Are you fed up of spending an enormous amount on flights? Well, good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting method to turn credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into miles that can then be used to score discounted or free flights to your desired destinations. With a bit of imagination and some 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 as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can then be used to buy cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards will also let you redeem miles for hotel stays and rental car deals.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for successful hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and establishing frequent flyer miles with a limited number of airlines. When you are ready to book a flight consider the cost. If the flight is under $300, it’s best to pay cash and use your miles to pay to take a more costly flight. If the prices start to rise above $500, you’ll want to look into your frequent flyer accounts and determine which airline offers you the most value. It all boils down to the number of points or miles you have in your travel bank for each airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to hacking travel? First step to open the credit card that comes that comes with a welcome bonus. There are many great credit cards with a variety of features and benefits. It all depends on your preferred airline, your spending habits, and what features are crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards that are excellent to use for hacking travel:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
After you’ve been accepted for a credit card you’ll have to meet 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 this information. Then you can begin to rack miles and then using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your ideas?
Once you’ve accumulated the points amount, it’s time to use them towards sweet getaway! Different credit card companies have different methods of redeeming your points. Here are some examples from a few of the providers I’ve had experience with:
Take a trip through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you’re a holder of a Chase credit card, then you are able to use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through the portal, you’ll have access to virtually every airline, and you can make use of a combination of points and cash to book your trip. You can even book completely with points if you’ve the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you do not be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for entire cost, you are able to purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with the credit card of your choice.
Are you tired of paying full price for your flight tickets? Did you not know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option to pay with dollars or points? But, be careful that if you do not have enough points you aren’t able to combine points and dollars on flights. If you’re just a few points short, United gives you the option of buying additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides passengers a relaxing and pleasant travel experience that includes extra 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. The difference is that JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that lets you pool your points together with family members to accrue points twice as fast. Make sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack into the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re anything like me and my travel buddy Becca You’re probably quite economical and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to hit the minimum amount required to earn a credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried because we’ve been there and are here to share some of our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able to pay for your rent with credit card, go for it! Just be prepared to be charged a fee, typically around 3%. It could be worthwhile in the end when the bonus is large enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another great way to hit the spending limit is to pay for an medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses coming up, ask your family members if you can pay for theirs and they will repay you.
Make a payment to pay off the loan
If you’re a borrower, consider making payments on them with an credit card. Just make sure you pay off the balance on your credit card in full , so that you don’t accrue additional 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 contribute for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to trust the person and they understand why you’re doing this.
If you’re celebrating the holidays you should consider purchasing all your gifts with cards from your credit account. This way you can reach the minimum spending requirement and also be ready for giving gifts. Be sure to avoid spending more than you were thinking of.
There are plenty of ways to get the most out of your travel credit card. You can accumulate miles or points that you can be used towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are some additional suggestions for maximising the rewards you earn:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, make use of the travel credit card for booking your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as any other travel expenses. You’ll not only achieve the required amount to earn your credit card bonus and earn points, but you’ll also be earning points or miles on the costs.
Make use of your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday expenses
Another method to reach the minimum spend and earn points is making use of your credit card to pay for every day expenditures. This can include things like food, gas or even your phone bill. Make sure you pay off the balance in full each month so you don’t pay interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or bonus points on certain kinds of purchases, like eating out or traveling. Check out your credit card’s rewards program and take advantage of any bonus categories that align with your spending habits.
Consider the possibility of transferring your balance
If you have existing debt on a high-interest credit card, consider transferring the balance to the travel credit card which has a 0% introductory APR 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.
Use your points or miles carefully
If you’ve amassed a large amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize the points or miles wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card and compare the value of different redemption options. For instance using your points to book a flight directly with the airline could provide you with a greater value than using them to purchase the purchase of a gift card.
Another tip is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer rewards to different loyalty program. This will allow you to get a wider selection of options and greater flexibility when making use of your rewards. For example, you may be able to transfer your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or hotel rewards program. This gives you access to a wider selection of hotels, flights and other travel benefits which are not accessible through the rewards program of your credit card.
Also, find out if your credit card offers any perks that can help you save money on travel costs. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection, and other benefits that can be invaluable when you travel.
If you’re traveling with someone else each of you will be able to earn rewards using your own credit card. Just remember that you can’t share the costs on the same card. Also, make sure to keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
Overall, the key to making the most of your travel rewards is to know the rewards program on your credit card and ensure that you’re using your credit card in the most effective method possible. Utilizing an array of strategies I’ve listed in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards quickly, redeem them for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad assortment of travel-related perks.