Are you tired of paying an enormous amount on flights? Well, good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting way to convert credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into miles that can then be used to obtain discounted or free flights to your desired destinations. With a little bit of imagination and a little bit of insider information, you’ll be jet-setting for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. The miles can be used to pay for cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards allow you to redeem miles for hotel stays and car rental discounts.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for successful hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and building out frequent flyer miles for a specific group of airlines. When it’s time to book a flight consider the cost. If the cost is under $300, it’s usually better to pay cash and save your miles to book a higher-priced flight. If the prices start to rise above $500, you’ll want to check those frequent flyer accounts to find out which airline will give you the most value. It all comes down to the amount of points or miles you have in your travel bank for each airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets of travel hacking? Your first task is opening the credit card that comes with a sign-up bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards that provide a variety of benefits and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, spending habits 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
After you’ve been accepted for a credit card, you’ll need to hit the minimum spend limit in order to qualify for the bonus. Each card has its own guidelines, so make sure to look up the details. Then it’s all about building miles and using them to plan your dream trip!
Ready to jet-set with your ideas?
Now that you’ve built up the points balance, it’s time to use them towards sweet travel! Different credit card providers will offer different ways to redeem your points, but here are some examples from some of the companies I’ve worked with:
Getaway by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of a Chase credit card, then you can redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. In it, you’ll get access to nearly every airline. 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 using points if you’ve got the balance for it! Sometimes even if you do not be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for full cost, you still can buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using the credit card of your choice.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United You have the option of paying with dollars or points? Be careful, if you don’t have enough points, you cannot combine dollars and points on one flight. No worries though, if you’re a few points away, United also offers the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers passengers a relaxing and pleasant travel experience that includes extra legroom and free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is like United’s which allows customers to book using either JetBlue dollar or points but not both. The difference is that JetBlue has a unique feature that allows you to join your points with your family members and earn points twice as fast. Just make sure you can prove you’re really family before trying to hack into the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me or my travel buddy Becca, you’re probably pretty frugal and it can be challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to hit the minimum spend for a credit card bonus. Don’t worry as we’ve done it and are here to share our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able to pay your rent with a credit card, do it! Be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually around 3%. It could be worthwhile over the long term when the bonus is large enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another great way to hit the required spending is to pay for an medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses due Ask your relatives if you could pay their medical bills and they will pay you back.
Pay off the loan
If you’re a borrower take into consideration making payments on them with your credit card. Just make sure you pay off the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Discuss your family with them and look into any major expenses in the near future that you can contribute for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to trust the person and they know why you’re doing this.
If you’re celebrating the holidays take into consideration buying all of your gifts with the credit card you have. In this way, you’ll reach the minimum spending requirement and also be prepared for gift giving. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you already planning to.
There are a lot of ways to make the most of the travel credit card. accumulate miles or points that you can use towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few additional suggestions for maximising the rewards you earn:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, use the travel credit card for booking your hotel, flight, rental car, and any other travel-related expenses. Not only will you be able to meet the minimum amount of spending required for your credit card bonus and earn points, however, you’ll also earn points or miles on these expenditures.
Utilize your credit card to pay for everyday costs
Another way to hit the minimum spend to earn rewards is using your credit card to pay everyday expenditures. This could be items like groceries, gas and even your telephone bill. Be sure to pay off the balance each month in full so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Benefit from bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or points in exchange for specific types of purchases, like dining or travel. Be sure to review your rewards program on your credit card and avail any bonus categories that match with your spending routines.
Take into consideration a balance transfer
If you’re in the middle of a outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, consider transferring that balance onto a travel credit card with a 0% introductory APR for balance transfer. This will allow you to pay off your debts without accruing interest. It will also assist you in reaching the minimum spending requirement for the credit card’s bonus.
Make use of your miles or points prudently
When you’ve earned a significant amount of points or miles, be sure to use them wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card and then compare the worth of various redemption options. For example using points to purchase a flight directly with the airline could offer better value than using them to purchase a gift card.
Another option is to get rewards cards that allow you to transfer points to other loyalty programs. This allows you to have a wider range of choices and more freedom when it comes to making use of your rewards. For instance, you might be capable of transferring your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or Hotel rewards programme. This can give an access greater range of flights, hotels as well as other travel perks that may not be offered through your credit card’s rewards program.
Additionally, try to discover whether your credit card has some perks that could save you money on travel-related costs. A lot of credit cards provide 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 each of you will be able to earn rewards using your credit card. Be aware that you cannot split the cost on the same card and make sure to keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
Overall, the key to making the most of your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program on your credit card and to ensure you’re using your credit card in the most effective way possible. By using an array of methods I’ve described, you’ll be able to earn rewards quickly, redeem them for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad variety of travel benefits.