Are you fed up of spending an enormous amount on flights? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking is the answer to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting way to convert sign-up bonuses and incentives into miles that can then be used to get discounted or even cheap flights from your desired destinations. With a bit of creativity and some insider information, you’ll travel for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. These miles can later be used to purchase discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards will also allow you to redeem miles for hotel stays and car rental deals.
How Does it Work?
The secret to successful hacking travel is taking advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and to establish frequent flyer miles on a select group of airlines. When it comes time to book a flight take a look at the price. If the flight is under $300, it’s generally better to pay cash and save your miles to book a higher-priced flight. If the prices start to rise over $500, you’ll need to check the frequent flyer account and find out which airline will give you the best deal. All it boils down to is the amount of miles or points you have in your travel savings account for every airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets of travel hacking? The first step is opening a credit card that comes with a welcome bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that offer many features and benefits. It depends on the type of airline, your spending habits, and the features that are most essential 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 card you’ll have to meet the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to get 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 up miles, and using them to plan your dream trip!
Ready to jet-set with your ideas?
Now that you’ve built up your points amount, it’s time to use them towards nice travel! Different credit card providers will offer different ways to redeem your rewards, here are some examples from some of the providers I’ve had experience with:
Escape through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you’re a holder of a Chase credit card, then you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through this portal you’ll get access to almost every airline. You can make use of a combination of points and cash to pay for your next trip. You can book your flight entirely using points if you’ve got enough balance! Sometimes even if you do not be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for entire cost, you are able to buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using the credit card of your choice.
Are you fed up of paying full price for your flight tickets? Did you know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option to pay with dollars or points? Butbe aware in case you don’t have enough points, you can’t combine dollars and points on one flight. No worries though, if you’re only a couple of points away, United also offers the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides an enjoyable and comfortable travel experience that includes extra space and complimentary snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to United’s which allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue either dollars or points, but not both. But, JetBlue offers a distinct feature that lets you join your points with your relatives to earn points twice as fast. Make sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack into the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me or my travel buddy Becca I’m sure you’re pretty frugal and it can be difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to hit the minimum spend for credit card bonuses. Don’t worry because we’ve been there and we’re here to share some of our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able to pay your rent with credit card, go for it! Be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually at least 3 percent. It may be worth it in the end in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another way to reach the spending limit is to pay for a medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills in the near future Ask your family members to pay their medical bills and they will repay you.
Repay a loan
If you’re a borrower you owe, think about making payments on them with an credit card. Make sure to pay the credit card balance completely so that you don’t accumulate additional debt.
Ask family for help
Ask your family members to see if they have any large expenses coming up which you could help pay for. Just make sure you are able to trust the person and that they are aware of the reason for doing this.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season you should consider purchasing all of your gifts with your credit card. This way you can meet the minimum spending limit and be ready to give gifts. Be sure to avoid spending more than you already thinking of.
There are a lot of ways to get the most out of using your credit or debit card for travel. earn miles or points to use towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few more ideas for maximizing the rewards you earn:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, make use of you travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as any other travel-related expenses. Not only will you be able to meet the required amount to qualify for a credit card reward as well, however, you’ll also earn points or miles to cover the expenses.
Make use of your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday costs
Another way to hit the minimum spending requirement to earn rewards is using your credit card for everyday expenditures. This could be things like food, gas and even your telephone bill. Make sure you pay the balance off in full each month so you don’t pay interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or bonus points for certain types of purchases, like dining or travel. Be sure to review your rewards program on your credit card and make use of any bonus categories that align with your spending routines.
Take into consideration the possibility of transferring your balance
If you have existing debt on a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer that balance onto a travel credit card with a 0% introductory APR for balance transfers. This will enable you to pay off your debt without accruing interest, and also assist you in reaching the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus.
Make use of your miles or points carefully
If you’ve amassed a large amount of points or miles, be sure to use them wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card and compare the worth of various redemption options. For example, using points to purchase a flight directly with the airline could provide you with a greater value than using them for an gift card.
Another tip is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer reward points into other loyalty programmes. This allows you to enjoy a greater variety of choices and more flexibility when redeeming your rewards. For instance, you might be able to transfer your reward to the frequent flyer program of an airline or a hotel rewards program. This can give an access greater variety of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks that aren’t offered through the rewards program of your credit card.
Additionally, try to discover if your credit card offers any perks that can save you money on travel-related expenses. Some cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that are extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a friend, both of you can earn rewards using your credit card. Make sure you don’t divide the cost with the same card and make sure you keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
Overall, the key to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to know the rewards program of your credit card and to ensure you’re making use of it in the most efficient way possible. Through an array of methods I’ve described that you can earn rewards fast, exchange them for travel experiences that are worth it, and enjoy a wide variety of travel benefits.