Are you tired of spending an enormous amount on flights? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting method to turn credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles, that can then be used to get discounted or even complimentary flights for your ideal destinations. With a little bit of creativity and some insider knowledge, you can be jet-setting for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about trading credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. These miles can later be used to pay for discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards will also allow you to redeem miles for hotel stays and rental car discounts.
How Does it Work?
The secret to successful hacking travel is taking advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and building out frequent flyer miles on a select group of airlines. When it comes time to make a booking consider the cost. If the cost is under $300, it’s best to pay in cash and use your miles to pay to take a more costly flight. If the prices start to rise above $500, you’ll want to look into those frequent flyer accounts to determine which airline offers you the most value. It all boils down to the amount of miles or points in your travel bank for every airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to hacking travel? First step opening the credit card that comes that comes with a welcome bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that provide a variety of advantages and features. It is all dependent on the airline, your habits with spending and what features are important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards excellent to hack travel
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
Once you’ve been approved for a credit card you’ll need to reach the minimum spend limit in order to qualify for the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so be sure to check for this information. Then, it’s all about racking up miles and using them to plan your dream vacation!
Ready to jet-set with your ideas?
After you’ve accrued the points amount, it’s time to redeem them for some sweet getaway! Different credit card companies have different methods of redeeming your points. Here are a few examples from some of the ones I have experience with:
Escape with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of an Chase card, you are able to redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through it, you’ll have access to virtually every airline, and you can combine money and points 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 have enough points to cover the total cost, you still can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using every credit card.
Are you tired of paying full price for your flight tickets? Did you know that when you book directly through United You have the option of paying using dollars or points? Butbe aware that if you do not have enough points you aren’t able to combine dollars and points on flights. No worries though, if you’re a few points short, United provides the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue provides passengers a relaxing and pleasant travel experience that includes extra legroom and free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to United’s, allowing you to book with either JetBlue points or dollars but not both. But, JetBlue offers a distinct feature where you can combine your points with your relatives to earn points twice as fast. Be sure to verify that you are a family member before 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 economical and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to hit the minimum spend for a credit card bonus. Don’t worry because we’ve been there and we’re here to share our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able to pay for your rent using credit card, then do it! Be prepared to pay a fee, usually around 3 percent. It could be worthwhile in the long run if the bonus is high enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another way to reach the minimum spend is to pay for a 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 reimburse you.
Repay a loan
If you’re a borrower you owe, think about paying them off with the credit card you have. Just make sure you pay off the credit card balance in full so you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Ask your family members to see if they have any big expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to are able to trust the person and that they understand why you’re taking the initiative.
If it’s the holiday season take into consideration buying all of your gifts with the credit card you have. In this way, you’ll hit that minimum spend and be ready for gift giving. Just make sure you’re not paying more than you planning to.
There are plenty of methods to get the most of the travel credit card. You can accrue points or miles to use towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few more suggestions for maximising the rewards you earn:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
If you’re planning a vacation, make use of you travel credit card for booking your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as other travel costs. You’ll not only be able to meet the minimum amount of spending required for your credit card reward and earn points, however, you’ll also earn points or miles on those expenditures.
Use your credit card for all your daily expenditures
Another way to meet the minimum spending requirement to earn rewards is making use of your credit card to pay for daily expenses. This could include things like food, gas, and even your phone bill. Be sure to pay the balance off each month in full so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer bonus points or miles for certain types of purchases, including eating out or traveling. Check out your credit card’s rewards program and take advantage of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending habits.
Think about the possibility of transferring your balance
If you are currently in debt on a credit card, think about transferring that balance onto the travel credit card which has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfer. This will let you pay off the debt without accruing interest. It will also aid in achieving the minimum spend for the credit card’s bonus.
Utilize your miles and points prudently
If you’ve amassed a large amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize them in a responsible manner. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and compare the worth of various redemption options. For example, using points to book a ticket directly through the airline may give you a better return than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer your points to other loyalty programs. This will allow you to enjoy a greater variety of options and greater flexibility in you want to redeem your rewards. For instance, you might be eligible to transfer your reward to an airline’s frequent flyer program or Hotel rewards programme. This can give you access to a larger range of flights, hotels, and other travel perks that may not be offered through your credit card’s rewards program.
Additionally, try to determine whether your credit card has certain benefits that will reduce your travel expenses. Many cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection, and other benefits that could be very beneficial when traveling.
If you’re traveling with someone else and both of you earn rewards with your own credit card. Be aware that you cannot divide the cost with the same card. Also, make sure to keep track of your rewards separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to know the rewards program of your credit card and ensure that you’re using this program in the most efficient method possible. Through a combination of the strategies I’ve listed, you’ll be able to earn rewards quickly, redeem them for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad variety of travel benefits.