Are you tired of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Well, good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting method to convert 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 bit of creativity and some insider knowledge, you can fly for no cost within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. These miles can later be used to pay for discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards permit you to use miles towards hotel stays or rental car discounts.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for successful hacking travel is taking advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and to establish a frequent flyer mile program on a select group of airlines. When it’s time to book a flight, evaluate the cost. If the cost is less than $300, it’s best to pay cash and save your miles to take a more costly flight. If the prices start to rise over $500, you’ll need to check the frequent flyer account to see which airline can give you the most value. It all comes down to the amount of points or miles you have in your travel savings account for every airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to travel hacking? First step to open the credit card that comes that comes with a welcome bonus. There are many great credit cards that provide various 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 a few credit card options that can be excellent to hack travel
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
Once you’ve been approved for a credit or debit card, you’ll need to reach the limit of spending minimum in order to get the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of guidelines, so make sure to look up this information. From there it’s all about building miles and then using them to book your dream vacation!
Ready to jet-set with your points?
After you’ve accrued your points amount, it’s time to use them towards nice getaway! Different credit card providers will have different methods of redeeming your points. Here are some examples from some of the companies I have experience with:
Getaway through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you have an Chase cards, you can redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. In it, you’ll have access to virtually every airline and you can use a combination of the points as well as cash in order to pay for your trip. You can book your flight entirely on points if you have the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you do not be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for total cost, you are able to purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using the credit card of your choice.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for your flight tickets? Did you realize that when booking directly through United you can choose the option of paying with dollars or points? But, be careful in case you don’t have enough points you cannot combine dollars and points for the same flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re only a couple of points away, United also offers the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience , with more legroom and free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to that of United Airlines that allows customers to book using either JetBlue either dollars or points but not both. The difference is that JetBlue offers a distinct feature where you can pool your points together with your family members and earn points twice as quickly. Be sure to prove you’re really family before 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 daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to hit the required amount to qualify for a credit card bonus. Don’t worry as we’ve done it and we’re here to share our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able pay your rent with credit card, go for it! Be prepared to pay a fee, usually about 3%. It may be worth it in the long run if the bonus is high enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another way to reach the required spending is to pay for an medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills coming up then ask your family members to pay them for theirs, and they will repay you.
Make a payment to pay off a loan
If you’re a borrower, consider paying them off with your credit card. Just make sure you 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 see if they have any big expenses coming up which you could help pay for. Just make sure you are able to trust the person and that they know why you’re taking the initiative.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season you should consider purchasing all of your gifts with your credit card. In this way, you’ll reach the minimum spending requirement and also be prepared for giving gifts. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you were already contemplating to.
There are plenty of ways to get the most of the travel credit card and earn miles or points to use towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few more suggestions for maximising your rewards
Make travel reservations using your credit card
If you’re planning a vacation, make use of your travel credit card to book your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as other travel costs. In addition, you’ll achieve the minimum spend to qualify for a credit card bonus and earn points, but you’ll also be earning points or miles for these expenditures.
Utilize your credit card to pay for all your daily costs
Another way to meet the minimum amount of spending to earn rewards is utilising your credit cards to pay every day expenses. This could be things like food, gas or even your phone bill. Be sure to pay the balance off each month in full so you don’t pay interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer bonus points or miles for specific types of purchases, including eating out or traveling. Be sure to review your rewards program on your credit card and make use of any bonus categories that align with your spending routines.
Take into consideration a balance transfer
If you are currently in debt on a credit card, you might want to transfer the balance to the travel credit card which has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfers. This will enable you to pay off your debt without accruing interest, and also assist you in reaching the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus.
Make use of your miles or points carefully
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points, be sure to use the points or miles wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card, and evaluate the value 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 to purchase an gift card.
Another suggestion is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer your rewards to different loyalty program. This allows you to have a wider range of options and greater flexibility when you want to redeem your rewards. For instance, you might be capable of transferring your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a reward program for hotels. This gives you access to a wider variety of hotels, flights, and other travel perks which are not available through the rewards program on your credit card.
Also, determine if your credit card offers certain benefits that will save you money on travel-related costs. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that can be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
When you travel with a friend and both of you earn rewards with your own credit card. Be aware that you cannot split the cost on the same card and make sure to keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
The key to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program of your credit card and make sure you’re making use of your credit card in the most efficient method. By using an array of strategies I’ve listed that you can get rewards in a short time, use rewards for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide range of travel perks.