Are you tired 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 credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles, which you can use to score discounted or cheap flights from your dream destinations. With a little imagination and some information, you’ll travel for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. These miles can later be used to buy discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards will also allow you to redeem miles for hotel stays and rental car offers.
How Does it Work?
The key to success in hacking travel is taking advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and to establish frequent flyer miles on a select group of airlines. When you are ready to book a flight consider the cost. If the flight is less than $300, it’s usually better to pay cash and use your miles to pay for a more expensive flight. If your flights begin to climb above $500, you’ll want to look into those frequent flyer accounts to determine which airline offers you the best deal. It all boils down to the number of points or miles you have in your travel bank for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to hacking travel? Your first task is to open the credit card that comes with a sign-up offer. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that offer a variety of advantages and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, your habits with spending and the features that are most crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit card options that can be great 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 qualify for the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of guidelines, so make sure to check for the details. Then, it’s all about racking up miles, and using them to book your dream trip!
Ready to jet-set with your points?
Once you’ve accumulated the points balance, it’s time to use them towards delicious vacation! Different credit card companies have different methods for redeeming your points, but here are a few examples from some of the providers I’ve worked with:
Getaway by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of a Chase credit card, then you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In the portal, you’ll have access to almost every airline. You can use a combination of the points as well as cash in order to pay for your travel. You can even book entirely using points if you’ve got the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for full cost, you still can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using the credit card of your choice.
Are you fed up of paying full price for your flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United You have the option of paying using dollars or points? But, be careful that if you do not have enough points you cannot combine points and dollars on one flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re only a couple of points away, United provides the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue offers passengers a relaxing and pleasant travel experience that includes extra space and complimentary snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to that of United Airlines, allowing customers to book using either JetBlue either dollars or points however, not both. The difference is that JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that allows you to pool your points together with your family members and earn points twice as fast. Be sure to establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack into the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me and my travel buddy Becca, you’re probably pretty economical and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to reach the minimum amount required to earn a credit card bonus. But don’t fret because we’ve been there and we’re here to share our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able to pay for your rent using credit card, go for it! Make sure you pay a fee, usually at least 3 percent. It might 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 minimum spend is to pay for the medical bills. If you do not have any medical expenses in the near future then ask your family members to pay for theirs and they will pay you back.
Repay a loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan you owe, think about repaying them using your credit card. Make sure to pay off the credit card balance in full so you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Talk to your family and look into any big expenses coming up which you could help pay for. Make sure that you are able to trust the person and they are aware of the reason for doing it.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season take into consideration buying all your gifts using cards from your credit account. In this way, you’ll reach the minimum spending requirement and also be prepared for giving gifts. Make sure that you’re not paying more than you thinking of.
There are many ways to get the most from the travel credit card and accumulate miles or points that you can spend on the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few additional ideas for maximizing your rewards
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, make use of you travel credit card to book your hotel, flight, rental car, and other travel costs. In addition, you’ll achieve the minimum spend to qualify for a credit card as well, but you’ll also be earning points or miles to cover the expenditures.
Use your credit card for everyday expenses
Another method to reach the minimum amount of spending to earn rewards is making use of your credit card for every day expenditures. This could include items like groceries, gas or even your phone bill. Make sure you pay the balance off in full every month to ensure you don’t accumulate interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or bonus points for certain types of purchases, including dining or travel. Be sure to review the rewards program of your credit card and make use of any bonus categories that match with your spending routines.
Think about the possibility of transferring your balance
If you have existing debt on a credit card, think about transferring the balance to an account with a travel credit card that has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfer. This will allow you to pay off your debt without accruing interest and simultaneously help you hit the minimum spend 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 to utilize them in a responsible manner. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and then compare the worth of various redemption options. For instance, using your points to purchase a flight directly through the airline may offer better value than using them to purchase 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 enjoy a greater variety of options and greater flexibility in you want to redeem your rewards. For example, you may be eligible to transfer your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a reward program for hotels. This gives an access larger variety of hotels, flights and other travel benefits that may not be accessible through the rewards program on your credit card.
In addition, you should find out whether your credit card has any perks that can save you money on travel-related expenses. Many cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that could be invaluable when you travel.
If you’re traveling with a companion each of you will be able to earn rewards with your credit card. Make sure you don’t divide the cost with the same card, and be sure to keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
Overall, the key to making the most of your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program on your credit card and ensure that you’re making use of your credit card in the most effective method possible. Utilizing all of the strategies I’ve listed, you’ll be able to earn rewards quickly, redeem them for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad range of travel perks.