Travel Lounge Set

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 an exciting method to convert bonus and sign-up incentives into miles that can then be used to obtain discounted or cheap flights from your ideal destinations. With a little imagination and a little bit of insider knowledge, you can fly for no cost 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. The miles can be used to buy cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards will also let you redeem miles for hotel stays and rental car deals.

How Does it Work?

The secret to success in hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and building out a frequent flyer mile program for a specific group of airlines. When it’s time to book a flight, evaluate the cost. If the cost is under $300, it’s generally better to pay cash and use your miles to pay for a more expensive flight. When the flights start getting over $500, you’ll need to check the frequent flyer account to determine which airline offers you the best price. All it boils down to is the number of points or miles 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? First step opening an account with a sign-up offer. There are many great credit cards that offer various benefits and features. It is all dependent on the airline, spending habits and what features are crucial to you.

Top Credit Card Picks

Here are some credit cards that are perfect to hack travel

  • Chase Sapphire Reserve
  • Chase United Explorer
  • JetBlue Mastercard
  • Capital One Venture X

If you’ve been approved for a credit card you’ll have to meet the limit of spending minimum in order to receive the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so make sure to look up the details. From there you can begin to rack up miles and using them to book your dream trip!

Ready to jet-set with your points?

Now that you’ve built up your points balance, you’re ready to use them towards nice travel! Different credit card providers will have different methods of redeeming your points, but here are some examples from some of the ones I have experience with:

Escape with Chase Ultimate Rewards

If you have an Chase card, you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In the portal, you’ll have access to nearly every airline and you can make use of a combination of points and cash to book your travel. You can even book entirely using points if you’ve got the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for entire price, you can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using every credit card.

 

United

Are you tired of paying the full cost for your flight tickets? Did you realize that when booking directly through United You have the option to pay with dollars or points? But, be careful that if you don’t have enough points you can’t combine points and dollars for one flight. If you’re only a couple of points away, United also offers the option to purchase additional miles.

JetBlue

Looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience , with more legroom as well as free snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to United’s which allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue points or dollars, but not both. However, JetBlue offers a distinct feature that lets you join your points with your relatives to earn points twice as quickly. 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 and my travel buddy Becca, you’re probably pretty thrifty and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to reach the minimum spend for a credit card bonus. But don’t fret, we’ve been through it and we’re here to share our tips and tricks.

Travel Lounge Set

Pay your rent (if you can)

This is a huge one! If you’re able pay your rent with a credit card, do it! Be prepared to be charged a fee, typically at least 3 percent. It might be worth it in the end if the bonus is high enough.

Pay a medical bill

Another way to reach the spending limit is to cover the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills coming up, ask your relatives if you could pay their medical bills and they will repay you.

Pay off a loan

If you’re a borrower, consider repaying them using an credit card. Be sure to pay off the balance on your credit card completely so that you don’t accumulate additional debt.

Ask your family members for help

Discuss your family with them and see if they have any big expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Just make sure you are able to trust the person and that they are aware of the reason for doing this.

Purchase presents

If you’re in the middle of the holiday season you should consider purchasing all your gifts with the credit card you have. So you’ll be able to reach the minimum spending requirement and be ready for giving gifts. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you already thinking of.

There are plenty of ways to get the most out of using your credit or debit card for travel and accrue points or miles to be used towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few more ways to maximize the rewards you earn:

Pay for travel expenses using your credit card

Whenever you’re planning a vacation, make use of you travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel, rental car, and any other travel-related expenses. Not only will you be able to hit the minimum spend to earn your credit card as well, however, you’ll also earn points or miles to cover these expenses.

Use your credit card for all your daily expenditures

Another way to hit the minimum spend and earn points is utilising your credit cards for everyday costs. This could be things like food, gas, and even your phone bill. Be sure to pay the balance off each month in full so you don’t accumulate interest.

Benefit from bonus categories

Some travel credit cards will offer miles or bonus points for certain types of purchases, such as eating out or traveling. Make sure you review your rewards program on your credit card and avail the bonus categories that are in line with your spending habits.

Consider a balance transfer

If you have existing debt on a high-interest credit card, consider transferring the balance to a travel credit card with an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfers. This will let you pay off the debt without accruing interest, and also assist you in reaching the minimum spending requirement for the credit card bonus.

Use your points or miles carefully

Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of points or miles make sure you use the points or miles wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card, and evaluate the value of different redemption options. For example you can use points to purchase 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 tip is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer your points to other loyalty programs. This allows you to have a wider range of choices and more freedom when it comes to you want to redeem your rewards. For example, you may be eligible to transfer your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a reward program for hotels. This can give an access wider selection of hotels, flights and other travel benefits which are not available through the rewards program on your credit card.

Also, determine whether your credit card has some perks that could reduce your travel expenses. Some cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection and other benefits that are invaluable when you travel.

When you travel with a companion, both of you can get rewards on your own credit card. Just remember that you can’t split the cost on the same card and make sure to keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.

Overall, the key to maximizing your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program of your credit card and make sure you’re making use of this program in the most effective way possible. Through a combination of the strategies I’ve listed, you’ll be able to earn rewards fast, exchange them for travel experiences that are worth it and take advantage of a broad assortment of travel-related perks.