Are you fed up of spending an enormous amount on flights? Good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting method to convert credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into miles that can then be used to get discounted or even free flights to your ideal destinations. With a little bit of imagination and a little bit of insider knowledge, you can 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 rewards for airline miles. These miles can then be used to purchase cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards will also allow you to redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or car rental discounts.
How Does it Work?
The key to success in hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and building out a frequent flyer mile program on a select group of airlines. When you are ready to make a booking take a look at the price. If the cost is under $300, it’s generally better to pay cash and use your miles to pay for a more expensive flight. When the flights start getting above $500, you’ll want to look into the frequent flyer account and see which airline can give you the best price. It all boils down to the number of miles or points you have in your travel savings account for every airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to travel hacking? Your first task is to open an account with a sign-up bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards with many advantages and features. It depends on the type of airline, your habits with spending and the features that are most important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards that are great to hack travel
- 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 reach the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to qualify for the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of guidelines, so make sure to look up the details. Then you can begin to rack up miles and then using them to book your dream trip!
Ready to jet-set with your goals?
Once you’ve accumulated the points balance, it’s time to use them towards nice travel! Different credit card providers will offer different ways to redeem your points, but here are some examples from some of the companies I’ve had experience with:
Getaway through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you have an Chase cards, you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In this portal you’ll have access to almost every airline, and you can combine money and points to book your trip. You can even book completely on points if you have the balance for it! Sometimes even if you don’t have enough points to cover the total cost, you are able to book flights using 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 flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United, you have the option of paying with either points or dollars? But, be careful that if you don’t have enough points you can’t combine dollars and points on flights. Don’t worry, though, if you’re a few points short, United gives you the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience , with more legroom and free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to United’s that allows you to book with either JetBlue dollar or points however, not both. But, JetBlue has a unique feature where you can combine your points with your family members and earn points twice as fast. Just make sure you can prove you’re really family before trying to hack the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me and my travel buddy Becca I’m sure you’re pretty frugal and it can be challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to hit the minimum spend for a credit card bonus. But don’t fret as we’ve done it and are here to share some of our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able pay your rent using a credit card, do it! Be prepared to be charged a fee, typically around 3 percent. It may be worth it in the end when the bonus is large enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the required spending is to cover an medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses due, ask your family members if you can pay their medical bills and they’ll repay you.
Make a payment to pay off a loan
If you’re a borrower, consider repaying them using an credit card. Make sure to pay the credit card balance in full so you don’t accrue 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 that you can help pay for. Make sure that you are able to have confidence in the person you are talking to and they know why you’re taking the initiative.
If you’re celebrating the holidays take into consideration buying all your gifts using your credit card. This way you can meet the minimum spending limit and also be prepared for gift giving. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you were already contemplating to.
There are many ways to get the most out of your travel credit card and accrue points or miles to spend on flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are some additional suggestions for maximising the rewards you earn:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, use your travel credit card for booking your flight, hotel, rental car, and other travel costs. Not only will you be able to meet the minimum spend to qualify for a credit card as well, but you’ll also be earning points or miles on those expenditures.
Make use of your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday expenditures
Another way to meet the minimum spend in order to accumulate points utilising your credit cards to pay for every day costs. This can include 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 pay interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or bonus points for certain types of purchases, such as eating out or traveling. Make sure you review the rewards program of your credit card and avail any bonus categories that match with your spending routines.
Take into consideration a balance transfer
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a high-interest credit card, think about transferring that balance to an account with a travel credit card that has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will enable you to pay off the 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 prudently
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize them in a responsible manner. Examine the rewards program of your credit card, and evaluate the benefits of different redemption options. For instance, using points to book a ticket directly with the airline might offer better value than using them for an gift card.
Another tip is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer points to other loyalty programs. This will let you get a wider selection of choices and more freedom when it comes to you want to redeem your rewards. For instance, you might be capable of transferring your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or Hotel rewards programme. This gives the benefit of a wider selection of hotels, flights, and other travel perks which are not accessible through the rewards program of your credit card.
Also, find out whether your credit card has certain benefits that will help you save money on travel costs. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that are very beneficial when traveling.
If you’re traveling with someone else and both of you earn rewards using your own credit card. Just remember that you can’t divide the cost with the same card and make sure you keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
In the end, the most important thing to do to maximizing your travel rewards is to understand your credit card’s rewards program and make sure you’re making use of this program in the most effective way possible. By using all of the strategies I’ve listed that you can get rewards in a short time, use them for travel experiences that are worth it, and enjoy a wide assortment of travel-related perks.