Are you fed up of spending an enormous amount on flights? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting method to turn credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles which can be used to score discounted or free flights to your desired destinations. With a bit of imagination and a little bit of insider knowledge, you can travel for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about trading credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. These miles can then be used to purchase discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards will also permit you to use miles towards hotel stays or rental car offers.
How Does it Work?
The key to success in travel hacking is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and to establish frequent flyer miles with a limited number of airlines. When it’s time to book a flight, evaluate the cost. If the flight is less than $300, it’s usually better to pay cash and save your miles for a more expensive flight. When the flights start getting over $500, you’ll need to check the frequent flyer account and determine which airline offers you the best deal. It all comes down to the amount of points or miles in your travel bank for each airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to hacking travel? The first step is opening an account that comes with a welcome bonus. There are many great credit cards that provide a variety of advantages and features. It is all dependent on the airline, spending habits and the features that are most important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards that are great to use for hacking travel:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
Once you’ve been approved for a credit or debit card, you’ll need to reach the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to get the bonus. Each card has its own guidelines, so make sure to check for this information. Then you can begin to rack up miles and using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to set sail with your ideas?
After you’ve accrued your points balance, it’s time to redeem them for some delicious vacation! Different credit card providers will have different methods for redeeming your rewards, here are some examples from some of the companies I’ve had experience with:
Getaway with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own a Chase credit card, then you are able to redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In this portal you’ll have access to nearly every airline. You can combine points and cash to book your travel. You can even book entirely with points if you’ve the balance for it! Sometimes even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for total price, you can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with any credit card.
Are you tired of paying full price for flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United You have the option to pay with dollars or points? But, be careful that if you do not have enough points you cannot combine dollars and points for flights. Don’t worry, though, if you’re a few points away, United also offers the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue offers an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience with extra legroom and free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is like United’s, allowing passengers to book flights using JetBlue dollar or points, but not both. The difference is that JetBlue has a unique feature where you can pool your points together with your family members and earn points twice as fast. Make sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me or my travel companion Becca, you’re probably pretty frugal and it can be difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to reach the minimum spend for credit card bonuses. Don’t worry as we’ve done it and we’re here to share some of 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 a credit card, do it! Just be prepared to be charged a fee, typically about 3%. It might be worth it in the end when the bonus is large enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another great way to hit the spending limit is to cover an medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses coming up Ask your relatives if you could pay them for theirs, and they will repay you.
Make a payment to pay off a loan
If you have any loans take into consideration making payments on them with the credit card you have. Just make sure you pay off the balance on your credit card in full so you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask family for help
Ask your family members to determine if they’ve got any large expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to are able to trust the person and that they know why you’re doing this.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season, consider buying all your gifts using cards from your credit account. In this way, you’ll hit that minimum spend and also be prepared to give gifts. Be sure to avoid spending more than you already contemplating to.
There are a lot of ways to get the most of your travel credit card. You can accrue points or miles to be used towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are some additional ideas for maximizing your rewards:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, make use of your travel credit card for booking your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as any other travel expenses. Not only will you be able to hit the minimum amount of spending required for your credit card as well, however, you’ll also earn points or miles for these costs.
Make use of your credit card to pay for everyday expenditures
Another method to reach the minimum spending requirement to earn rewards is using your credit card to pay daily expenses. This could be things like food, gas, and even your phone bill. Be sure to pay the balance off in full every month to ensure you don’t accumulate interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or bonus points for certain types of purchases, including eating out or travelling. Make sure you review the rewards program of your credit card and avail the bonus categories that are in line with your spending routines.
Consider the possibility of transferring your balance
If you have existing debt on a credit card, think about transferring that balance onto an account with a travel credit card that has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfers. This will allow you to pay off your debt without accruing interest. It will also aid in achieving the minimum spending requirement for the credit card’s bonus.
Utilize your miles and points prudently
If you’ve amassed a large amount of points or miles, be sure to use the points or miles wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and then compare the benefits of different redemption options. For instance you can use points to book a flight directly through the airline may give you a better return than using them for a gift card.
Another tip is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer your reward points into other loyalty programmes. This allows you to enjoy a greater variety of options and greater freedom when it comes to making use of your rewards. For instance, you might be capable of transferring your rewards to an airline’s frequent flyer program or a reward program for hotels. This will give you access to a wider variety of hotels, flights, and other travel perks which are not available through your credit card’s rewards program.
In addition, you should find out the card’s benefits. some perks that could reduce your travel costs. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that can be invaluable when you travel.
When you travel with someone else, both of you can earn rewards using your credit card. Be aware that you cannot share the costs on the same card, and be sure to keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
The key to making the most of your rewards for travel is to be aware of your credit card’s rewards program and ensure that you’re making use of your credit card in the most efficient way possible. Utilizing all of the methods I’ve described that you can get rewards in a short time, use them for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad assortment of travel-related perks.