Are you tired of spending a fortune on airfare? Good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting method to turn credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles that can then be used to score discounted or free flights to your ideal destinations. With a bit of imagination and a little bit of insider knowledge, you can travel for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about swapping credit card sign-up bonus and rewards for airline miles. These miles can later be used to pay for discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards will also allow you to redeem miles for hotel stays and rental car deals.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for success in hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and establishing frequent flyer miles for a specific group of airlines. When you are ready to book a flight, evaluate the cost. If the price is under $300, it’s best to pay cash and use your miles to pay for a more expensive flight. If the prices start to rise above $500, you’ll want to review those frequent flyer accounts to see which airline can give you the best price. All it boils down to is the number of points or miles in your travel bank for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets of travel hacking? The first step is to open an account that comes with a welcome bonus. There are many great credit cards with many features and benefits. It depends on the type of airline, your spending habits, and the features that are most crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards perfect for travel hacking:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
Once you’ve been approved for a credit or debit card, you’ll need to hit the minimum spend limit in order to get the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so make sure to look up this information. Then you can begin to rack miles and then using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your points?
Once you’ve accumulated your points balance, you’re ready to use them towards nice vacation! Different credit card companies have different methods for redeeming your rewards, here are a few examples from some of the providers I have experience with:
Getaway with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of an Chase credit card, then you are able to redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through the portal, you’ll get access to virtually every airline and you can use a combination of money and points to book your next trip. You can even book completely on points if you have the balance for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for entire cost, you still can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with every credit card.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United, you have the option of paying using either points or dollars? But, be careful, if you do not have enough points you can’t combine points and dollars on one flight. No worries though, if you’re only a couple of points short, United gives you the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? 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 like United’s that allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue either dollars or points but 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 quickly. 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 or my travel companion Becca I’m sure you’re pretty economical and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to reach the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried 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 huge one! If you’re able to pay your rent with credit card, then do it! Be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually about 3%. It might be worth it over the long term 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 a medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses coming up, ask your relatives if you could pay their medical bills and they can reimburse you.
Make a payment to pay off the loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan take into consideration making payments on them with an credit card. Just make sure you pay off the balance on your credit card in full so you don’t accumulate additional debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Ask your family members to determine if they’ve got any major expenses in the near future which you could help pay for. Just make sure you are able to trust the person and that they understand why you’re taking the initiative.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season you should consider purchasing all your gifts using the credit card you have. In this way, you’ll meet the minimum spending limit and also be ready to give gifts. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you were planning to.
There are plenty of ways to make the most out of your travel credit card and earn miles or points to be used towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are some additional suggestions for maximising your rewards
Make travel reservations using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, use your travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel, rental car, and any other travel expenses. You’ll not only be able to hit the minimum spend to qualify for a credit card as well, but you’ll also earn points or miles to cover the expenditures.
Use your credit card for all your daily expenses
Another way to hit the minimum amount of spending and earn points is utilising your credit cards to pay for everyday expenses. This could include items like groceries, gas, and even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay off the balance each month in full so you don’t pay interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer bonus points or miles for certain types of purchases, like eating out or traveling. Make sure you review the rewards program of your credit card and take advantage of any bonus categories that match with your spending habits.
Consider a balance transfer
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a credit card, think about transferring that balance to a travel credit card with the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfer. This will enable you to pay off your debts without accruing interest. It will also assist you in reaching the minimum spending requirement for the credit card bonus.
Make use of your miles or points carefully
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of points or miles Make sure to utilize the points or miles wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and then compare the benefits of different redemption options. For example you can use your points to book a flight directly with the airline might offer better return than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another tip is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer your reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will let you have a wider range of choices and more flexibility in redeeming your rewards. For instance, you might be capable of transferring your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a hotel rewards program. This can give the benefit of a greater variety of hotels, flights, and other travel perks that aren’t available through your credit card’s rewards program.
Also, discover whether your credit card has some perks that could reduce your travel expenses. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection, and other benefits that are very beneficial when traveling.
When you travel with someone else and both of you earn rewards with your credit card. Just remember that you can’t split the cost on the same card. Also, make sure you keep track of your rewards separately.
Overall, the key to maximizing your travel rewards is to know your credit card’s rewards program and ensure that you’re making use of this program in the most effective method possible. Through a combination of the strategies I’ve outlined in this article, you’ll be able get rewards in a short time, use them for travel experiences that are worth it and benefit from a wide assortment of travel-related perks.