Are you fed up of spending an enormous amount on flights? Well, good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s a fun way to turn credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into miles that can then be used to get discounted or even free flights to your desired destinations. With a little imagination and a little bit of insider know-how, you’ll travel for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about trading credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. These miles can then be used to buy cheap or free flight tickets. Some credit cards also permit you to use miles for hotel stays and rental car discounts.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for successful hacking travel is taking advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and establishing frequent flyer miles with a limited number of airlines. When it comes time to make a booking consider the cost. If the price is less than $300, it’s usually better to pay in cash and use your miles to pay to take a more costly flight. When the flights start getting over $500, you’ll need to look into the frequent flyer account and see which airline can give you the most value. It all comes down to the number of points or miles in your travel bank for every airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets of travel hacking? The first step is to open an account with a sign-up bonus. There are many great credit cards that offer various features and benefits. It all depends on your preferred airline, your spending habits, and the features that are most essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards perfect for travel hacking:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
After you’ve been accepted for a credit or debit card, you’ll need to reach the limit of spending minimum in order to get the bonus. Every card has different guidelines, so make sure to check for this information. Then it’s all about building up miles and then using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to set sail with your goals?
After you’ve accrued the points balance, you’re ready to cash them in for some nice travel! Different credit card companies will offer different ways to redeem your points. Here are a few examples from some of the ones I’ve worked with:
Escape through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you’re a holder of a Chase card, you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through this portal you’ll have access to almost every airline and you can combine money and points to book your trip. You can even book completely using points if you’ve got the balance for it! Sometimes even if you don’t possess enough points for the entire cost, you still can buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with the credit card of your choice.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for your flight tickets? Did you know that when you book directly through United You have the option to pay with dollars or points? Butbe aware that if you do not have enough points you cannot combine points and dollars for flights. Don’t worry, though, if you’re a few points away, United provides 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 travel experience that includes extra legroom and free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to United’s which allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue either dollars or points however, not both. The difference is that JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature where you can join your points with your relatives to earn points twice as fast. Be sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel companion Becca You’re probably quite frugal and it can be difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to reach 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 with credit card, then do it! Be prepared to be charged a fee, typically at least 3%. It might be worth it over the long term if the bonus is high enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another way to reach the required spending is to cover the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills due then ask your family members to pay them for theirs, and they can repay you.
Repay a loan
If you’re a borrower, consider repaying them using the credit card you have. Be sure to pay the credit card balance in full so you don’t accrue more 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 that you can contribute for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to trust the person and they understand why you’re doing it.
If it’s the holiday season take into consideration buying all your gifts with your credit card. So you’ll be able to reach the minimum spending requirement and also be prepared for giving gifts. Just make sure you’re not paying more than you thinking of.
There are plenty of ways to make the most out of your travel credit card and earn miles or points to be used towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few additional ideas for maximizing your rewards
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, use you travel credit card to book your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as other travel costs. Not only will you achieve the required amount to qualify for a credit card and earn points, but you’ll also earn points or miles to cover those costs.
Utilize your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday costs
Another method to reach the minimum spending requirement and earn points is making use of your credit card to pay every day expenses. This could be 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.
Benefit from bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or bonus points on certain kinds of purchases, including eating out or traveling. Be sure to review your credit card’s rewards program and make use of any bonus categories that match with your spending habits.
Consider a balance transfer
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a high-interest credit card, consider transferring that balance onto the travel credit card which has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will allow you to pay off your debts without accruing interest, and also assist you in reaching the minimum spend for the credit card bonus.
Make use of your miles or points wisely
If you’ve amassed a large amount of miles or points, be sure to use them in a responsible manner. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and then compare the benefits of different redemption options. For example, using your points to book a flight directly with the airline might provide you with a greater value than using them for a gift card.
Another option is to get a rewards card that allows you to transfer your points to other loyalty programs. This allows you to enjoy a greater variety of choices and more flexibility in redeeming 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 larger variety of hotels, flights, and other travel perks that aren’t available through the rewards program on your credit card.
In addition, you should find out the card’s benefits. any perks that can reduce your travel costs. Some cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that are invaluable when you travel.
If you’re traveling with a companion and both of you earn rewards with your own credit card. Just remember that you can’t divide the cost with the same card and make sure to keep track of your rewards separately.
The key to making the most of your travel rewards is to understand your credit card’s rewards program and ensure that you’re making use of this program in the most effective way possible. Utilizing all of the strategies I’ve outlined that you can get rewards in a short time, use them for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide range of travel perks.