Are you tired of spending an enormous amount on flights? Good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel problems. It’s a fun way to convert sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles, that can then be used to obtain discounted or free flights to your desired destinations. With a little bit of imagination and some knowledge, you can be jet-setting for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about trading credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. These miles can later be used to purchase discounted or even free flights. Some credit cards also let you redeem miles for hotel stays and rental car offers.
How Does it Work?
The secret to success in hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and building out frequent flyer miles on a select 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 above $500, you’ll want to look into those frequent flyer accounts to see which airline can give you the best price. It all comes down to the amount of points or miles you have in your travel account for every airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to travel hacking? Your first task is opening the credit card that comes with a sign-up offer. There are plenty of great credit cards that provide many features and benefits. It depends on the type of airline, spending habits and the features that are most important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit card options that can be excellent for travel hacking:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
If 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 check for the details. From there it’s all about building up miles and then using them to book your dream vacation!
Ready to jet-set with your goals?
Now that you’ve built up the points balance, you’re ready to cash them in for some nice travel! Different credit card providers will offer different ways to redeem your points. Here are a few examples from some of the companies I’ve had experience with:
Getaway through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you have an Chase cards, you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within this portal you’ll get access to almost every airline and you can use a combination of the points as well as cash in order to pay for your next trip. You can even book completely with points if you’ve the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you do not be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for total cost, you still can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using any credit card.
Are you tired of paying full price for your flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United, you have the option of paying using either points or dollars? Be careful that if you don’t have enough points, you aren’t able to combine dollars and points on the same flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re a few points short, United also offers the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience with extra space and complimentary snacks. Plus, their booking process is like United’s which allows you to book with either JetBlue dollar or points, but not both. But, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that lets you combine your points with family members to accrue points twice as fast. Make sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack into the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re like me and my travel buddy Becca You’re probably quite frugal and it can be challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to hit the required amount to qualify for a credit card bonus. Don’t worry, we’ve been through it and we’re here to share our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able pay your rent using credit card, go for it! Just be prepared to pay a fee, usually about 3 percent. It could be worthwhile over the long term if the bonus is high enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another great way to hit the spending limit is to pay for a medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses due Ask your family members to pay for theirs and they’ll pay you back.
Pay off a loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan you owe, think about making payments on them with your credit card. Just make sure you pay the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Discuss your family with them and determine if they’ve got any large expenses coming up that you can 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 it.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season take into consideration buying all of your gifts with cards from your credit account. So you’ll be able to reach the minimum spending requirement and also be ready for giving gifts. Be sure to avoid spending more than you thinking of.
There are many methods to get the most of using your credit or debit card for travel. You can accrue points or miles to be used towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are some additional suggestions for maximising your rewards:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, use your travel credit card to pay for your hotel, flight, rental car, and any other travel-related expenses. Not only will you achieve the required amount for your credit card reward, but you’ll also be earning points or miles on these expenditures.
Utilize your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday costs
Another way to hit the minimum spend in order to accumulate points by using your credit card for everyday expenses. This could include things like food, gas and even your telephone bill. Be sure to pay the balance off in full each month so you don’t accumulate interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or points in exchange on certain kinds of purchases, such as eating out or travelling. Make sure you review your credit card’s rewards program and make use of any bonus categories that match with your spending habits.
Think about a balance transfer
If you have existing debt on a credit card, consider transferring the balance to the travel credit card which has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfers. This will enable you to pay off your debts without accruing interest, and also aid in achieving the minimum spending requirement for the credit card’s bonus.
Use your points or miles prudently
When you’ve earned a significant amount of miles or points, be sure to use them in a responsible manner. Review the rewards program for your credit card and then compare the benefits of different redemption options. For example you can use your points to book a ticket directly with the airline could provide you with a greater value than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another option is to get an rewards card that permits you to transfer your reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will allow you to have a wider range of choices and more freedom when it comes to making use of your rewards. For example, you may be capable of transferring your rewards to the frequent flyer program of an airline or a Hotel rewards programme. This can give an access greater variety of hotels, flights, and other travel perks that may not be accessible through your credit card’s rewards program.
Also, determine the card’s benefits. any perks that can save you money on travel-related costs. Many cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection, and other benefits that could be invaluable when you travel.
If you’re traveling with a companion, both of you can earn rewards with your credit card. Be aware that you cannot divide the cost with the same card and make sure to track the rewards you earn separately.
The key to making the most of your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program of your credit card and make sure you’re using your credit card in the most effective way possible. Through a combination of the strategies I’ve listed, you’ll be able to get rewards in a short time, use rewards for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide range of travel perks.