Are you tired of paying an enormous amount on flights? Good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting way to turn credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles which you can use to score discounted or complimentary flights for your ideal destinations. With a little creativity and some insider knowledge, you can travel 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 rewards for airline miles. These miles can later be used to pay for cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards let you redeem miles for hotel stays and rental car deals.
How Does it Work?
The secret to success in hacking travel is taking advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and establishing a frequent flyer mile program with a limited number of airlines. When it’s time to book a flight take a look at the price. If the price is under $300, it’s generally better to pay in cash and save your miles to take a more costly flight. If the prices start to rise above $500, you’ll want to look into the frequent flyer account and find out which airline will give you the most value. It all boils down to the number 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 to open an account with a sign-up offer. There are many great credit cards that provide various benefits and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, your habits with spending and what features are 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 have to meet the limit of spending minimum in order to receive the bonus. Every card has different guidelines, so make sure to look up the details. From there it’s all about building miles and using them to plan your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your points?
After you’ve accrued the points balance, it’s time to use them towards sweet vacation! Different credit card companies offer different ways to redeem your points, but here are a few examples from some of the providers I’ve had experience with:
Getaway by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of an Chase card, you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through it, you’ll get access to nearly every airline, and you can make use of a combination of money and points to book your travel. You can even book entirely with points if you’ve the balance for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for entire price, you can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using every 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 can choose the option of paying with dollars or points? But, be careful that if you do not have enough points you cannot combine points and dollars for flights. If you’re only a couple of points short, United provides the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue offers a comfortable and enjoyable travel experience that includes extra legroom as well as free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to United’s, allowing customers to book using either JetBlue points or dollars, but not both. The difference is that JetBlue has a unique feature where you can join your points with family members to accrue points twice as quickly. Make sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack into the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me or my travel buddy Becca You’re probably quite frugal and it can be difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to hit the minimum amount required to earn a credit card bonus. Don’t worry because we’ve been there and we’re here to share some of our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able pay your rent using credit card, go for it! Make sure you pay a cost, which is usually around 3%. It could be worthwhile in the long run in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another way to reach the required spending is to cover the medical bills. If you do not have any medical expenses in the near future Ask your relatives if you could pay their medical bills and they can reimburse you.
Repay the loan
If you’re a borrower take into consideration paying them off with the credit card you have. Be sure to pay off the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Talk to your family and determine if they’ve got any major expenses in the near future that you can help pay for. Just make sure you have confidence in the person you are talking to and they are aware of the reason for doing this.
If it’s the holiday season, consider buying all of your gifts with cards from your credit account. So you’ll be able to hit that minimum spend and be ready for gift giving. Be sure to avoid paying more than you already thinking of.
There are plenty of ways to make the most from your travel credit card. You can accumulate miles or points that you can use towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are some additional ways to maximize your rewards
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, use your travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel, rental car, and any other travel-related expenses. Not only will you achieve the minimum spend for your credit card, but you’ll also earn points or miles to cover these costs.
Make use of your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday expenditures
Another way to meet the minimum spending requirement in order to accumulate points by making use of your credit card to pay every day costs. This can include things like gas, groceries or even your phone bill. Make sure you pay the balance off each month in full so you don’t accumulate interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or points in exchange on certain kinds of purchases, such as eating out or travelling. Make sure you review your credit card’s rewards program and make use of any bonus categories that align with your spending routines.
Take into consideration a balance transfer
If you are currently in debt on a credit card, think about transferring that balance onto an account with a travel credit card that has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfers. This will enable you to pay off the debt without accruing interest and simultaneously assist you in reaching the minimum spend for the credit card bonus.
Use your points or miles prudently
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points, be sure to use the points or miles wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and then compare the benefits of different redemption options. For example, using your points to book a flight directly with the airline might give you a better value than using them to purchase a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will let you have a wider range of choices and more freedom when it comes to 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 reward program for hotels. This will give an access wider range of flights, hotels and other travel benefits which are not accessible through the rewards program of your credit card.
Additionally, try to discover if your credit card offers some perks that could save you money on travel-related expenses. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection, and other benefits that could be invaluable when you travel.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a friend each of you will be able to earn rewards with your credit card. Just remember that you can’t share the costs on the same card. Also, make sure you keep track of your rewards separately.
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 efficient way possible. Utilizing all of the methods I’ve described in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards fast, exchange rewards for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad assortment of travel-related perks.