Are you tired of spending 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 credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles, which can be used to obtain discounted or complimentary flights for your desired destinations. With a bit of imagination and some information, you’ll travel for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about trading credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. These miles can then be used to purchase cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards permit you to use miles towards hotel stays or car rental discounts.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for success in travel hacking is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and building out a frequent flyer mile program for a specific group of airlines. When it’s time to book a flight, evaluate 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 look into the frequent flyer account and find out which airline will give you the most value. It all boils down to the number of points or miles in your travel account for each airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to travel hacking? The first step is to open a credit card with a sign-up offer. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards with many benefits and features. It is all dependent on the airline, your spending habits, and what features are essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards great to use for hacking 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 qualify for the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so be certain to verify the details. Then, it’s all about racking up miles and using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your points?
Once you’ve accumulated the points balance, you’re ready to redeem them for some sweet getaway! Different credit card companies have different methods of redeeming your rewards, here are some examples from a few of the ones I’ve worked with:
Escape by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own an Chase credit card, then you can redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within it, you’ll have access to nearly every airline. You can use a combination of the points as well as cash in order to pay for your next trip. You can book your flight entirely using points if you’ve got enough balance! Sometimes even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for full cost, you still can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using any credit card.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option to pay with dollars or points? But, be careful in case you don’t have enough points, you aren’t able to combine points and dollars for the same flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re a few points away, United gives you the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue provides passengers a relaxing and pleasant travel experience that includes extra legroom as well as free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is like United’s that allows you to book with either JetBlue dollar or points but not both. However, JetBlue has a unique feature that lets you join your points with your family members and earn points twice as fast. Just make sure you can prove you’re really family before trying to hack into the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel buddy Becca You’re probably quite thrifty and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum spend for a credit card bonus. But don’t fret because we’ve been there and are here to share our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able to pay for your rent with credit card, then do it! Be prepared to pay a fee, usually at least 3 percent. It might be worth it in the end in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the spending limit is to pay for the medical bills. If you do not have any medical expenses coming up, ask your family members to pay their medical bills and they can reimburse you.
Make a payment to pay off the loan
If you’re a borrower take into consideration repaying them using your credit card. Just make sure you pay off the balance on your credit card in full , so that you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask family for help
Talk to your family and see if they have any major expenses in the near future that you can contribute for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to trust the person and they are aware of the reason for taking the initiative.
If it’s the holiday season, consider buying all your gifts using the credit card you have. This way you can meet the minimum spending limit and be ready for gift giving. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you were planning to.
There are plenty of ways to get the most of using your credit or debit card for travel and accrue points or miles to be used towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few additional ideas for maximizing the rewards you earn:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, make use of you travel credit card to book your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as any other travel expenses. Not only will you be able to hit the minimum amount of spending required to earn your credit card bonus and earn points, but you’ll also be earning points or miles on those costs.
Utilize your credit card to pay for all your daily costs
Another way to hit the minimum spend in order to accumulate points using your credit card to pay every day expenditures. This could include things like gas, groceries and even your telephone bill. Make sure you pay the balance off each month in full so you don’t accumulate interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or points in exchange for certain types of purchases, like eating out or travelling. Check out your credit card’s rewards program and avail any bonus categories that match with your spending routines.
Think about the possibility of transferring your balance
If you’re in the middle of a outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer the balance to an account with a travel credit card that has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will enable you to pay off your debts without accruing interest. It will also help you hit the minimum spending requirement for the credit card’s bonus.
Make use of your miles or points carefully
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of points or miles, be sure to use the points or miles wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card and then compare the benefits of different redemption options. For instance, using points to purchase a flight directly through the airline may provide you with a greater value than using them for a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer points to other loyalty programs. This will allow you to get a wider selection of options and greater flexibility in you want to redeem your rewards. For instance, you might be able to transfer your rewards to an airline’s frequent flyer program or reward program for hotels. This gives you access to a greater variety of hotels, flights and other travel benefits which are not accessible through the rewards program on your credit card.
Additionally, try to determine if your credit card offers some perks that could reduce your travel costs. Some cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection, and other benefits that can be very beneficial when traveling.
When you travel with a companion, both of you can earn rewards with your credit card. Just remember that you can’t share the costs on the same card. Also, make sure you keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
The key to maximizing your travel rewards is to know your credit card’s rewards program and make sure you’re making use of your credit card in the most efficient method. Utilizing all of the methods I’ve described in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards fast, exchange them for travel experiences that are worth it and take advantage of a broad assortment of travel-related perks.