Are you tired of paying an enormous amount on flights? Well, good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting method to convert credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles, which you can use to get discounted or even cheap flights from your dream destinations. With a little bit of creativity and some insider information, you’ll travel for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about trading credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. These miles can then be used to buy discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards let you redeem miles for hotel stays and rental car discounts.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for successful hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and building out a frequent flyer mile program for a specific group of airlines. When it’s time to make a booking take a look at the price. If the price is under $300, it’s best to pay in cash and use your miles to pay for a more expensive flight. When the flights start getting above $500, you’ll want to review those frequent flyer accounts and determine which airline offers you the best deal. It all boils down to the amount of points or miles in your travel account for every airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to travel hacking? First step opening an account with a sign-up bonus. There are many great credit cards that provide various advantages and features. It all depends on your preferred 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 for travel hacking:
- 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 hit the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to receive the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of guidelines, so make sure to look up this information. Then you can begin to rack up miles and using them to plan your dream trip!
Ready to jet-set with your goals?
Once you’ve accumulated the points balance, you’re ready to redeem them for some nice getaway! Different credit card companies have different methods for redeeming your points, but here are some examples from some of the providers I have experience with:
Getaway through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you own an Chase credit card, then you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In it, you’ll get access to nearly every airline, and you can make use of a combination of points and cash to pay for your trip. You can even book completely using points if you’ve got the funds to pay for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t have enough points to cover the total cost, you are able to buy flights with 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 flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option of paying using dollars or points? Be careful in case you don’t have enough points, you aren’t able to combine dollars and points on one flight. If you’re only a couple of point short United also offers the option to purchase additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue offers an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience with extra legroom and free snacks. Plus, their booking process is like United’s which allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue dollar or points but not both. The difference is that JetBlue offers a distinct feature that lets you join your points with your family members and earn points twice as quickly. Be sure to establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack into the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel companion Becca, you’re probably pretty frugal and it can be daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus. But don’t fret as we’ve done it 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 your rent using a credit card, do it! Just be prepared to be charged a fee, typically at least 3%. It might be worth it in the long run in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another way to reach the required spending is to pay for an medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses in the near future then ask your family members to pay their medical bills and they’ll reimburse you.
Pay off the loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan you owe, think about repaying them using the credit card you have. Just make sure you pay the credit card balance completely so that you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Discuss your family with them and look into any major expenses in the near future that you can contribute for. Make sure that you are able to are able to trust the person and that they understand why you’re taking the initiative.
If it’s the holiday season, consider buying all your gifts with cards from your credit account. In this way, you’ll meet the minimum spending limit and be ready for giving gifts. Make sure that you’re not paying more than you contemplating to.
There are a lot of methods to get the most from your travel credit card and accrue points or miles to spend on flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few additional ideas for maximizing your rewards:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
If you’re planning a vacation, make use of you travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel, rental car, and any other travel expenses. In addition, you’ll achieve the minimum spend to earn your credit card reward, but you’ll also earn points or miles on those costs.
Utilize your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday costs
Another way to meet the minimum spend to earn rewards is by utilising your credit cards for every day expenses. This could include items like groceries, gas or even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay the balance off each month in full so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Make the most of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or bonus points for specific types of purchases, like dining or travel. Make sure you review the rewards program of your credit card and take advantage of any bonus categories that align with your spending habits.
Take into consideration a balance transfer
If you are currently in debt on a credit card, you might want to transfer that balance onto an account with a travel credit card that has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will enable you to pay off your debt without accruing interest. It will also assist you in reaching the minimum spend for the credit card bonus.
Make use of your miles or points carefully
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize them wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and then compare the value of different redemption options. For instance, using your points to book a flight directly with the airline might provide you with a greater value than using them to purchase an gift card.
Another suggestion is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer rewards to different loyalty program. This will let you have a wider range of options and greater flexibility when you want to redeem your rewards. For instance, you might be capable of transferring your rewards to an airline’s frequent flyer program or hotel rewards program. This will give the benefit of a greater variety of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks that may not be available through the rewards program on your credit card.
Additionally, try to discover whether your credit card has any perks that can reduce your travel costs. Some cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that could be very beneficial when traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a companion, both of you can earn rewards using your own credit card. Make sure you don’t split the cost on the same card. Also, make sure to track the rewards you earn separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do to maximizing your travel rewards is to know your credit card’s rewards program and make sure you’re making use of it in the most effective method possible. By using a combination of the strategies I’ve outlined, you’ll be able to get rewards in a short time, use them for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide variety of travel benefits.