Are you fed up of spending an enormous amount on flights? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking could 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 free flights to 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 about exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. The miles can be used to buy discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards will also permit you to use miles for hotel stays and rental car discounts.
How Does it Work?
The key to success in hacking travel is taking advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and building out frequent flyer miles with a limited number of airlines. When it’s time to book a flight, evaluate the cost. If the price is less than $300, it’s generally better to pay in cash and save your miles to take a more costly flight. When the flights start getting over $500, you’ll need to look into your frequent flyer accounts and find out which airline will give you the most value. It all boils down to the amount of points or miles you have in your travel account for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to travel hacking? First step to open a credit card with a sign-up bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that offer many features and benefits. It all depends on your preferred airline, your habits with spending and what features are important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards that are perfect 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 need to hit the minimum spend limit in order to receive the bonus. Each card has its own guidelines, so make sure to look up this information. Then, it’s all about racking up miles, and using them to book your dream vacation!
Ready to jet-set with your points?
Once you’ve accumulated the points balance, you’re ready to cash them in for some delicious getaway! Different credit card providers will have different methods for redeeming your rewards, here are some examples from a few of the providers I have experience with:
Escape with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have an Chase credit card, then you can redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. In it, you’ll have access to almost every airline. You can use a combination of the points as well as cash in order to book your trip. You can book your flight entirely using points if you’ve got the balance for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t possess enough points for the entire cost, you are able to book flights using the 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 have the option to pay with either points or dollars? Butbe aware in case you don’t have enough points, you cannot combine dollars and points for one flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re only a couple of points short, United provides the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue provides an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience , with more legroom and free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to that of United Airlines, allowing passengers to book flights using JetBlue dollar or points however, not both. However, JetBlue has a unique feature that lets you join your points with your relatives to earn points twice as quickly. Just make sure you can prove you’re really family before trying to hack the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me or my travel companion Becca You’re probably quite thrifty and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the required amount to qualify for the credit card bonus. Don’t worry, we’ve been through it 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 to pay for your rent using a credit card, do it! Just be prepared to be charged a fee, typically at least 3 percent. It could be worthwhile in the end if the bonus is high enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another way to reach the required spending is to pay for the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills in the near future Ask your relatives if you could pay for theirs and they’ll repay you.
Make a payment to pay off the loan
If you have any loans you owe, think about repaying them using an credit card. Just make sure you pay the credit card balance completely so that you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Ask your family members to look into any large expenses coming up which you could help pay for. Just make sure you trust the person and they are aware of the reason for doing it.
If you’re celebrating the holidays you should consider purchasing all your gifts with cards from your credit account. This way you can hit that minimum spend and be ready for giving gifts. Be sure to avoid spending more than you were already contemplating to.
There are plenty of methods to get the most out of the travel credit card and accrue points or miles to spend on flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are some additional ways to maximize your rewards:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, make use of 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 minimum spend to qualify for a credit card as well, however, you’ll also earn points or miles to cover these expenses.
Make use of your credit card to pay for all your daily costs
Another method to reach the minimum amount of spending and earn points is utilising your credit cards to pay for daily expenses. This can include things like food, gas, and even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay off the balance each month in full so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Benefit from bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or points in exchange for certain types of purchases, including eating out or traveling. Check out the rewards program of your credit card and avail any bonus categories that align with your spending routines.
Think about the possibility of transferring your balance
If you are currently in outstanding debt due to 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 debts without accruing interest, and also aid in achieving the minimum spend for the credit card bonus.
Utilize your miles and points carefully
When you’ve earned a significant amount of points or miles Make sure to utilize them in a responsible manner. 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 could provide you with a greater value than using them for a gift card.
Another option is to get an rewards card that permits you to transfer your reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will allow you to have a wider range of options and greater flexibility when you want to redeem your rewards. For example, you may be capable of transferring your reward to an airline’s frequent flyer program or a hotel rewards program. This will give an access greater selection of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks which are not accessible through the rewards program of your credit card.
Also, discover if your credit card offers some perks that could reduce your travel costs. Many cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that could be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
If you’re traveling with a friend each of you will be able to earn rewards with your credit card. Be aware that you cannot split the cost on the same card and make sure to track the rewards you earn separately.
The key to maximizing your travel rewards is to know the rewards program of your credit card and ensure that you’re making use of your credit card in the most efficient method possible. By using all of the strategies I’ve outlined in this article, you’ll be able get rewards in a short time, use rewards for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad variety of travel benefits.