Are you tired of paying an enormous amount on flights? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel woes. It’s a fun way to convert credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles, that can then be used to get discounted or even cheap flights from your ideal destinations. With a little bit of imagination and some knowledge, you can be jet-setting for free in no time.
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 buy discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards allow you to redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or car rental deals.
How Does it Work?
The key to success in travel hacking is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and building out a frequent flyer mile program on a select group of airlines. When you are ready to make a booking, evaluate the cost. If the flight is under $300, it’s best to pay cash and save your miles for a more expensive flight. If your flights begin to climb over $500, you’ll need to review your frequent flyer accounts to see which airline can give you the best price. All it boils down to is the number of points or miles you have in your travel account for each airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to hacking travel? The first step is to open the credit card that comes with a sign-up offer. There are many great credit cards that offer a variety of features and benefits. It is all dependent on the airline, spending habits and what features are important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards that are perfect to hack 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 hit the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to get the bonus. Every card has different rules, so be sure to look up this information. From there, it’s all about racking up miles, and using them to plan your dream vacation!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your points?
After you’ve accrued your points amount, it’s time to use them towards nice getaway! Different credit card companies have different methods for redeeming your rewards, here are some examples from some of the providers I have experience with:
Escape with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own a Chase credit card, then you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through this portal you’ll get access to almost every airline. You can make use of a combination of money and points to pay for your travel. You can book your flight entirely on points if you have the balance for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t possess enough points for the full price, you can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using any credit card.
Are you tired of paying full price for 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 do not have enough points you cannot combine points and dollars for one flight. No worries though, if you’re a few points away, United gives you the option of buying additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue offers passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience with extra legroom as well as free snacks. Plus, their booking process is like United’s, allowing you to book with either JetBlue points or dollars, but not both. The difference is that JetBlue offers a distinct feature that lets you combine your points with your family members and earn points twice as quickly. Be sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel companion Becca I’m sure you’re pretty thrifty and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to reach the minimum spend for the credit card bonus. But don’t fret because we’ve been there and we’re here to share our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able pay your rent using credit card, go for it! Just be prepared to be charged a fee, typically about 3%. It could be worthwhile in the long run if the bonus is high enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another great way to hit the required spending is to cover a medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills in the near future, ask your relatives if you could pay their medical bills and they will reimburse you.
Make a payment to pay off a loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan take into consideration making payments on them with an credit card. Just make sure you pay off the credit card balance completely so that you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Talk to your family and determine if they’ve got any large expenses coming up that you can help pay 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 you should consider purchasing all your gifts with your credit card. So you’ll be able to hit that minimum spend and be ready to give gifts. Be sure to avoid paying more than you already contemplating to.
There are a lot of ways to make the most of your travel credit card. accrue points or miles to spend on the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few additional suggestions for maximising the rewards you earn:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, use you travel credit card to book your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as other travel costs. In addition, you’ll achieve the minimum amount of spending required for your credit card bonus and earn points, however, you’ll also earn points or miles to cover the costs.
Utilize your credit card to pay for everyday expenses
Another way to hit the minimum spending requirement and earn points is making use of your credit card to pay for everyday expenses. This can include things like food, gas and even your telephone bill. Just make sure to pay off the balance in full every month to ensure you don’t accrue interest charges.
Make the most of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer bonus points or miles on certain kinds of purchases, like eating out or travelling. Make sure you review the rewards program of your credit card and avail any bonus categories that align with your spending routines.
Consider a balance transfer
If you are currently in debt on a credit card, consider transferring that balance to a travel credit card with the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfer. This will allow you to pay off your debt without accruing interest, and also aid in achieving the minimum spending requirement for the credit card bonus.
Make use of your miles or points wisely
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points, be sure to use them wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and compare the value of different redemption options. For instance you can use your points to book a ticket directly through the airline may provide you with a greater value than using them for a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will allow you to get a wider selection of options and greater freedom when it comes to you want to redeem your rewards. For instance, you might be able to transfer your reward to the frequent flyer program of an airline or reward program for hotels. This will give the benefit of a larger range of flights, hotels, and other travel perks that may not be accessible through the rewards program of your credit card.
Also, determine if your credit card offers some perks that could save you money on travel-related expenses. Some cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection, and other benefits that could be very beneficial when traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a companion each of you will be able to earn rewards using your own credit card. Be aware that you cannot divide the cost with the same card and make sure to keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
Overall, the key to reaping the maximum benefits from your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program of your credit card and to ensure you’re making use of it in the most efficient method possible. Through a combination of the strategies I’ve listed, you’ll be able to earn rewards fast, exchange them for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide range of travel perks.