Are you fed up of spending thousands of dollars on travel? Well, good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting method to convert credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles, which can be used to score discounted or cheap flights from your dream destinations. With a bit of imagination and a little bit of insider knowledge, you can fly for no cost in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of swapping credit card sign-up bonus as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can later be used to purchase discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards permit you to use miles towards hotel stays or car rental offers.
How Does it Work?
The secret to success in travel hacking is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and to establish a frequent flyer mile program with a limited number of airlines. When it comes time to make a booking, evaluate the cost. If the price is less than $300, it’s generally better to pay cash and save your miles to take a more costly flight. If your flights begin to climb over $500, you’ll need to look into the frequent flyer account and determine which airline offers you the best price. All it boils down to is the number of miles or points in your travel bank for every airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to travel hacking? Your first task is opening the credit card that comes that comes with a welcome bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that offer many benefits and features. It is all dependent on the airline, spending habits and what features are essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards that are excellent 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 card you’ll need to hit the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to qualify for the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so be sure to look up the details. Then, it’s all about racking up miles, and using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your ideas?
Once you’ve accumulated the points amount, it’s time to cash them in for some nice travel! Different credit card companies will offer different ways to redeem your rewards, here are some examples from a few of the ones I have experience with:
Escape by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have a Chase credit card, then you are able to use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through this portal you’ll have access to nearly every airline and you can combine the points as well as cash in order to pay for your travel. You can even book completely on points if you have enough balance! Sometimes even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for total cost, you are able to purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using any credit card.
Are you fed up of paying full price for your flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United you can choose the option of paying using dollars or points? Be careful, if you don’t have enough points you cannot combine dollars and points for 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 flight within the United States? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides passengers a relaxing and pleasant travel experience that includes extra space and complimentary snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to United’s which allows you to book with either JetBlue dollar or points, however, not both. But, JetBlue offers a distinct feature that allows you to combine your points with your relatives to earn points twice as fast. Just make sure you can establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack into the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel companion Becca I’m sure you’re pretty frugal and it can be difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to hit the required amount to qualify for credit card bonuses. However, don’t be worried, we’ve been through it and are here to share our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able pay your rent with credit card, then do it! Make sure you pay a fee, usually about 3 percent. It may be worth it over the long term when the bonus is large enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another way to reach the required spending is to pay for a medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses due Ask your family members to pay them for theirs, and they’ll reimburse you.
Pay off a loan
If you’re a borrower you owe, think about paying them off with your credit card. Make sure to pay off the credit card balance completely so that you don’t accrue additional debt.
Ask your family members for help
Discuss your family with them and look into any major expenses in the near future which you could help pay for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to trust the person and they know why you’re doing this.
If it’s the holiday season you should consider purchasing all your gifts with your credit card. This way you can hit that minimum spend and be ready to give gifts. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you planning to.
There are many methods to get the most of the travel credit card. You can earn miles or points to be used towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few more suggestions for maximising the rewards you earn:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, use your travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel, rental car, and other travel costs. You’ll not only achieve the required amount for your credit card bonus, but you’ll also be earning points or miles on these expenses.
Utilize your credit card to pay for everyday costs
Another way to meet the minimum spending requirement and earn points is using your credit card for daily expenditures. This can include things like food, gas or even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay the balance off each month in full so 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 dining or travel. Make sure you review your rewards program on your credit card and take advantage of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending routines.
Think about a balance transfer
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a credit card, you might want to transfer that balance onto the travel credit card which has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfers. This will let you pay off the debt without accruing interest. It will also aid in achieving the minimum spending requirement for the credit card bonus.
Use your points or miles prudently
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of points or miles, be sure to use them in a responsible manner. Review the rewards program for your credit card and then compare the value of different redemption options. For example using points to book a flight directly with the airline could give you a better value than using them for an gift card.
Another option is to get rewards cards that allow you to transfer your reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will allow you to get a wider selection 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 frequent flyer programs of airlines or a reward program for hotels. This will give you access to a larger range of flights, hotels as well as other travel perks that aren’t available through the rewards program on your credit card.
Additionally, try to determine the card’s benefits. certain benefits that will save you money on travel-related expenses. Some cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that are extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
When you travel with a friend each of you will be able to earn rewards using your credit card. Be aware that you cannot divide the cost with the same card. Also, make sure you keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
In the end, the most important thing to do to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to know your credit card’s rewards program and make sure you’re using it in the most efficient way possible. By using all of the strategies I’ve listed that you can get rewards in a short time, use them for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide variety of travel benefits.