Are you fed up of spending an enormous amount on flights? Good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s a fun way to convert welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles, that can then be used to obtain discounted or complimentary flights for your desired 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 incentives for airline miles. These miles can later be used to buy discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards will also let you redeem miles towards hotel stays or car rental discounts.
How Does it Work?
The secret to successful travel hacking is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and to establish frequent flyer miles on a select group of airlines. When it comes time to make a booking take a look at the price. If the flight is less than $300, it’s best to pay cash and save your miles for a more expensive flight. If the prices start to rise above $500, you’ll want to review your frequent flyer accounts and find out which airline will give you the best deal. All it boils down to is the amount of points or miles you have in your travel bank for every airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets of travel hacking? The first step is to open a credit card that comes with a welcome bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards that offer many features and benefits. It depends on the type of airline, spending habits and the features that are most essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards that are excellent 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 receive the bonus. Every card has different rules, so make certain to verify this information. From there it’s all about building up miles, and using them to plan your dream vacation!
Ready to jet-set with your goals?
Once you’ve accumulated your points balance, it’s time to cash them in for some nice getaway! Different credit card providers will offer different ways to redeem your points, but here are a few examples from some of the companies I’ve had experience with:
Take a trip through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you own a Chase cards, you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within the portal, you’ll have access to almost every airline and you can combine points and cash to book your next trip. You can even book completely with points if you’ve the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you do not have enough points to cover the total cost, you still can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with any credit card.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United You have the option of paying with dollars or points? Butbe aware, if you do not have enough points you can’t combine dollars and points for flights. Don’t worry, though, if you’re just a few 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 offers passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience , with more legroom and free snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to United’s which allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue points or dollars but not both. The difference is that JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that lets you combine your points with your family members and earn points twice as fast. Just make sure you can establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack into the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel companion Becca, you’re probably pretty economical and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to hit the required amount to qualify for the credit card bonus. But don’t fret, we’ve been through it and are here to share 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, go for it! Be prepared to pay a fee, usually at least 3%. It could be worthwhile over the long term when the bonus is large enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the minimum spend is to cover a medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses due then ask your family members if you can pay them for theirs, and they’ll repay you.
Make a payment to pay off a loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan you owe, think about paying them off with the credit card you have. Make sure to pay the credit card balance completely so that you don’t end up with additional debt.
Ask family for help
Talk to your family and determine if they’ve got any major expenses in the near future that you can help pay for. Make sure that you are able to have confidence in the person you are talking to and they are aware of the reason for doing it.
If you’re celebrating the holidays you should consider purchasing all your gifts with the credit card you have. This way you can meet the minimum spending limit and also be prepared for giving gifts. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you already planning to.
There are a lot of ways to make the most from the travel credit card and accrue points or miles to be used towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are some additional ideas for maximizing your rewards
Book travel expenses with your credit card
If you’re planning a vacation, make use of you travel credit card for booking your hotel, flight, rental car, and any other travel-related expenses. You’ll not only be able to hit the minimum spend for your credit card bonus as well, however, you’ll also earn points or miles on these costs.
Make use of your credit card to pay for all your daily expenses
Another method to reach the minimum spend and earn points is by utilising your credit cards to pay for everyday expenditures. This could include things like food, gas, and even your phone bill. Be sure to pay the balance off in full every month to ensure you don’t accumulate interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or points in exchange on certain kinds of purchases, including eating out or traveling. Check out the rewards program of your credit card and make use of any bonus categories that match with your spending routines.
Take into consideration the possibility of transferring your balance
If you have existing debt on a credit card, consider transferring that balance to an account with a travel credit card that has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfers. This will let you pay off the debt without accruing interest, and also help you hit the minimum spend for the credit card’s bonus.
Utilize your miles and points wisely
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize them wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and then compare the worth of various redemption options. For example, using your points to purchase a flight directly with the airline could provide you with a greater value than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another tip is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer rewards to different loyalty program. This will allow you to have a wider range of options and greater flexibility in redeeming your rewards. For example, you may be eligible to transfer your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or Hotel rewards programme. This can give an access larger range of flights, hotels as well as other travel perks that may not be available through the rewards program of your credit card.
Additionally, try to determine whether your credit card has some perks that could help you save money on travel expenses. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection, and other benefits that could be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with someone else, both of you can get rewards on your own credit card. Make sure you don’t divide the cost with the same card, and be sure you keep track of your rewards separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do to maximizing your travel rewards is to know the rewards program of your credit card and make sure you’re using this program in the most effective method. By using an array of methods I’ve described that you can get rewards in a short time, use them for travel experiences that are worth it, and enjoy a wide range of travel perks.