Are you tired of spending a fortune on airfare? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting method to convert credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles that can then be used to score discounted or free flights to your ideal destinations. With a little imagination and a little bit of insider know-how, you’ll be jet-setting for free 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. The miles can be used to buy discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards permit you to use miles to pay for hotel stays or rental car deals.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for successful travel hacking is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and establishing a frequent flyer mile program for a specific group of airlines. When it comes time to make a booking, evaluate the cost. If the cost is less than $300, it’s generally better to pay in cash and use your miles to pay to take a more costly flight. If the prices start to rise 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 number of miles or points in your travel account for every airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to travel hacking? The first step is opening a credit card with a sign-up bonus. There are many great credit cards that provide a variety of features and benefits. It depends on the type of airline, your habits with spending and what features are crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards excellent to hack travel
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
After you’ve been accepted for a credit card you’ll have to meet the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to qualify for the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so be certain to verify this information. From there, it’s all about racking up miles and using them to book your dream vacation!
Ready to jet-set with your points?
Once you’ve accumulated your points balance, you’re ready to cash them in for some sweet travel! Different credit card providers will have different methods of redeeming your points, but here are a few examples from some of the providers I’ve had experience with:
Getaway by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of a Chase credit card, then you are able to redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within it, you’ll have access to almost every airline. You can make use of a combination of the points as well as cash in order to pay for your next trip. You can book your flight entirely on points if you have the balance for it! Sometimes even if you don’t possess enough points for the full cost, you are able to book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with every credit card.
Are you tired of paying full price for your flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option to pay with either points or dollars? But, be careful that if you don’t have enough points you cannot combine dollars and points on flights. Don’t worry, though, if you’re only a couple of point short United gives you the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue provides passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience with extra space and complimentary snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines, allowing you to book with either JetBlue points or dollars however, not both. However, JetBlue offers a distinct feature where you can combine your points with family members to accrue points twice as quickly. Make sure to establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me or my travel companion Becca You’re probably quite frugal and it can be challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to reach the required amount to qualify for credit card bonuses. Don’t worry because we’ve been there and are here to share our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able to pay for your rent using credit card, then do it! Just be prepared to be charged a fee, typically about 3%. It might be worth it in the end if the bonus is high enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another way to reach the spending limit is to cover an medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses in the near future Ask your relatives if you could pay for theirs and they’ll reimburse you.
Pay off the loan
If you have any loans, consider paying them off with your credit card. Make sure to pay off the credit card balance completely so that you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask family for help
Ask your family members to see if they have any large expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Make sure that you are able to trust the person and they are aware of the reason for doing it.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season, consider buying all your gifts with the credit card you have. In this way, you’ll hit that minimum spend and also be prepared to give gifts. Just make sure you’re not paying more than you thinking of.
There are many ways to get the most out of using your credit or debit card for travel. You can earn miles or points to use towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few more ideas for maximizing your rewards:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a vacation, make use of you travel credit card to book your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as other travel costs. You’ll not only achieve the minimum spend for your credit card as well, but you’ll also be earning points or miles to cover those costs.
Utilize your credit card to pay for everyday costs
Another way to meet the minimum amount of spending in order to accumulate points making use of your credit card to pay everyday expenses. This can include items like groceries, gas or even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay off the balance each month in full so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or points in exchange 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.
Think about a balance transfer
If you have existing debt on a credit card, think about transferring that balance to the travel credit card which has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfers. This will enable you to pay off the debt without accruing interest. It will also assist you in reaching the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus.
Use your points or miles wisely
When you’ve earned a significant amount of points or miles Make sure to utilize the points or miles wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and then compare the benefits of different redemption options. For example using points to book a ticket directly with the airline could offer better value than using them to purchase the purchase of a gift card.
Another option is to get an rewards card that permits you to transfer your reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will allow you to have a wider range of choices and more flexibility in redeeming your rewards. For example, you may be eligible to transfer your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or hotel rewards program. This can give an access greater variety of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks which are not offered through the rewards program of your credit card.
Also, determine the card’s benefits. any perks that can save you money on travel-related expenses. Some cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that are very beneficial when traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a companion, both of you can get rewards on your own credit card. Be aware that you cannot share the costs on the same card, and be sure you keep track of your rewards separately.
The key to making the most of your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program of your credit card and to ensure you’re using this program in the most effective way possible. By using a combination of the methods I’ve described in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards quickly, redeem rewards for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad assortment of travel-related perks.