Are you tired of spending a fortune on airfare? Good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting way to convert credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles that can then be used to obtain discounted or free flights to your ideal destinations. With a little creativity and some insider know-how, you’ll fly for no cost in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can later be used to pay for discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards permit you to use miles for hotel stays and car rental discounts.
How Does it Work?
The secret to success in hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and establishing frequent flyer miles with a limited number of airlines. When it comes time to make a booking, evaluate the cost. If the price is under $300, it’s usually better to pay in cash and save your miles for a more expensive flight. If the prices start to rise above $500, you’ll want to check those frequent flyer accounts and determine which airline offers you the best deal. All it boils down to is the amount of miles or points you have in your travel savings account for every airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to travel hacking? First step opening an account with a sign-up offer. There are many great credit cards with a variety of advantages and features. It is all dependent on the airline, your habits with spending and what features are important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit card options that can be excellent to hack travel
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
After you’ve been accepted for a credit card you’ll need to reach the limit of spending minimum in order to qualify for the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so make sure to check for the details. Then you can begin to rack up miles, and using them to plan your dream vacation!
Ready to jet-set with your goals?
After you’ve accrued the points balance, you’re ready to cash them in for some delicious travel! Different credit card providers will have different methods for redeeming your points. Here are some examples from a few of the ones I’ve had experience with:
Getaway through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you have an Chase cards, you are able to use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through this portal you’ll get access to nearly every airline, and you can combine money and points to pay for your trip. You can book your flight entirely using points if you’ve got the balance for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t have enough points to cover the full price, you can buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with any credit card.
Are you tired of paying full price for flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United, you have the option to pay with either points or dollars? Be careful, if you don’t have enough points you can’t combine dollars and points for one flight. No worries though, if you’re only a couple of points short, United also offers the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue offers a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience with extra legroom as well as free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is like United’s that allows customers to book using either JetBlue either dollars or points however, not both. But, JetBlue offers a distinct feature that allows you to join your points with your family members and earn points twice as quickly. Be sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me and my travel companion Becca You’re probably quite thrifty and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to hit the minimum amount required to earn credit card bonuses. But don’t fret as we’ve done it and are here to share our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able to pay for your rent using credit card, then do it! Make sure you pay a cost, which is usually at least 3%. It could be worthwhile 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 an medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills due, ask your family members to pay their medical bills and they will reimburse you.
Repay the loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan take into consideration repaying them using the credit card you have. Be sure to pay off the credit card balance completely so that you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask family for help
Talk to your family and determine if they’ve got any big expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Make sure that you are able to are able to trust the person and that they understand why you’re taking the initiative.
If you’re celebrating the holidays you should consider purchasing all your gifts using the credit card you have. This way you can hit that minimum spend and also be prepared for gift giving. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you already contemplating to.
There are plenty of ways to make the most out of your travel credit card. accumulate miles or points that you can use towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are some additional ways to maximize your rewards:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, use the travel credit card for booking your hotel, flight, rental car, and any other travel-related expenses. You’ll not only achieve the minimum amount of spending required to earn your credit card bonus and earn points, but you’ll also be earning points or miles to cover the expenses.
Utilize your credit card to pay for all your daily costs
Another method to reach the minimum spending requirement and earn points is by utilising your credit cards for daily expenses. This could be things like gas, groceries, and even your phone bill. Be sure to pay off the balance in full every month to ensure you don’t accrue interest charges.
Take advantage of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide bonus points or miles for specific types of purchases, including eating out or traveling. Make sure you review the rewards program of your credit card and avail any bonus categories that align with your spending habits.
Think about a balance transfer
If you are currently in debt on a credit card, think about transferring that balance onto an account with a travel credit card that has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfers. This will enable you to pay off your debts without accruing interest and simultaneously help you hit the minimum spend for the credit card’s bonus.
Utilize your miles and points carefully
When you’ve earned a significant amount of miles or points, be sure to use the points or miles wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card, and evaluate the benefits of different redemption options. For instance, using your points to purchase a flight directly through the airline may offer better value than using them for an gift card.
Another option is to get 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 freedom when it comes to redeeming your rewards. For instance, you might be able to transfer your reward to an airline’s frequent flyer program or a reward program for hotels. This gives an access wider variety of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks which are not accessible through the rewards program on your credit card.
Also, discover if your credit card offers certain benefits that will help you save money on travel expenses. Some cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that can be very beneficial when traveling.
If you’re traveling with someone else and both of you earn rewards with your own credit card. Make sure you don’t split the cost on the same card. Also, make sure you keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
Overall, the key to reaping the maximum benefits from your rewards for travel is to be aware of your credit card’s rewards program and to ensure you’re making use of it in the most effective method possible. By using all of the methods I’ve described, you’ll be able to earn rewards fast, exchange them for travel experiences that are worth it, and enjoy a wide assortment of travel-related perks.