to pay a fee, usually about 3%. It may be worth it in the long run in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another great way to hit the spending limit is to cover an medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills in the near future Ask your family members to pay them for theirs, and they will pay you back.
Pay off a loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan take into consideration repaying them using the credit card you have. Make sure to pay the credit card balance completely so that you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask family for help
Talk to your family and determine if they’ve got any major expenses in the near future which you could help pay for. Make sure that you are able to have confidence in the person you are talking to and they are aware of the reason for doing this.
If it’s the holiday season, consider buying all your gifts using your credit card. In this way, you’ll hit that minimum spend and also be prepared to give gifts. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you were already thinking of.
There are a lot of ways to make the most out of your travel credit card and accumulate miles or points that you can use towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are some additional suggestions for maximising the rewards you earn:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, make use of your travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel, rental car, and any other travel expenses. Not only will you be able to hit the required amount to earn your credit card and earn points, however, you’ll also earn points or miles on the expenses.
Make use of your credit card to pay for all your daily expenses
Another way to hit the minimum spending requirement and earn points is utilising your credit cards to pay everyday expenses. This can include items like groceries, gas or even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay off the balance in full every month to ensure you don’t pay interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or bonus points on certain kinds of purchases, such as eating out or travelling. Check out the rewards program of your credit card and take advantage of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending habits.
Consider the possibility of transferring your balance
If you’re in the middle of a outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, consider transferring the balance to 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 simultaneously help you hit the minimum spend for the credit card’s bonus.
Make use of your miles or points wisely
When you’ve earned a significant amount of points or miles Make sure to utilize them wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card and compare the value of different redemption options. For example you can use your points to book a ticket directly with the airline could give you a better value than using them to purchase an gift card.
Another suggestion is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer reward points into other loyalty programmes. This allows you to enjoy a greater variety of choices and more freedom when it comes to redeeming your rewards. For instance, you might be capable of transferring your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or Hotel rewards programme. This can give you access to a larger selection of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks that may not be accessible through the rewards program on your credit card.
Additionally, try to determine whether your credit card has some perks that could save you money on travel-related expenses. Some cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that could be very beneficial when traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a friend each of you will be able to earn rewards using your own credit card. Be aware that you cannot share the costs on the same card. Also, make sure you keep track of your rewards 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 efficient way possible. By using an array of strategies I’ve listed in this article, you’ll be able get rewards in a short time, use them for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide assortment of travel-related perks.