Are you fed up of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting way to turn credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles that can then be used to score discounted or free flights to your desired destinations. With a bit of creativity and some insider know-how, you’ll fly for no cost within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about trading credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can later be used to buy discounted or even free flights. Some credit cards also let you redeem miles for hotel stays and car rental discounts.
How Does it Work?
The key to successful travel hacking is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and establishing frequent flyer miles with a limited number of airlines. When it comes time to book a flight take a look at the price. If the price is less than $300, it’s best to pay in cash and use your miles to pay to take a more costly flight. If your flights begin to climb above $500, you’ll want to check your frequent flyer accounts and find out which airline will give you the best deal. All it boils down to is the number of points or miles in your travel account for each airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to hacking travel? The first step is to open the credit card that comes that comes with a welcome bonus. There are many great credit cards with many features and benefits. It depends on the type of airline, your habits with spending and the features that are most crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit card options that can be great to hack travel
- 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 hit the minimum spend limit in order to receive the bonus. Each card has its own guidelines, so make certain to verify this information. Then it’s all about building up miles and using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to set sail with your points?
Once you’ve accumulated your points balance, it’s time to redeem them for some nice travel! Different credit card providers will offer different ways to redeem your points, but here are some examples from a few of the companies I’ve had experience with:
Take a trip through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you have a Chase cards, you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within the portal, you’ll have access to nearly every airline, and you can use a combination of money and points to book your trip. You can even book completely on points if you have the balance for it! Sometimes even if you do not be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for full cost, you still can buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using every credit card.
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 to pay with either points or dollars? 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 of buying additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience , with more legroom and free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to United’s, allowing passengers to book flights using JetBlue dollar or points, but not both. But, JetBlue offers a distinct feature that allows you to join 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 the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me and my travel companion Becca I’m sure you’re pretty frugal and it can be difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to hit the minimum amount required to earn credit card bonuses. However, don’t be worried because we’ve been there and we’re here to share some of our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able pay your rent with a credit card, do it! Make sure you pay a fee, usually about 3%. It might be worth it over the long term if the bonus is high enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the minimum spend is to pay for an medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills due Ask your family members if you can pay their medical bills and they will pay you back.
Pay off a loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan you owe, think about paying them off with the credit card you have. Be sure to pay off the credit card balance completely so that you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Ask your family members to see if they have any big expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Just make sure you trust the person and they understand why you’re doing it.
If it’s the holiday season you should consider purchasing all your gifts with the credit card you have. So you’ll be able to reach the minimum spending requirement and also be prepared for gift giving. Be sure to avoid spending more than you were contemplating to.
There are a lot of ways to make the most from your travel credit card. accrue points or miles to use towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few additional suggestions for maximising your rewards
Make travel reservations using your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, use your travel credit card to book your hotel, flight, rental car, and any other travel-related expenses. Not only will you achieve the minimum spend for your credit card, but you’ll also be earning points or miles for these expenses.
Use your credit card for everyday costs
Another way to hit the minimum amount of spending to earn rewards is making use of your credit card to pay daily expenses. This can include items like groceries, gas, and even your phone bill. Make sure you pay the balance off in full each month so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Benefit from bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide bonus points or miles on certain kinds of purchases, like eating out or travelling. Make sure you review the rewards program of your credit card and avail any bonus categories that match with your spending routines.
Think about the possibility of transferring your balance
If you have existing outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, think about transferring that balance onto the travel credit card which has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfers. This will enable you to pay off your debt without accruing interest and simultaneously help you hit the minimum amount required to earn the credit card’s bonus.
Make use of your miles or points wisely
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of points or miles make sure you use the points or miles wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card and then compare the worth of various redemption options. For instance you can use points to book a flight directly with the airline could provide you with a greater return than using them for an gift card.
Another option is to get a rewards card that allows 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 example, you may be capable of transferring your reward to an airline’s frequent flyer program or a hotel rewards program. This can give the benefit of a greater selection of hotels, flights and other travel benefits that aren’t accessible through the rewards program of your credit card.
Additionally, try to discover the card’s benefits. 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 invaluable when you travel.
If you’re traveling with a friend and both of you get rewards on your own credit card. Just remember that you can’t share the costs on the same card. Also, make sure to keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
The key to making the most of your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program on your credit card and ensure that you’re making use of it in the most effective way possible. By using a combination of the strategies I’ve listed that you can earn rewards quickly, redeem them for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide variety of travel benefits.