Are you tired of spending a fortune on airfare? Good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s a fun way to convert credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into miles which you can use to get discounted or even complimentary flights for your dream destinations. With a little creativity and some insider information, you’ll fly for no cost 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 pay for cheap or free flight tickets. Some credit cards also let you redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or car rental discounts.
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 a frequent flyer mile program with a limited number of airlines. When it’s time to book a flight take a look at the price. If the flight is under $300, it’s generally better to pay cash and use your miles to pay to take a more costly flight. If the prices start to rise higher than $500, it’s best to check your frequent flyer accounts to determine which airline offers you the best price. It all boils down to the amount of miles or points in your travel bank for every airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover 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 various benefits and features. It depends on the type of airline, your spending habits, and the features that are most important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit card options that can be great 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 reach the limit of spending minimum in order to receive the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so be sure to check for the details. Then you can begin to rack miles and using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your ideas?
Once you’ve accumulated the points balance, you’re ready to use them towards sweet getaway! Different credit card companies will offer different ways to redeem your rewards, here are a few examples from some of the ones I have experience with:
Escape through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you have an Chase credit card, then you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within this portal you’ll have access to virtually every airline. You can use a combination of points and cash to pay for your next trip. You can book your flight entirely on points if you have the balance for it! Sometimes even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for total cost, you are able to buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using any credit card.
Are you fed up of paying full price for your flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option to pay with either points or dollars? Be careful in case you don’t have enough points you aren’t able to combine points and dollars for flights. No worries though, if you’re a few points away, United provides the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue provides passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience , with more space and complimentary snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines which allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue points or dollars, however, not both. However, JetBlue offers a distinct feature where you can combine your points with your family members and earn points twice as quickly. Just make sure you can establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me and my travel buddy Becca You’re probably quite thrifty and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum spend for credit card bonuses. Don’t worry as we’ve done it and we’re here to share some of our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able to pay your rent using credit card, then do it! Just be prepared to 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 a medical bill
Another great way to hit the minimum spend is to cover the medical bills. If you do not have any medical expenses in the near future Ask your relatives if you could pay them for theirs, and they will reimburse you.
Make a payment to pay off a loan
If you have any loans, consider paying them off with the credit card you have. Just make sure you pay off the balance on your credit card in full so you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Discuss your family with them and see if they have any large expenses coming up which you could help pay for. Just make sure you are able to trust the person and that they are aware of the reason for doing it.
If you’re celebrating the holidays you should consider purchasing all your gifts with cards from your credit account. So you’ll be able to hit that minimum spend and also be prepared to give gifts. Be sure to avoid spending more than you already planning to.
There are plenty of ways to make the most from the travel credit card. You can accumulate miles or points that you can use towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few more ways to maximize your rewards:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
When you’re planning your next vacation, make use of the travel credit card to pay for your hotel, flight, rental car, and any other travel-related expenses. In addition, you’ll be able to hit the minimum spend for your credit card reward and earn points, but you’ll also be earning points or miles on the expenses.
Use your credit card to pay for your everyday costs
Another way to hit the minimum amount of spending in order to accumulate points utilising your credit cards to pay everyday costs. This could be things like food, gas or even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay the balance off in full each month so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Benefit from bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or points in exchange on certain kinds of purchases, such as dining or travel. Be sure to review your credit card’s rewards program and avail the bonus categories that are in line with your spending habits.
Think about the possibility of transferring your balance
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a credit card, think about transferring that balance to an account with a travel credit card that has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfer. This will enable you to pay off the debt without accruing interest and simultaneously help you hit the minimum spending requirement for the credit card’s bonus.
Make use of your miles or points carefully
If you’ve amassed a large amount of points or miles make sure you use the points or miles wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card, and evaluate the value of different redemption options. For instance, using points to book a ticket directly with the airline might offer better value than using them for a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer your rewards to different loyalty program. This will let you enjoy a greater variety of choices and more flexibility in making use of your rewards. For example, you may be capable of transferring your reward to an airline’s frequent flyer program or a Hotel rewards programme. This will give the benefit of a wider variety of hotels, flights and other travel benefits that aren’t offered through the rewards program on your credit card.
Also, discover if your credit card offers 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 can be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a friend each of you will be able to get rewards on your credit card. Be aware that you cannot split the cost on the same card. Also, make sure to track your rewards separately.
Overall, the key to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program on your credit card and make sure you’re making use of this program in the most effective way possible. By using all of the methods I’ve described 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.