Are you tired of paying an enormous amount on flights? Good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting method to convert credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into miles which can be used to obtain discounted or complimentary flights for your ideal destinations. With a little bit of creativity and some insider knowledge, you can travel for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about trading credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. The miles can be used to purchase discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards will also permit you to use miles towards hotel stays or car rental discounts.
How Does it Work?
The key to success in hacking travel is taking advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and to establish frequent flyer miles on a select group of airlines. When it comes time to book a flight, evaluate the cost. If the cost is less than $300, it’s usually better to pay cash and save your miles to take a more costly flight. When the flights start getting over $500, you’ll need to look into the frequent flyer account and find out which airline will give you the best price. It all boils down to the number of miles or points you have in your travel savings account for each airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to travel hacking? Your first task is opening an account that comes with a welcome bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that provide various features and benefits. It depends on the type of airline, spending habits and what features are essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards that are perfect for travel hacking:
- 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 reach the limit of spending minimum in order to receive the bonus. Each card has its own guidelines, so make sure to check for the details. Then it’s all about building up miles and then using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your points?
Now that you’ve built up the points balance, it’s time to cash them in for some delicious travel! Different credit card providers will have different methods for redeeming your rewards, here are some examples from some of the companies I have experience with:
Take a trip through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you have an Chase cards, you are able to use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within this portal you’ll have access to almost every airline, and you can make use of a combination of the points as well as cash in order to book your travel. You can even book entirely on points if you have the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you don’t possess enough points for the entire cost, you are able to purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using the credit card of your choice.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for your flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United, you have the option of paying with dollars or points? Butbe aware that if you don’t have enough points, you can’t combine dollars and points on flights. No worries though, if you’re only a couple of points away, United gives you the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience with extra legroom as well as free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to 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. Be sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel buddy Becca You’re probably quite economical and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to hit the required amount to qualify for credit card bonuses. 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 big one! If you’re able to pay for your rent with credit card, go for it! Make sure you pay a cost, which is usually about 3%. It may be worth it over the long term if the bonus is high enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another great way to hit the required spending is to pay for the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills due Ask your family members if you can pay them for theirs, and they’ll pay you back.
Repay a loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan you owe, think about repaying them using an credit card. Be sure to pay off the credit card balance in full so you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask family for help
Discuss your family with them and see if they have any big expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Just make sure you trust the person and they understand why you’re doing it.
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 for giving gifts. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you planning to.
There are plenty of ways to make the most from using your credit or debit card for travel. earn miles or points to spend on flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are some additional ways to maximize the rewards you earn:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, make use of the travel credit card to book your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as any other travel-related expenses. Not only will you achieve the required amount to earn your credit card bonus, however, you’ll also earn points or miles for these expenses.
Utilize your credit card to pay for everyday expenditures
Another method to reach the minimum amount of spending to earn rewards is making use of your credit card to pay for every day costs. This could be things like food, gas or even your phone 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 bonus points or miles on certain kinds of purchases, like eating out or traveling. Check out the rewards program of your credit card and avail any bonus categories that align with your spending habits.
Consider the possibility of transferring your balance
If you are currently in debt on a credit card, you might want to transfer that balance to a travel credit card with the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfer. This will enable you to pay off the debt without accruing interest. It will also aid in achieving the minimum spend for the credit card’s bonus.
Make use of your miles or points carefully
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of points or miles Make sure to utilize them in a responsible manner. Examine the rewards program of your credit card, and evaluate the value of different redemption options. For instance using points to book a flight directly through the airline may offer better value than using them for a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will let you enjoy a greater variety 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 reward program for hotels. This can give an access wider range of flights, hotels and other travel benefits that aren’t accessible through the rewards program of your credit card.
Also, determine whether your credit card has any perks that can reduce your travel expenses. Some cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that are invaluable when you travel.
If you’re traveling with a friend each of you will be able to earn rewards with your credit card. Make sure you don’t share the costs on the same card. Also, make sure to track your rewards in a separate manner.
The key to making the most of your travel rewards is to know the rewards program of your credit card and make sure you’re making use of this program in the most effective way possible. Through all of the strategies I’ve listed that you can earn rewards quickly, redeem them for travel experiences that are worth it and take advantage of a broad assortment of travel-related perks.