Are you fed up of spending a fortune on airfare? Good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting method to convert credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles that can then be used to score discounted or free flights to your dream 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 about swapping credit card sign-up bonus and incentives for airline miles. These miles can then be used to buy discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards let you redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or car rental offers.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for successful hacking travel is taking advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and establishing a frequent flyer mile program on a select group of airlines. When it’s time to make a booking, evaluate the cost. If the price is under $300, it’s generally better to pay in cash and use your miles to pay for a more expensive flight. If the prices start to rise over $500, you’ll need to check your frequent flyer accounts to find out which airline will give you the best deal. It all comes down to the amount of miles or points you have in your travel savings account for each airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets of travel hacking? First step opening an account that comes with a welcome bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards with many benefits and features. It is all dependent on the airline, your spending habits, and what features are crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit card options that can be perfect to use for hacking travel:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
After you’ve been accepted for a credit card you’ll have to meet the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to receive the bonus. Each card has its own guidelines, so make sure to look up this information. Then it’s all about building miles and using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your ideas?
After you’ve accrued the points balance, it’s time to use them towards sweet travel! Different credit card companies will have different methods of redeeming your points. Here are some examples from some of the companies I’ve worked with:
Take a trip by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own an Chase credit card, then you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In it, you’ll have access to nearly every airline, and you can make use of a combination of the points as well as cash in order to book your next trip. You can even book entirely on points if you have the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you don’t possess enough points for the total price, you can buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in 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 using dollars or points? Be careful in case you don’t have enough points you aren’t able to combine points and dollars for the same flight. If you’re just a few point short United gives you the option to purchase 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. Plus, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines, allowing customers to book using either JetBlue points or dollars, however, not both. But, JetBlue has a unique feature where you can join your points with family members to accrue points twice as quickly. Make 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 or my travel companion Becca You’re probably quite thrifty and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to reach the minimum amount required to earn credit card bonuses. But don’t fret because we’ve been there and are here to share our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able to pay for your rent with credit card, go for it! Be prepared to pay a fee, usually around 3 percent. It may be worth it in the end when the bonus is large enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the required spending is to pay for an medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses coming up, ask your family members if you can pay them for theirs, and they can reimburse you.
Pay off a loan
If you have any loans take into consideration making payments on them with your credit card. Just make sure you pay off the balance on your credit card in full , so that you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask family for help
Ask your family members to 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 understand why you’re doing it.
If it’s the holiday season take into consideration buying all your gifts with your credit card. So you’ll be able to reach the minimum spending requirement and also be ready for giving gifts. Just make sure you’re not paying more than you already planning to.
There are a lot of ways to make the most of the travel credit card. You can accumulate miles or points that you can use towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few more ideas for maximizing the rewards you earn:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a vacation, make use of you travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as other travel costs. You’ll not only achieve the minimum spend to qualify for a credit card reward and earn points, however, you’ll also earn points or miles for the costs.
Make use of your credit card to pay for all your daily expenses
Another method to reach the minimum amount of spending and earn points is by using your credit card to pay for daily costs. This could include things like food, gas, and even your phone bill. Make sure you pay the balance off in full each month so you don’t accumulate interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer bonus points or miles on certain kinds of purchases, including dining or travel. Be sure to review the rewards program of your credit card and take advantage of any bonus categories that align with your spending habits.
Consider the possibility of transferring your balance
If you have existing debt on a high-interest credit card, think about transferring the balance to a travel credit card with an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will allow you to pay off the debt without accruing interest and simultaneously assist you in reaching the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus.
Make use of your miles or points wisely
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 evaluate the value of different redemption options. For instance using points to book a ticket directly with the airline could give you a better value 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 will let you get a wider selection of choices and more flexibility in 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 will give you access to a larger range of flights, hotels and other travel benefits which are not available through the rewards program of your credit card.
Additionally, try to determine the card’s benefits. certain benefits that will save you money on travel-related expenses. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that could be invaluable when you travel.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a companion and both of you earn rewards with your credit card. Be aware that you cannot split the cost on the same card and make sure to track 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 to ensure you’re using it in the most effective method possible. Through all of the methods I’ve described, you’ll be able to get rewards in a short time, use them for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad variety of travel benefits.