Are you fed up of spending an enormous amount on flights? Good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s a fun way to convert bonus and sign-up incentives into miles that can then be used to obtain discounted or complimentary flights for your ideal destinations. With a little bit of imagination and a little bit of insider information, you’ll travel for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. These miles can later be used to purchase cheap or free flight tickets. Some credit cards also allow you to redeem miles for hotel stays and rental car deals.
How Does it Work?
The secret to successful travel hacking is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and to establish frequent flyer miles with a limited number of airlines. When it’s time to book a flight consider the cost. If the flight is less than $300, it’s generally better to pay in cash and save your miles for a more expensive flight. If your flights begin to climb higher than $500, it’s best to review those frequent flyer accounts to find out which airline will give you the best deal. It all boils down to the number of miles or points in your travel bank for each airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets of travel hacking? The first step is opening a credit card that comes with a welcome bonus. There are many great credit cards that provide many features and benefits. It all depends on your preferred airline, spending habits and what features are important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit card options that can be excellent to hack travel
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
Once 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 guidelines, so make sure to look up this information. Then, it’s all about racking miles and then using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your ideas?
After you’ve accrued the points amount, it’s time to redeem them for some delicious vacation! Different credit card companies will offer different ways to redeem your points, but here are a few examples from some of the companies I’ve had experience with:
Getaway through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you have a Chase cards, you are able to redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In it, you’ll have access to almost every airline and you can use a combination of the points as well as cash in order to book your next trip. You can book your flight entirely using points if you’ve got enough balance! Sometimes, even if you don’t have enough points to cover the total price, you can book flights using 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 your flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United You have the option of paying with either points or dollars? Butbe aware that if you don’t have enough points you can’t combine points and dollars for the same flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re just a few points short, United also offers the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience , with more legroom as well as free snacks. Plus, their booking process is like United’s which allows customers to book using either JetBlue points or dollars however, not both. But, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that allows you to combine your points with family members to accrue points twice as quickly. Be sure to establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack into the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re like me or my travel companion Becca, you’re probably pretty frugal and it can be challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to reach the required amount to qualify for a credit card bonus. Don’t worry as we’ve done it and are here to share some of our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able to pay for your rent using a credit card, do it! Make sure you pay a fee, usually around 3 percent. It may be worth it in the long run in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another great way to hit the required spending is to cover an medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses due, ask your family members to pay them for theirs, and they will reimburse you.
Pay off the loan
If you have any loans take into consideration making payments on them with an credit card. Just make sure you pay off the credit card balance completely so that you don’t accumulate additional debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Ask your family members to see if they have any large expenses coming up 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 know why you’re taking the initiative.
If it’s the holiday season take into consideration buying all of your gifts with your credit card. In this way, you’ll meet the minimum spending limit and also be ready to give gifts. Make sure that you’re not paying more than you already thinking of.
There are plenty of ways to get the most out of your travel credit card. earn miles or points to use towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few additional ideas for maximizing your rewards
Book travel expenses with your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, use you travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel, rental car, and other travel costs. In addition, you’ll be able to meet the required amount for your credit card reward, but you’ll also be earning points or miles on these expenses.
Utilize your credit card to pay for all your daily expenses
Another way to meet the minimum spending requirement to earn rewards is by utilising your credit cards to pay every day expenditures. This could include things like food, gas or even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay the balance off in full every month to ensure you don’t pay interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or bonus points for certain types of purchases, including eating out or travelling. Be sure to review the rewards program of your credit card and take advantage of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending routines.
Consider a balance transfer
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer that balance onto a travel credit card with the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfer. This will allow you to pay off your debt without accruing interest. It will also aid in achieving the minimum spending requirement for the credit card’s bonus.
Utilize your miles and points prudently
If you’ve amassed a large amount of miles or points, be sure to use them wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card, and evaluate the value of different redemption options. For instance, using points to purchase a flight directly through the airline may offer better value than using them for an gift card.
Another suggestion is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer your points to other loyalty programs. This allows you to have a wider range of choices and more flexibility in you want to redeem your rewards. For example, you may be eligible to transfer your rewards to an airline’s frequent flyer program or reward program for hotels. This gives the benefit of a larger selection of hotels, flights and other travel benefits that may not be available through your credit card’s rewards program.
Additionally, try to find out if your credit card offers any perks that can reduce your travel expenses. Many cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that are extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
If you’re traveling with a companion each of you will be able to earn rewards with your own credit card. Make sure you don’t divide the cost with the same card and make sure you keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
In the end, the most important thing to do to maximizing your travel rewards is to understand your credit card’s rewards program and to ensure you’re making use of your credit card in the most efficient way possible. By using a combination of the strategies I’ve outlined that you can earn rewards quickly, redeem rewards for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide assortment of travel-related perks.