Are you fed up of spending an enormous amount on flights? Good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s a fun way to turn credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles, that can then be used to score discounted or free flights to your desired destinations. With a little bit of imagination and a little bit of insider information, you’ll 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 as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can later be used to buy discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards allow you to redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or car rental offers.
How Does it Work?
The secret to success in hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and establishing a frequent flyer mile program with a limited number of airlines. When you are ready to make a booking take a look at the price. If the flight is less than $300, it’s best to pay in cash and use your miles to pay for a more expensive flight. When the flights start getting higher than $500, it’s best to check those frequent flyer accounts and determine which airline offers you the best price. It all comes down to the amount of points or miles in your travel bank for each airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to travel hacking? Your first task is opening a credit card with a sign-up bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards with many benefits and features. It depends on the type of airline, spending habits and the features that are most crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards great for travel hacking:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
If you’ve been approved for a credit or debit card, you’ll need to reach the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to qualify for the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so make sure to check for this information. From there you can begin to rack miles and using them to plan your dream trip!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your points?
After you’ve accrued your points balance, it’s time to cash them in for some sweet getaway! Different credit card providers will offer different ways to redeem your points, but here are some examples from a few of the companies I’ve worked with:
Take a trip with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have a Chase card, you are able to redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through it, you’ll get access to nearly every airline and you can use a combination of the points as well as cash in order to book your trip. You can even book entirely with points if you’ve the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you don’t possess enough points for the entire price, you can buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using any credit card.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for your flight tickets? Did you not know that when you book directly through United you can choose 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 for the same flight. No worries though, if you’re a few point short United gives you the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience , with more space and complimentary snacks. Additionally, their booking process is like United’s that allows you to book with either JetBlue points or dollars, but not both. But, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that lets you combine your points with family members to accrue points twice as fast. Make sure to establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel companion Becca I’m sure you’re pretty frugal and it can be challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to reach the minimum spend for the credit card bonus. Don’t worry, we’ve been through it and are here to share our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able pay your rent with a credit card, do it! Be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually around 3%. It could be worthwhile in the end in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another excellent way to meet the minimum spend is to pay for an medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills coming up Ask your family members if you can pay their medical bills and they can repay you.
Make a payment to pay off a loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan you owe, think about paying them off with your credit card. Just make sure you pay off the balance on your credit card in full so you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Ask your family members to see if they have any large expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to are able to trust the person and that they are aware of the reason for doing this.
If it’s the holiday season you should consider purchasing all of your gifts with cards from your credit account. In this way, you’ll hit that minimum spend and be ready for gift giving. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you were thinking of.
There are plenty of ways to get the most from using your credit or debit card for travel and accumulate miles or points that you can spend on airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few more ideas for maximizing your rewards:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, use the travel credit card to pay for your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as any other travel expenses. You’ll not only achieve the minimum amount of spending required for your credit card as well, but you’ll also earn points or miles on these expenditures.
Use your credit card for everyday costs
Another way to hit the minimum spend to earn rewards is using your credit card for daily expenditures. This can include things like food, gas, and even your phone bill. Be sure to pay the balance off in full every month to ensure you don’t accrue interest charges.
Make the most of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or points in exchange for certain types of purchases, such as eating out or traveling. Be sure to review your credit card’s rewards program and avail the bonus categories that are in line with your spending habits.
Take into consideration the possibility of transferring your balance
If you’re in the middle of a outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, consider transferring that balance to the travel credit card which has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfers. 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 make sure you use them wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and then compare the value of different redemption options. For example, using your points to book a ticket directly with the airline could provide you with a greater return than using them for an gift card.
Another tip is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer your rewards to different loyalty program. This allows you to enjoy a greater variety of choices and more flexibility when making use of your rewards. For example, you may be eligible to transfer your reward to the frequent flyer program of an airline or hotel rewards program. This gives you access to a greater variety of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks that aren’t accessible through your credit card’s rewards program.
Additionally, try to determine whether your credit card has certain benefits that will help you save money on travel costs. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection and other benefits that are very beneficial when traveling.
If you’re traveling with a companion and both of you get rewards on your own credit card. Make sure you don’t share the costs on the same card and make sure to track the rewards you earn separately.
The key to maximizing your travel rewards is to know your credit card’s rewards program and to ensure you’re making use of it in the most effective method. Utilizing an array of strategies I’ve outlined, you’ll be able to earn rewards quickly, redeem them for travel experiences that are worth it, and enjoy a wide assortment of travel-related perks.