Are you tired of spending an enormous amount on flights? Good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s a fun way to turn credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles, which you can use to get discounted or even cheap flights from your dream destinations. With a bit of imagination and some information, you’ll travel for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of trading credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can later be used to purchase discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards allow you to redeem miles for hotel stays and rental car offers.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for successful hacking travel is taking advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and building out a frequent flyer mile program on a select group of airlines. When it’s time to book a flight consider the cost. If the cost is under $300, it’s best 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 the frequent flyer account to see which airline can give you the most value. It all boils down to the number of points or miles you have you have in your travel savings account for every airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to travel hacking? The first step is opening a credit card with a sign-up bonus. There are many great credit cards with various advantages and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, spending habits and the features that are most important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit card options that can be great to hack travel
- 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 have to meet the limit of spending minimum in order to receive the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so be sure to check for the details. Then you can begin to rack up miles, and using them to book your dream trip!
Ready to jet-set with your goals?
Now that you’ve built up the points balance, you’re ready to use them towards delicious travel! Different credit card providers will offer different ways to redeem your points. Here are some examples from a few of the ones I have experience with:
Take a trip by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of an Chase cards, you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within this portal you’ll get access to virtually every airline, and you can make use of a combination of the points as well as cash in order to pay for your travel. You can book your flight entirely with points if you’ve the balance for it! Sometimes even if you don’t have enough points to cover the entire price, you can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using every credit card.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United You have the option of paying with either points or dollars? Butbe aware, if you don’t have enough points, you can’t combine dollars and points for flights. Don’t worry, though, if you’re just a few points short, United also offers the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers an enjoyable and comfortable travel experience that includes extra space and complimentary snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to United’s which allows you to book with either JetBlue either dollars or points, but not both. However, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that allows you to combine 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 the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re like me or my travel companion Becca I’m sure you’re pretty frugal and it can be difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to reach the required amount to qualify for the credit card bonus. Don’t worry as we’ve done it and are here to share some of our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able pay your rent using a credit card, do it! Just be prepared to pay a fee, usually around 3%. It may 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 minimum spend is to pay for an medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses coming up then ask your relatives if you could pay them for theirs, and they can repay you.
Make a payment to pay off the loan
If you’re a borrower you owe, think about repaying them using the credit card you have. Be sure to pay off the balance on your credit card in full , so that you don’t end up with additional debt.
Ask family for help
Talk to your family and determine if they’ve got any big expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Make sure that you are able to have confidence in the person you are talking to and they understand why you’re doing it.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season, consider buying all of your gifts with your credit card. In this way, you’ll reach the minimum spending requirement and be ready to give gifts. Make sure that you’re not paying more than you already planning to.
There are a lot of ways to make the most from your travel credit card and accumulate miles or points that you can spend on flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few more suggestions for maximising your rewards
Make travel reservations using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, use the travel credit card for booking your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as other travel costs. Not only will you achieve the required amount to qualify for a credit card reward as well, but you’ll also earn points or miles to cover the costs.
Use your credit card for everyday expenditures
Another way to meet the minimum spend and earn points is by making use of your credit card to pay for daily costs. This could include things like food, gas and even your telephone bill. Make sure you pay off the balance in full each month so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Benefit from bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or bonus points for certain types of purchases, such as eating out or travelling. Check out the rewards program of your credit card and avail any bonus categories that align with your spending routines.
Think about a balance transfer
If you are currently in debt on a high-interest credit card, think about transferring that balance onto an account with a travel credit card that has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfer. This will allow you to pay off the debt without accruing interest. It will also assist you in reaching the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus.
Use your points or miles wisely
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points make sure you use them in a responsible manner. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and then compare the value of different redemption options. For example, using your points to book a ticket directly with the airline might offer better value than using them for a gift card.
Another tip is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will let you have a wider range of options and greater flexibility when making use of your rewards. For instance, you might be capable of transferring your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a Hotel rewards programme. This will give an access greater range of flights, hotels as well as other travel perks that may not be accessible through the rewards program on your credit card.
In addition, you should find out whether your credit card has certain benefits that will help you save money on travel costs. Some cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that are extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a friend each of you will be able to earn rewards using your own credit card. Just remember that you can’t share the costs on the same card. Also, make sure you keep track of your rewards separately.
Overall, the key to making the most of your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program of your credit card and make sure you’re making use of this program in the most efficient method. By using all of the strategies I’ve listed in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards fast, exchange them for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad variety of travel benefits.