Are you fed up of spending an enormous amount on flights? Good news! Travel hacking is the answer to your travel-related problems. It’s a fun way to convert welcome bonuses and other incentives into miles which you can use to get discounted or even free flights to your dream destinations. With a little creativity and some insider know-how, you’ll travel for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. The miles can be used to purchase cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards will also allow you to redeem miles towards hotel stays or car rental deals.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for success in travel hacking is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and to establish a frequent flyer mile program with a limited number of airlines. When it comes time to book a flight, evaluate the cost. If the flight is under $300, it’s usually better to pay in cash and save your miles for a more expensive flight. If the prices start to rise above $500, you’ll want to review the frequent flyer account and find out which airline will give you the best deal. It all comes down to the number of miles or points in your travel account for each airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets of travel hacking? The first step is opening an account with a sign-up bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards with a variety of advantages and features. It depends on the type of airline, your spending habits, and the features that are most crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards excellent to use for hacking 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 limit of spending minimum in order to receive the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so be sure to look up the details. Then you can begin to rack up miles, and using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your points?
After you’ve accrued the points balance, you’re ready to cash them in for some delicious vacation! Different credit card companies will have different methods for redeeming your points, but here are some examples from some of the providers I’ve had experience with:
Getaway through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you own an Chase credit card, then you can redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through it, you’ll have access to almost every airline. You can use a combination of money and points to book your travel. You can even book entirely using points if you’ve got the balance for it! Sometimes even if you don’t have enough points to cover the total cost, you are able to purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with every credit card.
Are you tired of paying full price for flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option to pay with either points or dollars? Be careful that if you do not have enough points you can’t combine dollars and points on flights. No worries though, if you’re a few points away, United also offers the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience , with more legroom as well as free snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to United’s that allows customers to book using either JetBlue points or dollars, however, not both. The difference is that JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that lets you join your points with family members to accrue points twice as fast. Just make sure you can verify that you are a family member before trying to hack into the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re anything like me and my travel buddy Becca You’re probably quite economical and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum amount required to earn credit card bonuses. Don’t worry, we’ve been through it and we’re here to share our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able to pay your rent using credit card, then do it! Be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually around 3 percent. It may be worth it in the long run in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another way to reach the required spending is to pay for the medical bills. If you do not have any medical expenses coming up Ask your relatives if you could pay for theirs and they’ll pay you back.
Make a payment to pay off the loan
If you’re a borrower take into consideration repaying them using an credit card. Make sure to pay off the balance on your credit card in full so you don’t end up with additional debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Talk to your family and determine if they’ve got any large expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Just make sure you trust the person and they are aware of the reason for taking the initiative.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season take into consideration buying all your gifts with cards from your credit account. So you’ll be able to hit that minimum spend and also be ready for giving gifts. Be sure to avoid paying more than you already contemplating to.
There are many ways to get the most of using your credit or debit card for travel. You can earn miles or points to use towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few additional ways to maximize your rewards
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, make use of the travel credit card to book your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as any other travel-related expenses. You’ll not only be able to meet the minimum spend for your credit card reward, however, you’ll also earn points or miles on those expenses.
Use your credit card for everyday costs
Another way to hit the minimum spend and earn points is making use of your credit card to pay daily costs. This can include things like gas, groceries, and even your phone bill. Make sure you pay the balance off in full each month so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Make the most of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or bonus points for certain types of purchases, including dining or travel. Make sure you review your credit card’s rewards program and take advantage of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending habits.
Consider the possibility of transferring your balance
If you are currently in outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer that balance onto the travel credit card which has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfers. This will enable you to pay off your debts without accruing interest. It will also aid in achieving the minimum spend for the credit card bonus.
Use your points or miles carefully
When you’ve earned a significant amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize them wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card, and evaluate the worth of various redemption options. For instance using your points to book a flight directly with the airline could offer better value than using them for an gift card.
Another suggestion is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer reward points into other loyalty programmes. This allows you to enjoy a greater variety of choices and more freedom when it comes to making use of your rewards. For example, you may be eligible to transfer your rewards to an airline’s frequent flyer program or a hotel rewards program. This gives you access to a wider selection of hotels, flights, and other travel perks that may not be offered through the rewards program on your credit card.
Also, find out whether your credit card has some perks that could save you money on travel-related expenses. 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 friend each of you will be able to get rewards on your credit card. Just remember that you can’t divide the cost with the same card and make sure to keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to know the rewards program on your credit card and ensure that you’re using your credit card in the most efficient method possible. Through an array of strategies I’ve listed in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards fast, exchange them for travel experiences that are worth it and take advantage of a broad range of travel perks.