Are you tired of paying 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 way to convert sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles that can then be used to get discounted or even complimentary flights for your desired destinations. With a little imagination and some information, you’ll travel for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about swapping credit card sign-up bonus and incentives for airline miles. These miles can later be used to buy cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards allow you to redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or rental car deals.
How Does it Work?
The key to successful hacking travel is taking advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and to establish a frequent flyer mile program for a specific group of airlines. When it’s time to make a booking, evaluate 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. When the flights start getting above $500, you’ll want to look into those frequent flyer accounts to determine which airline offers you the best deal. All it boils down to is the number of points or miles you have in your travel savings account for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to hacking travel? Your first task is opening a credit card with a sign-up bonus. There are many great credit cards with a variety of features and benefits. It is all dependent on the airline, your habits with spending and what features are important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards excellent for travel hacking:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
After you’ve been accepted for a credit card you’ll have to meet the limit of spending minimum in order to qualify for the bonus. Every card has different rules, so be sure to look up the details. Then it’s all about building up miles and then using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your ideas?
After you’ve accrued the points balance, you’re ready to redeem them for some sweet vacation! Different credit card companies will offer different ways to redeem your points. Here are some examples from a few of the providers I’ve had experience with:
Take a trip by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have an Chase cards, you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through the portal, you’ll get access to virtually every airline, and you can use a combination of money and points to pay for your travel. You can book your flight entirely on points if you have the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you don’t 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 in cash with any credit card.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United You have the option to pay with either points or dollars? But, be careful, if you don’t have enough points, you aren’t able to combine points and dollars on one flight. No worries though, if you’re only a couple of points away, United provides the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue provides a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience with extra space and complimentary snacks. Additionally, their booking process is like United’s, allowing passengers to book flights using JetBlue points or dollars but not both. However, JetBlue has a unique feature that allows you to join your points with your relatives to earn points twice as quickly. Be sure to establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me or my travel buddy Becca I’m sure you’re pretty economical and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to reach the minimum spend for the credit card bonus. But don’t fret as we’ve done it and are here to share some of our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able to pay for your rent with credit card, then do it! Be prepared to pay a fee, usually at least 3%. It may be worth it over the long term if the bonus is high enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another great way to hit the required spending is to cover an medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills coming up, ask your family members to pay for theirs and they’ll repay you.
Pay off the loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan, consider repaying them using your credit card. Just make sure you pay the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t accrue additional debt.
Ask your family members for help
Discuss your family with them and determine if they’ve got any major expenses in the near future which you could 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 doing it.
If it’s the holiday season you should consider purchasing all your gifts using the credit card you have. So you’ll be able to hit that minimum spend and also be prepared to give gifts. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you were thinking of.
There are plenty of ways to make the most from the travel credit card. earn miles or points to use towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few additional ideas for maximizing the rewards you earn:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a vacation, make use of you travel credit card for booking your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as any other travel-related expenses. Not only will you be able to meet the minimum amount of spending required to earn your credit card as well, but you’ll also be earning points or miles on these expenses.
Use your credit card for all your daily expenses
Another way to hit the minimum spending requirement in order to accumulate points by using your credit card to pay for daily expenditures. This could include things like gas, groceries, and even your phone bill. Be sure to pay off the balance in full every month to ensure you don’t accumulate interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide bonus points or miles on certain kinds of purchases, including eating out or travelling. Check out your rewards program on your credit card and avail the bonus categories that are in line with your spending routines.
Think about a balance transfer
If you are currently in debt on a credit card, consider transferring that balance onto the travel credit card which has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfers. This will let you pay off your debts without accruing interest. It will also help you hit the minimum spending requirement for the credit card’s bonus.
Make use of your miles or points carefully
If you’ve amassed a large amount of miles or points make sure you use them wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and compare the value of different redemption options. For instance, using points to book a flight directly with the airline could provide you with a greater value than using them to purchase a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer rewards to different loyalty program. This will let you have a wider range of options and greater freedom when it comes to you want to redeem your rewards. For example, you may be eligible to transfer your rewards to the frequent flyer program of an airline or Hotel rewards programme. This will give the benefit of a wider variety of hotels, flights and other travel benefits which are not available through the rewards program on your credit card.
Additionally, try to determine the card’s benefits. some perks that could help you save money on travel costs. Many cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection, and other benefits that are extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a companion each of you will be able to earn rewards using your credit card. Just remember that you can’t split the cost on the same card, and be sure to keep track of your rewards separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do to making the most of your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program on your credit card and ensure that you’re making use of it in the most efficient method possible. By using an array of strategies I’ve listed that you can earn rewards fast, exchange them for travel experiences that are worth it, and enjoy a wide range of travel perks.