Are you fed up of spending an enormous amount on flights? Well, good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting way to convert sign-up bonuses and incentives into miles that can then be used to score discounted or complimentary flights for your desired destinations. With a little imagination and some know-how, you’ll travel for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. These miles can later be used to purchase discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards let you redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or rental car offers.
How Does it Work?
The secret to success in hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and building out a frequent flyer mile program for a specific group of airlines. When you are ready to book a flight, evaluate the cost. If the flight is under $300, it’s best to pay cash and save your miles for a more expensive flight. When the flights start getting higher than $500, it’s best to review those frequent flyer accounts and determine which airline offers you the best price. It all boils down to the number of points or miles you have in your travel account for each airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to travel hacking? The first step is opening a credit card that comes with a welcome bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that offer various features and benefits. It all depends on your preferred airline, spending habits and what features are essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit card options that can be great for travel hacking:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
Once you’ve been approved for a credit card you’ll need to hit the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to receive the bonus. Each card has its own guidelines, so make sure to look up the details. From there you can begin to rack up miles and using them to plan your dream trip!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your goals?
Once you’ve accumulated your points amount, it’s time to cash them in for some delicious getaway! Different credit card companies will have different methods of redeeming your points, but here are some examples from a few of the providers I have experience with:
Take a trip with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have an Chase credit card, then you are able to use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through the portal, you’ll get access to almost every airline, and you can combine money and points to book your next trip. You can even book entirely with points if you’ve the balance for it! Sometimes even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for total cost, you are able to book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with the credit card of your choice.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United You have the option of paying with dollars or points? Butbe aware that if you do not have enough points you aren’t able to combine points and dollars for flights. Don’t worry, though, if you’re just a few points short, United also offers the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience , with more legroom and free 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. However, JetBlue offers a distinct feature that lets you join your points with family members to accrue points twice as quickly. Just make sure you can establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel companion Becca You’re probably quite economical and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the required amount to qualify for 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 your rent using a credit card, do it! Just be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually at least 3%. It may be worth it in the long run when the bonus is large enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another great way to hit the minimum spend is to cover a medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses coming up Ask your family members if you can pay them for theirs, and they’ll reimburse you.
Make a payment to pay off the loan
If you have any loans take into consideration paying them off with your credit card. Make sure to pay the credit card balance in full so you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Discuss your family with them and determine if they’ve got any major expenses in the near future which you could help pay for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to are able to trust the person and that they know why you’re doing it.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season, consider buying all your gifts using cards from your credit account. In this way, you’ll hit that minimum spend and also be ready for gift giving. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you already thinking of.
There are plenty of methods to get the most out of the travel credit card and earn miles or points to spend on flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are some additional ideas for maximizing the rewards you earn:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, make use of your travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel, rental car, and any other travel-related expenses. You’ll not only be able to hit the required amount for your credit card, however, you’ll also earn points or miles for these expenditures.
Make use of your credit card to pay for all your daily expenses
Another way to hit the minimum spending requirement and earn points is utilising your credit cards to pay for every day costs. This could be things like food, gas, 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
A lot of travel credit cards provide bonus points or miles for specific types of purchases, such as dining or travel. Be sure to review the rewards program of your credit card and make use of any bonus categories that align with your spending routines.
Think about the possibility of transferring your balance
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a credit card, you might want to transfer that balance onto the travel credit card which has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfer. This will enable you to pay off your debts without accruing interest, and also assist you in reaching the minimum spending requirement for the credit card’s bonus.
Make use of your miles or points wisely
If you’ve amassed a large amount of miles or points make sure you use them in a responsible manner. Review the rewards program for your credit card and then compare 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 for an gift card.
Another suggestion is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer rewards to different loyalty program. This allows you to get a wider selection of choices and more flexibility when redeeming your rewards. For example, you may be eligible to transfer your reward to an airline’s frequent flyer program or a Hotel rewards programme. This will give an access larger selection of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks which are not offered through the rewards program on your credit card.
In addition, you should find out if your credit card offers some perks that could help you save money on travel expenses. Some cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that can be invaluable when you travel.
When you travel with a friend and both of you get rewards on your credit card. Be aware that you cannot divide the cost with the same card, and be sure you keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
The key to maximizing your travel rewards is to know the rewards program of your credit card and ensure that you’re using your credit card in the most efficient method possible. Utilizing a combination of the strategies I’ve outlined that you can earn rewards quickly, redeem rewards for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad range of travel perks.