Are you tired of spending an enormous amount on flights? Well, good news! Travel hacking is the answer to your travel-related problems. It’s a fun way to turn credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles, which you can use to score discounted or free flights to your dream destinations. With a little bit of imagination and some know-how, you’ll be jet-setting for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of swapping credit card sign-up bonus and rewards for airline miles. These miles can later be used to pay for discounted or even free flights. Some credit cards also let you redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or car rental discounts.
How Does it Work?
The key to success in hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and establishing frequent flyer miles for a specific group of airlines. When it’s time to make a booking consider the cost. If the flight is less than $300, it’s usually better to pay cash and use your miles to pay to book a higher-priced flight. When the flights start getting higher than $500, it’s best to look into those frequent flyer accounts and find out which airline will give you the most value. It all boils down to the amount of points or miles in your travel account for every airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets of travel hacking? First step to open the credit card that comes with a sign-up offer. There are plenty of great credit cards with various features and benefits. It is all dependent on the airline, spending habits and what features are important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards great 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 need to reach the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to get the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so be sure to look up this information. From there it’s all about building up miles, and using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your goals?
Once you’ve accumulated your points amount, it’s time to redeem them for some sweet vacation! Different credit card companies will have different methods for redeeming your points, but here are some examples from some of the companies I’ve had experience with:
Take a trip with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of an Chase cards, you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In this portal you’ll get access to virtually every airline. You can combine the points as well as cash in order to pay for your trip. You can even book entirely with points if you’ve the balance for it! Sometimes even if you do not have enough points to cover the full price, you can buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with the credit card of your choice.
Are you fed up of paying full price for your flight tickets? Did you not know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option to pay with dollars or points? Be careful that if you don’t have enough points you aren’t able to combine points and dollars on the same flight. If you’re only a couple of point short United gives you the option to purchase additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience , with more legroom as well as free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to United’s, allowing passengers to book flights using JetBlue either dollars or points, however, not both. But, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature where you can combine your points with family members to accrue points twice as fast. Be sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me and my travel buddy Becca I’m sure you’re pretty frugal and it can be challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to reach the minimum spend for the credit card bonus. Don’t worry, we’ve been through 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 pay your rent with credit card, then do it! Make sure you be charged a fee, typically at least 3%. It may be worth it over the long term when the bonus is large enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another great way to hit the required spending is to pay for the medical bills. If you do not have any medical expenses in the near future Ask your family members to pay them for theirs, and they’ll reimburse you.
Pay off a loan
If you’re a borrower, consider repaying them using the credit card you have. Be sure to pay the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t end up with additional debt.
Ask family for help
Discuss your family with them and determine if they’ve got any major expenses in the near future which you could help pay for. Just make sure you trust the person and they understand why you’re taking the initiative.
If you’re celebrating the holidays take into consideration buying all your gifts using cards from your credit account. This way you can hit that minimum spend and also be ready to give gifts. Be sure to avoid paying more than you already planning to.
There are many ways to get the most out of the travel credit card. earn miles or points to be used towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are some additional suggestions for maximising the rewards you earn:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, use the travel credit card to book your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as other travel costs. Not only will you be able to hit the minimum spend to earn your credit card bonus, but you’ll also earn points or miles for these expenses.
Utilize your credit card to pay for everyday expenditures
Another method to reach the minimum spend to earn rewards is by using your credit card for every day expenses. This can include things like food, gas or even your phone bill. Be sure to pay the balance off in full each month so you don’t pay interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or bonus points for certain types of purchases, such as eating out or traveling. Check out your credit card’s rewards program and avail any bonus categories that align with your spending routines.
Take into consideration a balance transfer
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a high-interest credit card, think about transferring that balance to a travel credit card with an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will allow you to pay off your debt without accruing interest. It will also assist you in reaching the minimum spend for the credit card bonus.
Utilize your miles and points carefully
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points, be sure to use them in a responsible manner. Examine the rewards program of your credit card, and evaluate the value of different redemption options. For example using your points to purchase a flight directly with the airline could offer better value than using them for an gift card.
Another tip is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer rewards to different loyalty program. This will allow you to enjoy a greater variety of choices and more flexibility in redeeming your rewards. For instance, you might be eligible to transfer your rewards to the frequent flyer program of an airline or reward program for hotels. This can give the benefit of a wider variety of hotels, flights, and other travel perks that may not be accessible through the rewards program of your credit card.
Additionally, try to discover the card’s benefits. some perks that could save you money on travel-related costs. Some cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection, and other benefits that could be very beneficial when traveling.
If you’re traveling with a friend each of you will be able to earn rewards with your credit card. Be aware that you cannot divide the cost with the same card. Also, make sure to keep track of your rewards separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do 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 way possible. Utilizing an array of methods I’ve described in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards quickly, redeem them for travel experiences that are worth it and take advantage of a broad assortment of travel-related perks.