Are you fed up of spending an enormous amount on flights? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting method to turn credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles, that can then be used to obtain discounted or complimentary flights for your dream destinations. With a bit of imagination and some knowledge, you can travel for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of swapping credit card sign-up bonus and incentives for airline miles. These miles can later be used to pay for discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards let you redeem miles for hotel stays and car rental discounts.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for success in hacking travel is taking advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and establishing frequent flyer miles on a select group of airlines. When you are ready to book a flight, evaluate the cost. If the price is under $300, it’s generally better to pay cash and use your miles to pay for a more expensive flight. When the flights start getting above $500, you’ll want to check your frequent flyer accounts and find out which airline will give you the best deal. It all boils down to the number of points or miles in your travel account for every airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to hacking travel? Your first task is opening the credit card that comes with a sign-up bonus. 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 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 or debit card, you’ll need to hit the minimum spend limit in order to receive the bonus. Every card has different rules, so make certain to verify 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 ideas?
After you’ve accrued your points balance, it’s time to cash them in for some delicious getaway! Different credit card companies will have different methods for redeeming your points. Here are a few examples from some of the providers I’ve had experience with:
Escape with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have a Chase cards, you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In this portal you’ll have access to virtually every airline. You can combine the points as well as cash in order to pay for your trip. You can book your flight entirely using points if you’ve got enough balance! Sometimes even if you don’t possess enough points for the entire cost, you are able to book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using every credit card.
Are you fed up of paying full price for your flight tickets? Did you realize that when booking directly through United You have the option of paying using either points or dollars? But, be careful that if you do not have enough points you cannot combine points and dollars on one flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re a few points short, United also offers the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience with extra legroom and free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is like United’s which allows customers to book using either JetBlue dollar or points, however, not both. However, JetBlue offers a distinct feature that allows you to combine your points 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 into the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel companion Becca You’re probably quite thrifty and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to hit the minimum spend for a credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried 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! Make sure you be charged a fee, typically about 3 percent. It could be worthwhile in the end when the bonus is large enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another way to reach the spending limit is to pay for the medical bills. If you do not have any medical expenses due Ask your family members to pay them for theirs, and they’ll reimburse you.
Repay the loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan take into consideration paying them off with an credit card. Just make sure you pay the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask family for help
Ask your family members to see if they have any big expenses coming up which you could help pay for. Make sure that you are able to are able to trust the person and that they know why you’re taking the initiative.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season you should consider purchasing all your gifts using your credit card. So you’ll be able to reach the minimum spending requirement and be ready for giving gifts. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you already thinking of.
There are plenty of ways to get the most of your travel credit card. You can accumulate miles or points that you can use towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few additional ideas for maximizing 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 book your flight, hotel, rental car, and any other travel-related expenses. You’ll not only be able to meet the minimum amount of spending required to earn your credit card reward and earn points, but you’ll also earn points or miles for the expenses.
Make use of your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday costs
Another way to meet the minimum amount of spending to earn rewards is making use of your credit card for daily costs. This could include items like groceries, gas or even your phone bill. Be sure to pay off the balance in full each month so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Take advantage of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide bonus points or miles for certain types of purchases, including dining or travel. Be sure to review your credit card’s rewards program and avail the bonus categories that are in line with your spending routines.
Take into consideration a balance transfer
If you are currently in outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer the balance to a travel credit card with the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfer. This will allow you to pay off your debts without accruing interest, and also aid in achieving the minimum spend for the credit card’s bonus.
Use your points or miles carefully
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points, be sure to use them in a responsible manner. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and compare the benefits of different redemption options. For instance, using your points to book a flight directly through the airline may offer better value than using them for a gift card.
Another tip is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer your reward points into other loyalty programmes. This allows you to have a wider range of choices and more flexibility when you want to redeem your rewards. For instance, you might be capable of transferring your rewards to an airline’s frequent flyer program or a hotel rewards program. This will give an access larger variety of hotels, flights and other travel benefits which are not accessible through the rewards program of your credit card.
In addition, you should find out if your credit card offers some perks that could reduce your travel costs. Some cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that are extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
If you’re traveling with a friend and both of you get rewards on your credit card. Make sure you don’t share the costs on the same card and make sure to keep track of your rewards separately.
Overall, the key to maximizing your travel rewards is to know your credit card’s rewards program and ensure that you’re using it in the most effective method. Utilizing an array of strategies I’ve outlined that you can get rewards in a short time, use them for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide range of travel perks.