Are you tired of spending a fortune on airfare? Well, good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting way to convert credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles, which can be used to get discounted or even free flights to your ideal destinations. With a little bit of creativity and some insider knowledge, you can fly for no cost in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about trading credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. The miles can be used to purchase discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards allow you to redeem miles for hotel stays and rental car deals.
How Does it Work?
The secret to successful 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 book a flight consider the cost. If the cost is under $300, it’s usually better to pay cash and save your miles to book a higher-priced flight. If the prices start to rise higher than $500, it’s best to check your 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 in your travel bank for each airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to hacking travel? Your first task is opening the credit card that comes that comes with a welcome bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that provide a variety of advantages and features. It depends on the type of airline, your spending habits, and what features are crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards perfect for travel hacking:
- 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 minimum spend limit in order to receive the bonus. Every card has different rules, so make certain to verify this information. From there it’s all about building miles and using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to set sail with your ideas?
Once you’ve accumulated your points balance, it’s time to redeem them for some sweet vacation! Different credit card companies will have different methods of redeeming your points, but here are some examples from a few of the ones I have experience with:
Take a trip through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you’re a holder of a Chase credit card, then you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through it, you’ll get access to nearly every airline and you can combine the points as well as cash in order to book your trip. You can even book entirely on points if you have the balance for it! Sometimes even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for entire cost, you still can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using every credit card.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United You have the option to pay with either points or dollars? But, be careful, if you don’t have enough points, you aren’t able to combine points and dollars on the same flight. If you’re just a few point short United gives you the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience with extra space and complimentary snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines which allows you to book with either JetBlue points or dollars, but not both. However, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that lets you combine your points with your family members and earn points twice as quickly. Make sure to 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 I’m sure you’re pretty economical and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to reach the required amount to qualify for a credit card bonus. But don’t fret because we’ve been there and we’re here to share some of our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able to pay your rent with credit card, then do it! Make sure you pay a fee, usually around 3 percent. It could be worthwhile in the long run in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the required spending is to cover an medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills in the near future, ask your family members to pay their medical bills and they’ll repay you.
Repay a loan
If you’re a borrower, consider paying them off with your credit card. Make sure to pay the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask family for help
Talk to your family and see if they have any big expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Make sure that you are able to trust the person and they are aware of the reason for doing this.
If it’s the holiday season, consider buying all of your gifts with your credit card. So you’ll be able to hit that minimum spend and also be prepared to give gifts. Be sure to avoid paying more than you already thinking of.
There are a lot of ways to get the most out of using your credit or debit card for travel and accumulate miles or points that you can spend on airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few more ways to maximize your rewards:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
If you’re planning a vacation, make use of your travel credit card to pay for your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as any other travel-related expenses. In addition, you’ll be able to hit the minimum spend to qualify for a credit card, however, you’ll also earn points or miles on the expenses.
Make use of your credit card to pay for all your daily expenditures
Another method to reach the minimum spend to earn rewards is by utilising your credit cards to pay for daily expenditures. This could be items like groceries, gas and even your telephone bill. Just make sure to pay off the balance in full each month so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Make the most of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or bonus points for certain types of purchases, including 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.
Think about the possibility of transferring your balance
If you are currently in debt on 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 transfers. This will allow you to pay off the debt without accruing interest. It will also assist you in reaching the minimum spending requirement for 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 in a responsible manner. Review the rewards program for your credit card and compare the benefits of different redemption options. For instance you can use points to book a flight directly through the airline may give you a better value than using them for a gift card.
Another tip is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer rewards to different loyalty program. This will allow you to have a wider range of options and greater flexibility in making use of your rewards. For example, you may be able to transfer your rewards to an airline’s frequent flyer program or Hotel rewards programme. This can give the benefit of a larger selection of hotels, flights, and other travel perks that aren’t offered through the rewards program on your credit card.
Additionally, try to find out whether your credit card has any perks that can help you save money on travel costs. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that can be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
If you’re traveling with someone else, both of you can earn rewards using your own credit card. Be aware that you cannot share the costs on the same card and make sure to keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
Overall, the key to making the most of your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program of your credit card and ensure that you’re making use of your credit card in the most effective method. Utilizing an array of methods I’ve described that you can get rewards in a short time, use them for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide assortment of travel-related perks.