Are you tired of paying a fortune on airfare? Well, good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting way to convert bonus and sign-up incentives into miles which can be used to obtain discounted or complimentary flights for your desired destinations. With a little bit of creativity and some insider knowledge, you can travel for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of trading credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. These miles can then be used to buy cheap or free flight tickets. Some credit cards also allow you to redeem miles towards hotel stays or car rental deals.
How Does it Work?
The secret to success in 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 comes time to book a flight consider the cost. If the cost is less than $300, it’s generally better to pay in cash and save your miles for a more expensive flight. If the prices start to rise higher than $500, it’s best to review your frequent flyer accounts and find out which airline will give you the most value. It all boils down to the number of points or miles you have you have in your travel savings account for every airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to travel hacking? First step to open a credit card with a sign-up bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards with many benefits and features. It is all dependent on the airline, your spending habits, and the features that are most important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards 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 need to hit the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to receive the bonus. Every card has different guidelines, so make sure to check for the details. Then you can begin to rack miles and then using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your ideas?
Once you’ve accumulated your points balance, it’s time to redeem them for some delicious travel! Different credit card providers will have different methods of redeeming your points. Here are some examples from some of the ones I’ve worked with:
Take a trip with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of a Chase cards, you can redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. In it, you’ll have access to almost every airline. You can make use of a combination of money and points to pay for your travel. You can even book completely on points if you have the balance for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t possess enough points for the full cost, you are able to book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using any credit card.
Are you tired of paying full price for your flight tickets? Did you know that when you book directly through United You have the option to pay with either points or dollars? But, be careful that if you do not have enough points you can’t combine points and dollars for one flight. If you’re a few point short United provides the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue offers an enjoyable and comfortable travel experience that includes extra legroom as well as free snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines which allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue either dollars or points, however, not both. The difference is that JetBlue offers a distinct feature that lets you join your points 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.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re anything like me and my travel buddy Becca, you’re probably pretty thrifty and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to hit the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus. Don’t worry because we’ve been there 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! Just be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually about 3%. It could be worthwhile over the long term when the bonus is large enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another great way to hit the minimum spend is to cover the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills coming up then ask your family members to pay them for theirs, and they’ll pay you back.
Pay off the loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan you owe, think about paying them off with the credit card you have. Just make sure you pay the credit card balance in full so you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Ask your family members to look into any major expenses in the near future which you could help pay for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to have confidence in the person you are talking to and they are aware of the reason for doing it.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season, consider buying all of your gifts with the credit card you have. In this way, you’ll hit that minimum spend and also be ready for gift giving. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you were thinking of.
There are many ways to get the most from your travel credit card. earn miles or points to spend on airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few more ways to maximize your rewards:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, use you travel credit card for booking your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as any other travel expenses. In addition, you’ll be able to meet the minimum amount of spending required for your credit card reward and earn points, but you’ll also be earning points or miles on these costs.
Utilize your credit card to pay for everyday expenses
Another way to meet the minimum spend and earn points is using your credit card for daily costs. This can include items like groceries, gas, and even your phone bill. Be sure to pay off the balance each month in full so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Benefit from bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer bonus points or miles for specific types of purchases, such as dining or travel. Be sure to review your rewards program on your credit card and make use of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending routines.
Consider a balance transfer
If you have existing debt on a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer the balance to a travel credit card with an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will enable you to pay off the debt without accruing interest. It will also aid in achieving the minimum spending requirement for the credit card’s bonus.
Make use of your miles or points wisely
When you’ve earned a significant amount of points or miles, be sure to 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 flight directly through the airline may offer better value than using them to purchase an gift card.
Another tip is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer rewards to different loyalty program. This will let you have a wider range of choices and more flexibility when making use of your rewards. For example, you may be able to transfer your reward to the frequent flyer program of an airline or a reward program for hotels. This gives the benefit of a wider range of flights, hotels, and other travel perks that aren’t offered through the rewards program on your credit card.
Additionally, try to find out whether your credit card has some perks that could save you money on travel-related expenses. Many 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 someone else and both of you get rewards on your credit card. Make sure you don’t split the cost on the same card. Also, make sure to keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
The key to maximizing your travel rewards is to know your credit card’s rewards program and to ensure you’re using it in the most efficient way possible. Utilizing an array of strategies I’ve listed 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 range of travel perks.