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 way to turn credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles, which you can use to get discounted or even complimentary flights for your dream destinations. With a bit of creativity and some insider know-how, you’ll be jet-setting for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. These miles can then be used to purchase discount or no-cost flights. Some credit cards also let you redeem miles towards hotel stays or car rental deals.
How Does it Work?
The secret to successful hacking travel is taking advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and to establish a frequent flyer mile program on a select group of airlines. When it’s time to make a booking consider the cost. If the flight is less than $300, it’s best to pay cash and save your miles for a more expensive flight. If your flights begin to climb over $500, you’ll need to review the frequent flyer account to determine which airline offers you the most value. All it boils down to is the number of miles or points you have in your travel savings account for each airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to hacking travel? The first step is opening a credit card that comes with a welcome bonus. There are many great credit cards with various advantages and features. It depends on the type of airline, your spending habits, and the features that are most crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit card options that can be excellent 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 or debit card, you’ll need to reach the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to receive the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of guidelines, so make sure to check for the details. From there you can begin to rack up miles and using them to plan your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your goals?
Once you’ve accumulated the points balance, it’s time to use them towards sweet travel! Different credit card providers will have different methods of redeeming your points. Here are some examples from some of the providers I have experience with:
Escape with Chase Ultimate Rewards
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. You can use a combination of money and points to book your next trip. You can even book completely with points if you’ve 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 purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with the credit card of your choice.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for your flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United You have the option to pay with dollars or points? Butbe aware, if you don’t have enough points, you aren’t able to combine dollars and points for flights. If you’re a few point short United provides the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience , with more legroom and free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to United’s that allows customers to book using either JetBlue points or dollars, however, not both. However, JetBlue has a unique feature that allows you to combine your points with family members to accrue points twice as quickly. Be sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack into the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me or my travel buddy Becca I’m sure you’re pretty thrifty and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to hit the required amount to qualify for a credit card bonus. Don’t worry as we’ve done it and are here to share our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able to pay your rent using a credit card, do it! Make sure you pay a fee, usually around 3%. It may be worth it in the long run in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another great way to hit the minimum spend is to pay for the medical bills. If you do not have any medical expenses in the near future, ask your family members if you can pay their medical bills and they’ll reimburse you.
Pay off a loan
If you have any loans take into consideration repaying them using the credit card you have. Be sure to pay the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t accumulate additional debt.
Ask family for help
Ask your family members to determine if they’ve got any major expenses in the near future that you can help pay for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to have confidence in the person you are talking to and they are aware of the reason for taking the initiative.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season you should consider purchasing all of your gifts with the credit card you have. So you’ll be able to meet the minimum spending limit and also be prepared for gift giving. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you thinking of.
There are many ways to make the most out of using your credit or debit card for travel and earn miles or points to use towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few 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 to book your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as any other travel-related expenses. You’ll not only be able to hit the minimum amount of spending required to earn your credit card as well, but you’ll also be earning points or miles for these expenses.
Use your credit card for everyday costs
Another way to meet the minimum spending requirement and earn points is using your credit card for every day expenses. This could include things like food, gas and even your telephone bill. Be sure to pay the balance off each month in full so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Benefit from bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or bonus points on certain kinds of purchases, like dining or travel. Be sure to review the rewards program of your credit card and avail any bonus categories that align with your spending routines.
Think about the possibility of transferring your balance
If you are currently in debt on a high-interest credit card, think about transferring that balance onto an account with a travel credit card that has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfer. This will enable you to pay off your debts without accruing interest and simultaneously assist you in reaching the minimum spend for the credit card bonus.
Use your points or miles wisely
When you’ve earned a significant amount of points or miles make sure you use them wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card, and evaluate the benefits of different redemption options. For instance, using points to book a ticket directly through the airline may offer better value than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another tip is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer your points to other loyalty programs. This will allow you to get a wider selection of choices and more freedom when it comes to you want to redeem your rewards. For instance, you might be able to transfer your rewards to the frequent flyer program of an airline or hotel rewards program. This will give an access wider variety of hotels, flights, and other travel perks that may not be accessible through the rewards program of your credit card.
In addition, you should find out if your credit card offers any perks that can save you money on travel-related expenses. Some cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection, and other benefits that can be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
When you travel with someone else and both of you earn rewards with your credit card. Just remember that you can’t divide the cost with the same card, and be sure to keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
Overall, the key to maximizing your travel rewards is to know your credit card’s rewards program and to ensure you’re making use of this program in the most effective method. Through a combination of the strategies I’ve listed in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards quickly, redeem rewards for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad range of travel perks.