Are you fed up of spending an enormous amount on flights? Well, good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting method to convert credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles which can be used to obtain discounted or complimentary flights for your desired destinations. With a little creativity and some insider information, you’ll fly for no cost within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. The miles can be used to purchase 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 key to successful hacking travel is taking advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and establishing a frequent flyer mile program on a select group of airlines. When it’s time to book a flight consider the cost. If the flight is under $300, it’s best to pay cash and use your miles to pay to take a more costly flight. When the flights start getting higher than $500, it’s best to check those frequent flyer accounts and determine which airline offers you the best deal. It all comes down to the amount of points or miles you have in your travel account for each airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to hacking travel? First step opening the credit card that comes with a sign-up bonus. There are many great credit cards that provide many features and benefits. It all depends on your preferred airline, your habits with spending and the features that are most essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few 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 reach the minimum spend limit in order to get the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so be sure to check for the details. Then it’s all about building up miles, and using them to plan your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your points?
Now that you’ve built up your points balance, you’re ready to redeem them for some delicious vacation! Different credit card providers will have different methods for redeeming your points. Here are some examples from some of the ones I have experience with:
Escape with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of an Chase card, you are able to use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In the portal, you’ll get access to almost every airline and you can use a combination of money and points to pay for your travel. You can even book completely with points if you’ve enough balance! Sometimes even if you do not be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for full cost, you are able to purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using the credit card of your choice.
Are you fed up of paying full price for flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United You have the option of paying using dollars or points? Butbe aware that if you do not have enough points you can’t combine points and dollars on flights. Don’t worry, though, if you’re a few point short United gives you the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience with extra legroom and free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to United’s that allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue either dollars or points, but not both. But, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that lets you pool your points together with your family members and earn points twice as fast. Be sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack into the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel buddy Becca, you’re probably pretty thrifty and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum spend for a credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried, 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 to pay for your rent with credit card, then do it! Make sure you pay a fee, usually at least 3%. It could be worthwhile in the end if the bonus is high 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 in the near future, ask your relatives if you could pay them for theirs, and they’ll reimburse you.
Pay off the loan
If you have any loans, consider making payments on them with the credit card you have. Just make sure you pay the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t accumulate additional debt.
Ask your family members for help
Ask your family members to determine if they’ve got any big expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Just make sure you have confidence in the person you are talking to and they know why you’re taking the initiative.
If you’re celebrating the holidays, consider buying all your gifts using your credit card. In this way, you’ll reach the minimum spending requirement and also be ready for gift giving. Make sure that you’re not paying more than you already contemplating to.
There are plenty of methods to get the most of your travel credit card and accumulate miles or points that you can use towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few more suggestions for maximising your rewards:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, use the travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as any other travel expenses. Not only will you be able to meet the minimum amount of spending required to qualify for a credit card bonus and earn points, however, you’ll also earn points or miles to cover these expenses.
Utilize your credit card to pay for all your daily expenses
Another way to meet the minimum spend in order to accumulate points by making use of your credit card to pay every day expenditures. This could be things like food, gas or even your phone bill. Make sure you pay the balance off in full each month so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or points in exchange for certain types of purchases, such as eating out or traveling. Make sure you review your rewards program on your credit card and take advantage of any bonus categories that align with your spending routines.
Consider the possibility of transferring your balance
If you have existing debt on a high-interest credit card, consider transferring that balance onto the travel credit card which has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will let you pay off the debt without accruing interest, and also help you hit the minimum spending requirement for the credit card’s bonus.
Utilize your miles and points wisely
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points, be sure to use the points or miles wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card and compare the value of different redemption options. For example you can use points to book a ticket directly with the airline might offer better return than using them for a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer your rewards to different loyalty program. This will let you get a wider selection of options and greater flexibility when redeeming your rewards. For instance, you might be capable of transferring your reward to an airline’s frequent flyer program or reward program for hotels. This can give an access larger range of flights, hotels as well as other travel perks that aren’t accessible through your credit card’s rewards program.
Also, discover 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 could be invaluable when you travel.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a companion and both of you earn rewards with your credit card. Make sure you don’t divide the cost with the same card. Also, make sure to keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
The key to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to know your credit card’s rewards program 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 that you can earn rewards fast, exchange them for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide assortment of travel-related perks.