Are you tired of spending an enormous amount on flights? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting method to convert credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into miles that can then be used to get discounted or even cheap flights from your desired destinations. With a little imagination and some knowledge, you can be jet-setting for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about trading credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can later be used to pay for discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards will also let you redeem miles for hotel stays and car rental deals.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for successful hacking travel is taking advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and to establish a frequent flyer mile program for a specific group of airlines. When it’s time to make a booking, evaluate the cost. If the cost is less than $300, it’s generally better to pay in cash and use your miles to pay to take a more costly flight. When the flights start getting over $500, you’ll need to review those frequent flyer accounts to 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 savings account for each airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets of travel hacking? First step opening an account with a sign-up offer. There are plenty of great credit cards that provide various features and benefits. It all depends on your preferred airline, spending habits and the features that are most essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards that are great 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 need to reach the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to receive the bonus. Every card has different guidelines, so make certain to verify this information. From there you can begin to rack miles and using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to set sail with your ideas?
Now that you’ve built up your points balance, you’re ready to use them towards sweet getaway! Different credit card companies will have different methods of redeeming your rewards, here are some examples from some of the companies I have experience with:
Getaway through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you own a Chase card, you are able to redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. In it, you’ll get access to almost every airline, and you can make use of a combination of money and points to book your trip. You can book your flight entirely on points if you have 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 still can buy flights with 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 know that when you book directly through United You have the option of paying with dollars or points? But, be careful, if you don’t have enough points, you cannot combine points and dollars for the same flight. No worries 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 passengers a relaxing and pleasant travel experience that includes extra legroom and free snacks. Plus, their booking process is like United’s which allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue points or dollars, but not both. But, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that allows you to combine 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 into the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re like me and my travel buddy Becca You’re probably quite thrifty and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to hit the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus. Don’t worry, we’ve been through 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 to pay your rent using a credit card, do it! Make sure you be charged a fee, typically around 3 percent. It might be worth it in the long run when the bonus is large enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the required spending is to pay for the medical bills. If you do not have any medical expenses due, ask your relatives if you could pay their medical bills and they’ll pay you back.
Pay off the loan
If you have any loans you owe, think about making payments on them with an credit card. Just make sure you pay the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask family for help
Talk to your family and see if they have any big expenses coming up which you could 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 this.
If it’s the holiday season, consider buying all of your gifts with your credit card. So you’ll be able to meet the minimum spending limit and also be prepared to give gifts. Be sure to avoid spending more than you contemplating to.
There are plenty of methods to get the most of the travel credit card and accumulate miles or points that you can be used towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few more ways to maximize your rewards
Make travel reservations using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, make use of the travel credit card for booking your hotel, flight, rental car, and other travel costs. Not only will you be able to hit the minimum spend for your credit card, but you’ll also earn points or miles to cover the costs.
Use your credit card to pay for your everyday costs
Another way to hit the minimum amount of spending and earn points is making use of your credit card for every day expenditures. This could be things like food, gas and even your telephone bill. Make sure you pay the balance off each month in full so you don’t pay interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer bonus points or miles on certain kinds of purchases, like eating out or travelling. Check out your rewards program on 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 onto an account with a travel credit card that has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfers. This will allow you to pay off your debt 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
When you’ve earned a significant amount of points or miles, be sure to use them wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card, and evaluate the worth of various redemption options. For instance, using your points to book a flight directly with the airline might offer better value than using them for an gift card.
Another suggestion is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer your reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will allow you to enjoy a greater variety of choices and more flexibility when making use of your rewards. For instance, you might be capable of transferring your rewards to an airline’s frequent flyer program or Hotel rewards programme. This can give the benefit of a larger range of flights, hotels as well as other travel perks that aren’t accessible through the rewards program of your credit card.
Additionally, try to determine if your credit card offers certain benefits that will reduce your travel expenses. Some cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that are very beneficial when traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a friend, both of you can earn rewards with your own credit card. Just remember that you can’t share the costs on the same card and make sure you keep track of your rewards separately.
Overall, the key to making the most of your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program on your credit card and to ensure you’re using this program in the most efficient way possible. Utilizing all of the strategies I’ve listed, you’ll be able to earn rewards fast, exchange them for travel experiences that are worth it and benefit from a wide range of travel perks.