Are you fed up of spending an enormous amount on flights? Good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s a fun way to convert credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles that can then be used to get discounted or even complimentary flights for your ideal destinations. With a little bit of imagination and some knowledge, you can be jet-setting for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. These miles can then be used to pay for cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards permit you to use miles for hotel stays and car rental discounts.
How Does it Work?
The key to successful hacking travel is taking advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and to establish a frequent flyer mile program for a specific group of airlines. When you are ready to book a flight, evaluate the cost. If the price is less than $300, it’s generally better to pay cash and use your miles to pay for a more expensive flight. If your flights begin to climb over $500, you’ll need to review the frequent flyer account to see which airline can give you the best deal. It all boils down to the number of points or miles you have in your travel bank for every airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets of travel hacking? The first step is to open an account that comes with a welcome bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards with various benefits and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, your spending habits, and what features are essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit card options that can be perfect for travel hacking:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
If you’ve been approved for a credit card, you’ll need to reach the minimum spend limit in order to qualify for the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so be sure to check for this information. Then you can begin to rack up miles, and then using them to book your dream vacation!
Ready to jet-set with your points?
Once you’ve accumulated your points balance, you’re ready to cash them in for some sweet vacation! Different credit card providers will have different methods for redeeming your rewards, here are a few examples from some of the providers I’ve worked with:
Take a trip through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you have an Chase cards, you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In the portal, you’ll have access to almost every airline. You can combine money and points 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 be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for full cost, you still can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using the credit card of your choice.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for your flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United You have the option of paying using dollars or points? Butbe aware in case you don’t have enough points you cannot combine dollars and points for one flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re just a few points short, United provides the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience , with more legroom as well as free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is like United’s, allowing customers to book using either JetBlue either dollars or points, however, not both. However, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature where you can pool your points together with your family members and earn points twice as quickly. Just make sure you can establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me and my travel buddy Becca, you’re probably pretty economical and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to hit the required amount to qualify for credit card bonuses. But don’t fret, we’ve been through it and are here to share our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able to pay for your rent with credit card, then do it! Just be prepared to pay a fee, usually at least 3 percent. It may be worth it over the long term in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another excellent way to meet 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 their medical bills and they will reimburse you.
Make a payment to pay off the loan
If you have any loans, consider repaying them using an credit card. Be sure to pay the credit card balance in full so you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask family for help
Ask your family members to see if they have any large expenses coming up which you could help pay for. Make sure that you are able to trust the person and they understand why you’re doing it.
If you’re celebrating the holidays, consider buying all your gifts with your credit card. So you’ll be able to hit that minimum spend and also be ready for giving gifts. Be sure to avoid spending more than you were thinking of.
There are a lot of methods to get the most from your travel credit card. earn miles or points to be used towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are some additional ways to maximize your rewards
Book travel expenses with your credit card
When you’re planning your next vacation, make use of the travel credit card for booking your hotel, flight, rental car, and any other travel-related expenses. In addition, you’ll achieve the required amount to earn your credit card as well, but you’ll also be earning points or miles to cover those expenditures.
Utilize your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday expenditures
Another way to hit the minimum spending requirement and earn points is by utilising your credit cards to pay for every day expenses. This could include items like groceries, gas and even your telephone bill. Make sure you pay the balance off in full each month so you don’t pay interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer bonus points or miles for certain types of purchases, including eating out or traveling. Make sure you review your rewards program on your credit card and avail any bonus categories that match with your spending habits.
Think about the possibility of transferring your balance
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer that balance onto the travel credit card which has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfer. This will enable you to pay off the debt without accruing interest. It will also help you hit the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus.
Utilize your miles and points carefully
When you’ve earned a significant amount of points or miles, be sure to use the points or miles wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card, and evaluate the worth of various redemption options. For instance using points to book a ticket directly with the airline might provide you with a greater value than using them for an gift card.
Another tip is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer your reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will let you have a wider range of options and greater freedom when it comes to redeeming your rewards. For instance, you might be eligible to transfer your reward to an airline’s frequent flyer program or reward program for hotels. This will give you access to a greater selection of hotels, flights and other travel benefits which are not accessible through the rewards program on your credit card.
Also, discover the card’s benefits. certain benefits that will reduce your travel expenses. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection and other benefits that can be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a friend, both of you can earn rewards using your own credit card. Make sure you don’t split the cost on the same card and make sure to track your rewards separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do to making the most of your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program on your credit card and ensure that you’re using your credit card in the most effective way possible. Utilizing a combination of the strategies I’ve outlined, you’ll be able to earn rewards fast, exchange them for travel experiences that are worth it and take advantage of a broad assortment of travel-related perks.