Are you tired of paying a fortune on airfare? Good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting method to convert credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into miles which can be used to obtain discounted or cheap flights from your dream destinations. With a little imagination and a little bit of insider information, you’ll fly for no cost in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. These miles can then be used to purchase discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards will also let you redeem miles towards hotel stays or car rental deals.
How Does it Work?
The secret to successful travel hacking is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and to establish frequent flyer miles with a limited number of airlines. When it comes time to make a booking take a look at the price. If the price is less than $300, it’s generally better to pay in cash and use your miles to pay to book a higher-priced flight. If your flights begin to climb over $500, you’ll need to review your frequent flyer accounts to determine which airline offers you the best price. All it boils down to is the number of points or miles you have in your travel account for each airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to travel hacking? Your first task is to open an account with a sign-up bonus. There are many great credit cards with many advantages and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, your habits with spending and what features are essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards that are perfect 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 reach the limit of spending minimum in order to receive the bonus. Every card has different rules, so be certain to verify this information. Then you can begin to rack up miles and then using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your goals?
After you’ve accrued your points balance, you’re ready to redeem them for some sweet vacation! Different credit card companies will offer different ways to redeem your points. Here are a few examples from some of the companies I have experience with:
Take a trip by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of a Chase card, you are able to redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within it, you’ll get access to virtually every airline and you can combine money and points to pay for your travel. You can book your flight entirely using points if you’ve got the balance for it! Sometimes even if you do not possess enough points for the total cost, you are able to purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with any credit card.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for your flight tickets? Did you realize that when booking directly through United, you have the option of paying using either points or dollars? Butbe aware, if you do not have enough points you aren’t able to combine dollars and points for one flight. No worries though, if you’re just a few points away, United gives you the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience with extra legroom and free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is like United’s that allows you to book with either JetBlue dollar or points but not both. The difference is that JetBlue has a unique feature that allows you to pool your points together 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 anything like me and my travel companion Becca I’m sure you’re pretty thrifty and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to reach the minimum spend for credit card bonuses. However, don’t be worried, we’ve been through it and we’re here to share our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able to pay your rent using credit card, then do it! Make sure you pay a fee, usually around 3 percent. It may be worth it in the long run when the bonus is large enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another great way to hit the spending limit is to pay for an medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses in the near future then ask your family members to pay them for theirs, and they can repay you.
Make a payment to pay off the loan
If you have any loans take into consideration paying them off with the credit card you have. 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
Discuss your family with them and look into any major expenses in the near future that you can help pay for. Just make sure you trust the person and they know why you’re taking the initiative.
If it’s the holiday season you should consider purchasing all your gifts using your credit card. In this way, you’ll meet the minimum spending limit and be ready for giving gifts. Be sure to avoid spending more than you thinking of.
There are plenty of methods to get the most from the travel credit card. You can accrue points or miles to be used towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few additional ways to maximize your rewards
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, use you travel credit card to pay for your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as any other travel expenses. You’ll not only be able to hit the minimum spend to earn your credit card bonus and earn points, however, you’ll also earn points or miles for those costs.
Use your credit card for everyday expenses
Another way to meet the minimum spending requirement to earn rewards is by using your credit card for everyday expenses. This could be things like gas, groceries or even your phone bill. Be sure to pay off the balance in full every month to ensure you don’t pay interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or points in exchange for specific types of purchases, like eating out or traveling. Make sure you review the rewards program of your credit card and take advantage of any bonus categories that match with your spending habits.
Take into consideration a balance transfer
If you are currently in debt on a credit card, you might want to transfer that balance to a travel credit card with an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will let you pay off the debt without accruing interest and simultaneously help you hit the minimum spending requirement for the credit card’s bonus.
Utilize your miles and points prudently
When you’ve earned a significant amount of miles or points, be sure to use them in a responsible manner. Check out the rewards program on your credit card, and evaluate the worth of various redemption options. For instance, using points to book a flight directly with the airline might offer better value than using them to purchase a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer rewards to different loyalty program. This will allow you to enjoy a greater variety of options and greater freedom when it comes to you want to redeem your rewards. For example, you may be capable of transferring your rewards to the frequent flyer program of an airline or a Hotel rewards programme. This can give the benefit of a larger range of flights, hotels as well as other travel perks that may not be offered through the rewards program on your credit card.
In addition, you should discover the card’s benefits. any perks that can reduce your travel costs. Many cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection and other benefits that are invaluable when you travel.
When you travel with someone else and both of you earn rewards using your own credit card. Be aware that you cannot divide the cost with the same card and make sure to keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
Overall, the key to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to know the rewards program on your credit card and make sure you’re making use of this program in the most effective method. Utilizing all of the methods I’ve described, you’ll be able to get rewards in a short time, use rewards for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide range of travel perks.