Are you tired of spending a fortune on airfare? Good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel woes. It’s a fun way to convert credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into miles which you can use to score discounted or free flights to your ideal destinations. With a little bit of creativity and some insider knowledge, you can travel for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about trading credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. These miles can later be used to pay for cheap or free flight tickets. Some credit cards also permit you to use miles for hotel stays and car rental deals.
How Does it Work?
The key to successful hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and establishing frequent flyer miles with a limited number of airlines. When it’s time to make a booking, evaluate the cost. If the cost is less than $300, it’s usually better to pay in cash and use your miles to pay to take a more costly flight. When the flights start getting above $500, you’ll want to check those frequent flyer accounts and determine which airline offers you the best deal. All it boils down to is the amount of miles or points you have in your travel savings account for each airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to hacking travel? First step opening an account with a sign-up bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that provide various benefits and features. It depends on the type of airline, your habits with spending and what features are essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards great for travel hacking:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
If you’ve been approved for a credit or debit card, you’ll need to hit the limit of spending minimum in order to qualify for the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so make certain to verify this information. From there it’s all about building up miles and then using them to book your dream vacation!
Ready to jet-set with your points?
After you’ve accrued the points amount, it’s time to use them towards nice getaway! Different credit card companies have different methods of redeeming your points, but here are some examples from some of the ones I’ve worked 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 use a combination of the points as well as cash in order to book your trip. You can even book completely using points if you’ve got the balance for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t possess enough points for the total cost, you still can buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using any credit card.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for your flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United You have the option to pay with dollars or points? Be careful that if you don’t have enough points you can’t combine dollars and points on flights. If you’re only a couple of points short, United gives you the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience with extra legroom and free snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines, allowing you to book with either JetBlue either dollars or points, however, not both. The difference is that JetBlue has a unique feature where you can pool your points together with your relatives to earn points twice as quickly. Be sure to establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re anything like me and my travel companion Becca You’re probably quite economical and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to hit the minimum spend for credit card bonuses. However, don’t be worried because we’ve been there and we’re 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 for your rent with credit card, then do it! Be prepared to be charged a fee, typically about 3%. It could be worthwhile in the end when the bonus is large enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another way to reach the required spending is to pay for the medical bills. If you do not have any medical expenses coming up Ask your relatives if you could pay them for theirs, and they’ll repay you.
Make a payment to pay off a loan
If you’re a borrower, consider repaying them using the credit card you have. Make sure to pay the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t accumulate additional debt.
Ask family for help
Ask your family members to look into any big expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to have confidence in the person you are talking to and they understand why you’re taking the initiative.
If you’re celebrating the holidays, consider buying all your gifts with cards from your credit account. So you’ll be able to reach the minimum spending requirement and also be prepared for giving gifts. Be sure to avoid paying more than you already planning to.
There are plenty of ways to make the most from the 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:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a vacation, make use of your travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel, rental car, and any other travel expenses. Not only will you be able to hit the minimum amount of spending required to qualify for a credit card, however, you’ll also earn points or miles for these expenditures.
Utilize your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday expenditures
Another way to hit the minimum spending requirement to earn rewards is by utilising your credit cards to pay for daily costs. This could be things like food, gas and even your telephone bill. Make sure you pay off the balance 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, such as eating out or travelling. Check out your credit card’s rewards program and make use of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending routines.
Think about a balance transfer
If you have existing debt on a credit card, consider transferring the balance to a travel credit card with an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will allow you to pay off the debt without accruing interest and simultaneously help you hit the minimum spending requirement for the credit card’s bonus.
Utilize your miles and points wisely
When you’ve earned a significant amount of points or miles Make sure to utilize them in a responsible manner. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and then compare the benefits of different redemption options. For instance, using points to book a ticket directly through the airline may provide you with a greater value than using them to purchase the purchase of a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer points to other loyalty programs. This will let you enjoy a greater variety of choices and more freedom when it comes to redeeming your rewards. For instance, you might be eligible to transfer your rewards to an airline’s frequent flyer program or Hotel rewards programme. This will give you access to a greater range of flights, hotels and other travel benefits which are not available through the rewards program on your credit card.
In addition, you should find out if your credit card offers some perks that could save you money on travel-related costs. Many cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that are very beneficial when traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a companion, both of you can get rewards on your own credit card. Make sure you don’t divide the cost with the same card and make sure to track your rewards separately.
Overall, the key to making the most of your travel rewards is to understand your credit card’s rewards program and ensure that you’re making use of your credit card in the most effective method possible. By using a combination of the methods I’ve described that you can get rewards in a short time, use them for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide variety of travel benefits.