Are you tired of paying an enormous amount on flights? Good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s a fun way to turn credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles, that can then be used to get discounted or even complimentary flights for your dream destinations. With a little 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 exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can then be used to purchase 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 secret to successful travel hacking is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and to establish a frequent flyer mile program for a specific group of airlines. When you are ready to make a booking consider the cost. If the price is under $300, it’s best to pay in cash and use your miles to pay to take a more costly flight. If the prices start to rise above $500, you’ll want to check those frequent flyer accounts to see which airline can give you the best price. All it boils down to is the amount of points or miles you have in your travel account for every airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to travel hacking? Your first task is opening a credit card with a sign-up offer. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that provide many advantages and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, your habits with spending and what features are crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards great to use for hacking 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 reach the minimum spend limit in order to receive the bonus. Every card has different rules, so make sure to check for this information. Then, it’s all about racking miles and using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your points?
After you’ve accrued your points balance, it’s time to redeem them for some delicious travel! Different credit card providers will offer different ways to redeem your rewards, here are some examples from some of the ones I’ve had experience with:
Take a trip with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have an Chase credit card, then you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through it, you’ll get access to virtually every airline. You can make use of a combination of points and cash to book your travel. You can book your flight entirely with points if you’ve the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you do not have enough points to cover the entire price, you can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using the credit card of your choice.
Are you tired of paying full price for your flight tickets? Did you not know that when you book directly through United You have the option of paying with either points or dollars? But, be careful that if you don’t have enough points, you can’t combine points and dollars on flights. If you’re a few point short United gives you the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue offers a comfortable and enjoyable travel experience that includes extra legroom and free snacks. Additionally, 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 offers a distinct feature where you can pool your points together 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.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me or my travel buddy Becca, you’re probably pretty thrifty and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus. But don’t fret, we’ve been through it and are 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 using credit card, then do it! Make sure you pay a fee, usually at least 3 percent. It might be worth it in the long run if the bonus is high enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the required spending is to pay for an medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills coming up, ask your family members to pay their medical bills and they’ll pay you back.
Pay off a loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan take into consideration repaying them using your credit card. Just make sure you pay the credit card balance in full so you don’t end up with additional debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Ask your family members to look into any major expenses in the near future which you could help pay for. Make sure that you are able to have confidence in the person you are talking to and they know why you’re doing this.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season take into consideration buying all your gifts with the credit card you have. So you’ll be able to hit that minimum spend and also be prepared for gift giving. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you contemplating to.
There are plenty of ways to make the most from the travel credit card. You can accumulate miles or points that you can be used towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are some additional ideas for maximizing your rewards:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, use you travel credit card to pay for your hotel, flight, rental car, and other travel costs. Not only will you be able to meet the minimum spend for your credit card bonus, but you’ll also be earning points or miles on those expenses.
Make use of your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday expenditures
Another method to reach the minimum spending requirement to earn rewards is making use of your credit card for every day expenditures. This could include 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 pay interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide bonus points or miles for specific types of purchases, like eating out or travelling. Check out the rewards program of your credit card and take advantage of any bonus categories that match with your spending habits.
Think about a balance transfer
If you are currently in outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, think about transferring that balance onto the travel credit card which has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfers. This will enable you to pay off the debt without accruing interest, and also assist you in reaching 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 the points or miles wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card, and evaluate the benefits of different redemption options. For example you can use points to book a flight directly with the airline might 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 your rewards to different loyalty program. This will let you have a wider range of choices and more flexibility in you want to redeem your rewards. For example, you may be capable of transferring your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or hotel rewards program. This can give an access greater variety of hotels, flights, and other travel perks that aren’t available through your credit card’s rewards program.
Additionally, try to determine the card’s benefits. some perks that could reduce your travel costs. Some cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection, and other benefits that are very beneficial when traveling.
When you travel with someone else each of you will be able to earn rewards using your own credit card. Just remember that you can’t split the cost on the same card. Also, 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 ensure that you’re making use of your credit card in the most effective way possible. Through a combination of the methods I’ve described, you’ll be able to get rewards in a short time, use them for travel experiences that are worth it and benefit from a wide variety of travel benefits.