Are you tired of paying a fortune on airfare? Well, good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s a fun way to convert credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles, which you can use to get discounted or even complimentary flights for your dream destinations. With a little bit of imagination and some information, you’ll travel for free within a matter of minutes.
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 cheap or free flight tickets. Some credit cards also let you redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or car rental offers.
How Does it Work?
The key to successful hacking travel is taking advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and establishing a frequent flyer mile program with a limited number of airlines. When it comes time to make a booking consider the cost. If the cost is less than $300, it’s best to pay in cash and save your miles for a more expensive flight. If your flights begin to climb over $500, you’ll need to look into the frequent flyer account to find out which airline will give you the best price. It all boils down to the amount of miles or points you have in your travel savings account for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets of travel hacking? Your first task is opening a credit card with a sign-up offer. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that provide many benefits and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, spending habits and what features are crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards perfect to use for hacking travel:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
If you’ve been approved for a credit card you’ll need to reach the minimum spend limit in order to receive the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so be sure to check for the details. From there you can begin to rack miles and then using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your goals?
Now that you’ve built up the points balance, it’s time to cash them in for some nice travel! Different credit card providers will offer different ways to redeem your points. Here are some examples from some of the companies I’ve worked with:
Take a trip with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own an Chase card, you are able to redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In it, you’ll have access to almost every airline and you can combine the points as well as cash in order to pay for your travel. You can even book completely with points if you’ve enough balance! Sometimes even if you don’t have enough points to cover the full cost, you still can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using the credit card of your choice.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for your flight tickets? Did you realize that when booking directly through United you can choose the option to pay with dollars or points? Be careful in case you don’t have enough points, you can’t combine points and dollars on one flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re just a few point short United provides the option of buying additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue offers passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience with extra legroom as well as free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines, allowing passengers to book flights using JetBlue points or dollars, but not both. However, JetBlue has a unique feature where you can join your points with your family members and earn points twice as quickly. Just make sure you can verify that you are a family member before trying to hack into the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me or my travel buddy Becca You’re probably quite economical and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to hit the minimum spend for a credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried because we’ve been there and are here to share some of our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able to pay for your rent with a credit card, do it! Make sure you pay a cost, which is usually around 3 percent. It could be worthwhile in the end when the bonus is large enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another great way to hit the minimum spend is to cover a medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses coming up Ask your family members to pay for theirs and they’ll pay you back.
Pay off a loan
If you’re a borrower, consider repaying them using an credit card. Be sure to pay the credit card balance in full so you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Talk to your family and look into any big expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to trust the person and they know why you’re doing this.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season you should consider purchasing all your gifts using your credit card. This way you can meet the minimum spending limit and be ready for giving gifts. Be sure to avoid paying more than you already contemplating to.
There are a lot of methods to get the most from using your credit or debit card for travel. You can accumulate miles or points that you can spend on airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few more ideas for maximizing the rewards you earn:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, use you travel credit card to book your hotel, flight, rental car, and any other travel expenses. Not only will you be able to hit the required amount to qualify for a credit card bonus and earn points, however, you’ll also earn points or miles on those expenses.
Utilize your credit card to pay for all your daily expenses
Another method to reach the minimum amount of spending and earn points is using your credit card for every day expenditures. This could be things like gas, groceries and even your telephone bill. Just make sure to pay off the balance in full each month so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or points in exchange on certain kinds of purchases, like eating out or traveling. Be sure to review your credit card’s rewards program and avail the bonus categories that are in line with your spending habits.
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 the introductory APR 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 amount required to earn the credit card bonus.
Use your points or miles carefully
If you’ve amassed a large amount of points or miles, be sure to use the points or miles wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and then compare the benefits of different redemption options. For instance using your points to book a flight directly through the airline may give you a better value than using them to purchase a gift card.
Another option is to get an rewards card that permits you to transfer reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will allow you to enjoy a greater variety of choices and more flexibility when making use of your rewards. For example, you may be able to transfer your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a Hotel rewards programme. This gives an access greater range of flights, hotels, and other travel perks that aren’t offered through your credit card’s rewards program.
Also, determine whether your credit card has certain benefits that will save you money on travel-related costs. Many cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that are extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
If you’re traveling with a companion, both of you can earn rewards with your credit card. Make sure you don’t divide the cost with the same card, and be sure to keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do to making the most of your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program on your credit card and make sure you’re making use of it in the most effective way possible. Utilizing all of the strategies I’ve listed, you’ll be able to get rewards in a short time, use them for travel experiences that are worth it and benefit from a wide range of travel perks.