Are you tired of paying a fortune on airfare? Well, good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting way to turn credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles, that can then be used to get discounted or even free flights to your dream destinations. With a bit of imagination and some know-how, you’ll fly for no cost within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about swapping credit card sign-up bonus and rewards for airline miles. The miles can be used to purchase cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards will also allow you to redeem miles for hotel stays and car rental offers.
How Does it Work?
The secret to success in hacking travel is taking advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and establishing a frequent flyer mile program with a limited number of airlines. When you are ready to make a booking consider the cost. If the price is less than $300, it’s usually better 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 check your frequent flyer accounts to see which airline can give you the best deal. It all boils down to the amount of points or miles in your travel bank for every airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to travel hacking? Your first task is opening an account that comes with a welcome bonus. There are many great credit cards that provide a variety of features and benefits. It is all dependent on the airline, spending habits and what features are crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit card options that can be 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 or debit card, you’ll have to meet the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to get the bonus. Every card has different guidelines, so make certain to verify the details. Then it’s all about building miles and using them to plan your dream trip!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your points?
After you’ve accrued the points balance, you’re ready to redeem them for some nice vacation! Different credit card companies will offer different ways to redeem your rewards, here are some examples from some of the providers I’ve had experience with:
Take a trip by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have an Chase card, you can redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through this portal you’ll have access to nearly every airline and you can make use of a combination of points and cash to pay for your next trip. You can book your flight entirely 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 full price, you can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using every credit card.
Are you fed up of paying full price for your flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United, you have the option of paying using dollars or points? Butbe aware in case you do not have enough points you can’t combine dollars and points for flights. No worries though, if you’re just a few point short United gives you the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides a comfortable and enjoyable travel experience that includes extra space and complimentary snacks. Additionally, their booking process is like United’s which allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue either dollars or points however, not both. However, JetBlue has a unique feature that allows you to join your points with your family members and earn points twice as fast. 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 anything like me and my travel companion Becca, you’re probably pretty economical and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to hit the minimum amount required to earn a 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 an important one! If you’re able pay your rent using a credit card, do it! Be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually around 3 percent. It could be worthwhile over the long term in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another way to reach the required spending is to cover the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills coming up Ask your family members if you can pay them for theirs, and they’ll repay you.
Pay off the loan
If you have any loans you owe, think about paying them off with your credit card. Make sure to pay off the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Discuss your family with them and determine if they’ve got any big expenses coming up which you could help pay for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to trust the person and they are aware of the reason for doing it.
If it’s the holiday season you should consider purchasing all your gifts using your credit card. In this way, you’ll meet the minimum spending limit and be ready to give gifts. Just make sure you’re not paying more than you already planning to.
There are plenty of methods to get the most from your travel credit card and accumulate miles or points that you can use towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few more suggestions for maximising the rewards you earn:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
If you’re planning a vacation, make use of your travel credit card for booking your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as other travel costs. Not only will you be able to hit the minimum amount of spending required to qualify for a credit card and earn points, however, you’ll also earn points or miles to cover those expenditures.
Make use of your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday expenditures
Another way to meet the minimum spend in order to accumulate points utilising your credit cards for daily expenses. This could include things like food, gas, and even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay off the balance in full every month to ensure you don’t accumulate interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or bonus points for specific types of purchases, such as eating out or traveling. Make sure you review your rewards program on your credit card and make use of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending habits.
Take into consideration a balance transfer
If you have existing debt on a credit card, you might want to transfer that balance onto the travel credit card which has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfers. This will enable you to pay off the debt without accruing interest, and also assist you in reaching the minimum spending requirement for the credit card bonus.
Use your points or miles prudently
When you’ve earned a significant amount of points or miles make sure you use the points or miles wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card, and evaluate the value of different redemption options. For example using points to book a ticket directly with the airline might provide you with a greater value than using them for a gift card.
Another option is to get rewards cards that allow you to transfer your reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will allow you to have a wider range of choices and more flexibility in redeeming your rewards. For example, you may be eligible to transfer your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or hotel rewards program. This can give the benefit of a greater variety of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks that may not be accessible through your credit card’s rewards program.
Additionally, try to find out if your credit card offers any perks that can reduce your travel costs. Some cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that can be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
When you travel with a friend each of you will be able to earn rewards using your own credit card. Just remember that you can’t split the cost on the same card, and be sure to track your rewards separately.
Overall, the key to maximizing your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program of your credit card and make sure you’re using your credit card in the most effective method. Utilizing an array of methods I’ve described, you’ll be able to earn rewards quickly, redeem them for travel experiences that are worth it and take advantage of a broad range of travel perks.