Are you tired of spending a fortune on airfare? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting way to convert credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles, that can then be used to get discounted or even free flights to your ideal destinations. With a little bit of creativity and some insider know-how, you’ll fly for no cost within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about swapping credit card sign-up bonus and rewards for airline miles. These miles can later be used to purchase cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards let you redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or car rental discounts.
How Does it Work?
The key to successful hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and establishing a frequent flyer mile program on a select group of airlines. When you are ready to book a flight consider the cost. If the cost is less than $300, it’s generally better to pay in cash and save your miles to take a more costly flight. When the flights start getting above $500, you’ll want to check your frequent flyer accounts to see which airline can give you the most value. It all boils down to the number of miles or points 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 an account with a sign-up bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that provide a variety of benefits and features. It depends on the type of airline, spending habits and what features are important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards excellent to use for hacking 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 minimum spend limit in order to receive the bonus. Every card has different guidelines, so make sure to check for the details. Then it’s all about building miles and using them to plan your dream trip!
Are you ready to set sail with your goals?
Now that you’ve built up the points amount, it’s time to cash them in for some sweet vacation! Different credit card companies will have different methods of redeeming your points. Here are a few examples from some of the providers I’ve had experience with:
Getaway by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have a Chase card, you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within this portal you’ll have access to nearly every airline, and you can use a combination of money and points to book your next trip. You can even book entirely on points if you have the funds to pay for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t have enough points to cover the full cost, you are able to purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using the credit card of your choice.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United You have the option to pay with dollars or points? Butbe aware, if you don’t have enough points, you aren’t able to combine dollars and points for the same flight. No worries though, if you’re only a couple of point short United also offers the option of buying additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue offers an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience with extra legroom as well as free snacks. Plus, their booking process is like United’s which allows customers to book using either JetBlue either dollars or points, however, not both. However, JetBlue offers a distinct feature where you can join your points with your relatives to earn points twice as quickly. Make sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel buddy Becca I’m sure you’re pretty frugal and it can be daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to hit the minimum amount required to earn a credit card bonus. But don’t fret, we’ve been through it and we’re 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 your rent using credit card, then do it! Just be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually around 3%. It could be worthwhile over the long term if the bonus is high enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another great way to hit the spending limit is to pay for the medical bills. If you do not have any medical expenses due, ask your family members to pay their medical bills and they can reimburse you.
Make a payment to 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 completely so that you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Talk to your family and determine if they’ve got any major expenses in the near future that you can help pay for. Just make sure you have confidence in the person you are talking to and they are aware of the reason for doing this.
If it’s the holiday season take into consideration buying all your gifts with your credit card. This way you can hit that minimum spend and also be ready for giving gifts. Make sure that you’re not paying more than you already thinking of.
There are a lot of methods to get the most of the travel credit card. You can accrue points or miles to use towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are some additional ways to maximize the rewards you earn:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, use the travel credit card for booking your flight, hotel, rental car, and other travel costs. You’ll not only achieve the required amount to earn your credit card bonus and earn points, however, you’ll also earn points or miles to cover the expenses.
Make use of your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday expenditures
Another way to hit the minimum spend and earn points is utilising your credit cards to pay every day expenditures. This could include things like gas, groceries and even your telephone bill. Just make sure to pay off the balance in full every month to ensure you don’t accumulate interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide bonus points or miles for certain types of purchases, such as eating out or traveling. Make sure you review your credit card’s rewards program and take advantage of any bonus categories that match with your spending habits.
Take into consideration the possibility of transferring your balance
If you are currently in debt on a credit card, think about transferring the balance to an account with a travel credit card that has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfers. This will enable you to pay off your debt without accruing interest. It will also help you hit the minimum spending requirement for the credit card bonus.
Utilize your miles and points wisely
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of points or miles make sure you use them in a responsible manner. Examine the rewards program of your credit card, and evaluate the benefits of different redemption options. For example using points to book a ticket 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 reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will let you enjoy a greater variety of choices and more freedom when it comes to redeeming your rewards. For instance, you might be capable of transferring your reward to the frequent flyer program of an airline or a reward program for hotels. This will give the benefit of a larger selection of hotels, flights and other travel benefits which are not offered through the rewards program of your credit card.
In addition, you should find out the card’s benefits. certain benefits that will help you save money on travel expenses. Many cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection, and other benefits that can be very beneficial when traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a friend and both of you get rewards on your own credit card. Be aware that you cannot share the costs on the same card. Also, make sure to track the rewards you earn separately.
Overall, the key to maximizing your travel rewards is to know the rewards program on your credit card and to ensure you’re using your credit card in the most effective method. By using a combination of the 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.