Are you fed up of spending an enormous amount on flights? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting method to convert welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles that can then be used to get discounted or even free flights to your ideal destinations. With a bit of creativity and some 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 and incentives for airline miles. The miles can be used to buy discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards let you redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or car rental discounts.
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 frequent flyer miles with a limited number of airlines. When it’s time to make a booking consider the cost. If the price is under $300, it’s usually better to pay cash and use your miles to pay to book a higher-priced flight. If your flights begin to climb above $500, you’ll want to look into the frequent flyer account to see which airline can give you the best price. All it boils down to is the number of points or miles 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 with a sign-up bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that offer various features and benefits. It is all dependent on the airline, your spending habits, and the features that are most important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit card options that can be great for travel hacking:
- 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 spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to receive the bonus. Every card has different rules, so be certain to verify the details. From there it’s all about building miles and then using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to set sail with your ideas?
Once you’ve accumulated your points balance, you’re ready to cash them in for some nice travel! Different credit card companies will have different methods for redeeming your points. Here are some examples from a few of the ones I have experience with:
Take a trip by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own an Chase cards, you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through it, you’ll get access to nearly every airline. You can combine money and points to pay for your next trip. You can book your flight entirely with points if you’ve the balance for it! Sometimes even if you do not 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 flight tickets? Did you not know that when you book directly through United, you have the option to pay with either points or dollars? Butbe aware that if you don’t have enough points, you aren’t able to combine dollars and points for the same flight. No worries though, if you’re a few points away, United gives you the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience with extra legroom as well as free snacks. Plus, their booking process is like United’s that allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue dollar or points however, not both. But, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that allows you to join your points with your family members and earn points twice as quickly. Make sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re like me or my travel buddy Becca, you’re probably pretty thrifty and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to reach the minimum spend for a credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried as we’ve done it 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 your rent using credit card, then do it! Just be prepared to pay a fee, usually around 3%. It may be worth it in the end when the bonus is large enough.
Pay for 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 relatives if you could pay them for theirs, and they will pay you back.
Repay the loan
If you have any loans take into consideration paying them off with an credit card. Make sure to pay the credit card balance in full so you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Ask your family members to look into any major expenses in the near future which you could help pay for. Just make sure you have confidence in the person you are talking to and they understand why you’re taking the initiative.
If you’re celebrating the holidays take into consideration buying all your gifts with your credit card. In this way, you’ll hit that minimum spend and be ready for giving gifts. Be sure to avoid spending more than you planning to.
There are a lot of ways to get the most from the travel credit card. You can earn miles or points to use towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are some additional suggestions for maximising the rewards you earn:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, use your travel credit card to book your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as other travel costs. Not only will you be able to meet the required amount for your credit card bonus as well, but you’ll also be earning points or miles on those expenses.
Make use of your credit card to pay for all your daily expenditures
Another way to hit the minimum amount of spending in order to accumulate points utilising your credit cards to pay for daily expenses. This could be things like food, gas or even your phone bill. Be sure to pay off the balance in full each month so you don’t pay interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or points in exchange on certain kinds of purchases, including dining or travel. Be sure to review your credit card’s rewards program and make use of any bonus categories that match with your spending routines.
Take into consideration the possibility of transferring your balance
If you have existing debt on a high-interest credit card, consider transferring that balance onto a travel credit card with an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfers. This will allow you to pay off your debt without accruing interest, and also assist you in reaching the minimum spend for the credit card’s bonus.
Make use of your miles or points carefully
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of points or miles, be sure to use them wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card and compare the benefits of different redemption options. For instance you can use your points to book a flight directly with the airline might provide you with a greater return than using them for a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer points to other loyalty programs. This will allow you to get a wider selection of options and greater flexibility in redeeming your rewards. For instance, you might be capable of transferring your rewards to the frequent flyer program of an airline or Hotel rewards programme. This will give you access to a greater selection of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks that may not be accessible through your credit card’s rewards program.
Additionally, try to determine the card’s benefits. any perks that can reduce your travel expenses. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that can be very beneficial when traveling.
When you travel with someone else each of you will be able to get rewards on your own credit card. Make sure you don’t split the cost on the same card and make sure to keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
The key to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to know your credit card’s rewards program and make sure 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 fast, exchange them for travel experiences that are worth it and take advantage of a broad assortment of travel-related perks.