Are you tired of spending a fortune on airfare? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking is the answer to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting way to turn credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into miles which you can use to obtain discounted or complimentary flights for your desired destinations. With a bit of imagination and some knowledge, you can travel for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. These miles can then be used to buy discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards will also let you redeem miles for hotel stays and rental car offers.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for success in hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and to establish a frequent flyer mile program with a limited number of airlines. When it’s time to book a flight, evaluate the cost. If the price is less than $300, it’s usually better to pay in cash and save your miles to book a higher-priced flight. If your flights begin to climb above $500, you’ll want to look into those frequent flyer accounts to find out which airline will give you the most value. It all boils down to the number of points or miles you have in your travel account for each airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to travel hacking? Your first task is to open the credit card that comes with a sign-up bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards that offer a variety of features and benefits. It all depends on your preferred airline, your spending habits, and what features are crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit card options that can be excellent to use for hacking 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 be sure to look up the details. From there, it’s all about racking up miles and using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to set sail with your ideas?
Once you’ve accumulated the points balance, you’re ready to redeem them for some sweet getaway! Different credit card companies will have different methods for redeeming your points. Here are a few examples from some of the providers I’ve worked with:
Take a trip through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you own a Chase card, you are able to redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In this portal you’ll have access to virtually every airline and you can combine points and cash to book your travel. You can book your flight entirely on points if you have the balance for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t have enough points to cover the full cost, you are able to 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 full price for your flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United You have the option to pay with dollars or points? But, be careful, if you don’t have enough points you cannot combine dollars and points for the same flight. If you’re a few points short, United provides the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers passengers a relaxing and pleasant travel experience that includes extra legroom as well as free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to United’s that allows customers to book using either JetBlue either dollars or points, however, not both. However, JetBlue has a unique feature that allows you to join your points with family members to accrue points twice as quickly. Just make sure you can verify that you are a family member before trying to hack into the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re like me and my travel buddy Becca, you’re probably pretty thrifty and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to reach the required amount to qualify for credit card bonuses. But don’t fret as we’ve done it and we’re here to share our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able pay your rent with credit card, go for it! Be prepared to be charged a fee, typically at least 3%. It may be worth it in the long run when the bonus is large enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the spending limit is to cover a medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses in the near future Ask your family members if you can pay their medical bills and they will repay you.
Pay off a loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan, consider making payments on them with an credit card. Be sure to pay off the balance on your credit card in full so you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Ask your family members to see if they have any big expenses coming up which you could help pay for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to are able to trust the person and that they know why you’re doing it.
If it’s the holiday season you should consider purchasing all your gifts using your credit card. So you’ll be able to hit that minimum spend and also be prepared for gift giving. Be sure to avoid paying more than you thinking of.
There are many methods to get the most from your travel credit card. accumulate miles or points that you can spend on flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are some additional ways to maximize your rewards:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, make use of you travel credit card for booking your flight, hotel, rental car, and any other travel-related expenses. You’ll not only be able to meet the minimum spend to earn your credit card bonus and earn points, but you’ll also be earning points or miles on the expenditures.
Make use of your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday expenses
Another way to meet the minimum amount of spending and earn points is by making use of your credit card for every day expenses. This can include items like groceries, gas, and 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
Some travel credit cards will offer bonus points or miles for specific types of purchases, like eating out or travelling. Be sure to review your credit card’s rewards program and take advantage of any bonus categories that align with your spending routines.
Take into consideration the possibility of transferring your balance
If you have existing debt on a credit card, you might want to transfer that balance to a travel credit card with the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfers. This will let you pay off the debt without accruing interest, and also help you hit the minimum amount required to earn the credit card’s bonus.
Use your points or miles carefully
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of points or miles, be sure to use them wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card, and evaluate the benefits of different redemption options. For instance, using your points to book a flight directly with the airline might provide you with a greater return than using them for an gift card.
Another tip is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer your points to other loyalty programs. This allows 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 reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or reward program for hotels. This can give the benefit of a greater selection of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks that may not be accessible through the rewards program on your credit card.
Also, discover the card’s benefits. any perks that can reduce your travel costs. Many cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that are extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a companion, both of you can get rewards on your credit card. Be aware that you cannot divide the cost with the same card. Also, make sure you keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
In the end, the most important thing to do to making the most of your travel rewards is to understand your credit card’s rewards program and ensure that you’re making use of your credit card in the most efficient method possible. Through an array of strategies I’ve listed, you’ll be able to earn rewards quickly, redeem them for travel experiences that are worth it, and enjoy a wide range of travel perks.