Are you familiar with the term “travel hacking”? To travel hack simply describes tricks, frequent flyers have found to considerably reduce their flying expenses. And by “considerably”, I mean managing to get FREE flight tickets to wherever their heart desires and sometimes even, a few nights in expensive hotels completely gratuitously. However, in spite of the free ticket, note that you will still have to pay fees and taxes that can amount to $100 or $200, but that sum is piddling, compared to the full price of the ticket you would have paid otherwise.
There are two ways you can fly or stay at great hotels freely:
– The first one is by signing up to airline companies’ loyalty programs, also called Frequent Flyers Programs.
– The second one is by subscribing to travel and hotels credit cards.
In both cases, the concept is similar: You purchase things that enable you to earn enough bonus points or air miles, to eventually get a free flight ticket or a few nights in a hotel.
The main difference between the two techniques, is that the only way to acquire points or air miles through airlines’ loyalty programs is to purchase enough flight tickets to eventually get one for free, which can take a while, if you don’t travel often. Whereas with credit cards, anything you buy, from your daily coffee, to your groceries, gets you bonus points, which makes the rewards quicker and easier to obtain.
If you wonder which option is the best, I will say both and here is why: Say you sign up to an airline’s rewards program and you have accrued 30,000 miles; If you need 20,000 more to be able to get a free ticket, you can transfer your credit card points to your airline’s miles account and travel gratuitously.
On this post, I will break down how you can easily become a travel hacker and take advantage of free flights and gratuitous nights in amazing hotels.
- Get a travel credit card. Upon subscription, companies offer huge bonus points that you can access once you have spent an amount (often between $3,000 and $5,000) that varies according to companies, within three months of getting the card, which is easy to do. When choosing your credit card, make sure you pick one that offers the most bonus points as you register. Because these points are often enough to get you a free ticket. 40,000 points upon subscription is a good start.
The best credit card for travels in my opinion is Chase Sapphire Preferred and for free stays in nice hotels such as W Hotels, the best credit card in my opinion is Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card.
2. Sign-up to an airline’s frequent flyer program. There are three major airline alliances: Star Alliance, Oneworld and SkyTeam. Each alliance comprises a host of airlines, which means that by signing up to one airline’s rewards program, you can use your miles to fly with another company from the same alliance. So choose an airline’s program that will meet your needs and that you will use often, according to the places you travel to the most.
3. Shop at airlines’ member stores with your travel credit card. Airlines have partnered with an array of companies such as Apple, Target, Best Buy, Sephora, Foot Locker, and more. Shopping at these preferred stores can get you to earn 2 up to 10 miles, per dollar spent. You can take a look at the shops that have special offers at Evreward. Say you spend $1,000 a month in these preferred stores, you could accrue 3,000 air miles, which is not negligible.
4. Pay everything with the credit card: In order to increase your chances to have as many free flights or free hotel nights as you want, I would recommend that you use your travel credit card for all your expenses, from your coffee, to your grocery, to your daily expenses. Now of course, you have to be careful and make sure you will be able to pay your debt. Don’t spend more than you could afford.
I hope you found this post was helpful. If so, please rate it below.
I will address how to choose the right credit card that matches your needs on an upcoming post.