Are you fed up of spending a fortune on airfare? Well, good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting method to convert credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles which you can use to obtain discounted or free flights to your dream destinations. With a bit of creativity and some insider know-how, you’ll be jet-setting for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. These miles can then be used to buy discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards allow you to redeem miles for hotel stays and car rental deals.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for successful hacking travel is taking advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and to establish frequent flyer miles with a limited number of airlines. When you are ready to make a booking, evaluate the cost. If the price is under $300, it’s best to pay in cash and save your miles for a more expensive flight. If the prices start to rise higher than $500, it’s best to review your frequent flyer accounts to see which airline can give you the most value. It all boils down to the amount of points or miles you have in your travel bank for every airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to travel hacking? First step to open an account that comes with a welcome bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that offer many features and benefits. It depends on the type of airline, your habits with spending and what features are essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit card options that can be excellent 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 limit of spending minimum in order to receive the bonus. Each card has its own guidelines, so make sure to check for this information. Then you can begin to rack miles and using them to plan your dream trip!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your ideas?
Once you’ve accumulated the points balance, it’s time to cash them in for some sweet vacation! Different credit card companies have different methods of redeeming your points, but here are some examples from a few of the providers I’ve worked with:
Escape with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own an Chase cards, you can redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through it, you’ll get access to virtually every airline and you can combine the points as well as cash in order to pay for your travel. You can even book completely with points if you’ve the balance for it! Sometimes even if you don’t have enough points to cover the total cost, you are able to buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using any credit card.
Are you fed up 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 with either points or dollars? Be careful, if you do not have enough points you aren’t able to combine dollars and points on flights. Don’t worry, though, if you’re only a couple of points away, United gives you the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience , with more space and complimentary snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines that allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue dollar or points, however, not both. But, JetBlue offers a distinct feature where you can pool your points together with your relatives to earn points twice as fast. Just make sure you can verify that you are a family member before trying to hack the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel companion Becca You’re probably quite economical and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to hit the minimum amount required to earn credit card bonuses. Don’t worry as we’ve done it and we’re here to share 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! Just be prepared to pay a fee, usually about 3%. It might be worth it in the end in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another way to reach the spending limit is to pay for a medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses in the near future, ask your family members to pay their medical bills and they can pay you back.
Make a payment to pay off a loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan, consider making payments on them with the credit card you have. Make sure to pay the credit card balance completely so that you don’t accumulate additional debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Discuss your family with them and determine if they’ve got any major expenses in the near future that you can contribute for. Make sure that you are able to have confidence in the person you are talking to and they know why you’re doing this.
If you’re celebrating the holidays you should consider purchasing all your gifts with your credit card. So you’ll be able to hit that minimum spend and be ready to give gifts. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you already planning to.
There are a lot of ways to get the most out of the travel credit card. You can accrue points or miles to spend on flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are some additional suggestions for maximising your rewards
Book travel expenses with your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, use your travel credit card to pay for your hotel, flight, rental car, and any other travel-related expenses. You’ll not only achieve the minimum spend for your credit card as well, however, you’ll also earn points or miles to cover the expenses.
Make use of your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday costs
Another way to meet the minimum spend in order to accumulate points making use of your credit card to pay for every day expenses. This could be things like gas, groceries, and even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay the balance off in full every month to ensure you don’t accumulate interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or points in exchange on certain kinds of purchases, including eating out or traveling. Make sure you review your credit card’s rewards program and make use of any bonus categories that match with your spending habits.
Think about the possibility of transferring your balance
If you have existing debt on a credit card, you might want to transfer that balance to an account with a travel credit card that has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfers. This will enable you to pay off your debts without accruing interest, and also aid in achieving the minimum spending requirement for the credit card’s bonus.
Use your points or miles prudently
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of points or miles make sure you use them wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and then compare the benefits of different redemption options. For example using your points to book a ticket directly through the airline may provide you with a greater value than using them to purchase a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer points to other loyalty programs. This will allow you to enjoy a greater variety of options and greater freedom when it comes to you want to redeem your rewards. For example, you may be eligible to transfer your reward to the frequent flyer program of an airline or Hotel rewards programme. This gives you access to a wider variety of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks which are not accessible through the rewards program on your credit card.
Also, discover the card’s benefits. certain benefits that will help you save money on travel expenses. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection, and other benefits that are invaluable when you travel.
When you travel with someone else and both of you earn rewards using your credit card. Be aware that you cannot divide the cost with the same card, and be sure you keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
Overall, the key to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to know your credit card’s rewards program and ensure that you’re using your credit card in the most efficient method. By using an array of strategies I’ve outlined, you’ll be able to earn rewards fast, exchange rewards for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide assortment of travel-related perks.