Are you tired of spending a fortune on airfare? Then, there’s a 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 that can then be used to score discounted or complimentary flights for your desired destinations. With a bit of imagination and some knowledge, you can be jet-setting for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. These miles can then be used to purchase discounted or even free flights. Some credit cards also permit you to use miles towards hotel stays or rental car discounts.
How Does it Work?
The secret to successful hacking travel is taking advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and to establish frequent flyer miles with a limited number of airlines. When you are ready to make a booking, evaluate the cost. If the flight is less than $300, it’s generally better to pay cash and save your miles to take a more costly flight. If your flights begin to climb above $500, you’ll want to look into the frequent flyer account to find out which airline will give you the best price. All it boils down to is the amount of miles or points in your travel bank for each airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets of travel hacking? Your first task is opening the credit card that comes with a sign-up offer. There are many great credit cards that provide many advantages and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, your habits with spending and what features are crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit card options that can be excellent 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 hit the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to get the bonus. Every card has different rules, so be certain to verify the details. Then, it’s all about racking miles and using them to plan your dream trip!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your ideas?
Once you’ve accumulated the points balance, it’s time to cash them in for some delicious travel! Different credit card companies will have different methods of redeeming your points, but here are a few examples from some of the providers I have experience with:
Escape with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have an Chase card, you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through the portal, you’ll get access to nearly every airline, and you can make use of a combination of the points as well as cash in order to book your travel. You can even book completely using points if you’ve got the balance for it! Sometimes even if you don’t have enough points to cover the total 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 tired of paying full price for your flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United You have the option to pay with either points or dollars? Butbe aware in case you do not have enough points you cannot combine points and dollars for the same flight. If you’re a few point short United gives you the option to purchase additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers an enjoyable and comfortable travel experience that includes 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. But, JetBlue has a unique feature that allows you to join your points with family members to accrue 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 like me or my travel buddy Becca You’re probably quite frugal and it can be challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the required amount to qualify for a credit card bonus. Don’t worry as we’ve done it 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 pay your rent using a credit card, do it! Just be prepared to be charged a fee, typically around 3 percent. It may be worth it in the end when the bonus is large enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the minimum spend is to pay for the medical bills. If you do not have any medical expenses in the near future then ask your relatives if you could pay their medical bills and they can pay you back.
Make a payment to pay off the loan
If you have any loans, consider repaying them using your credit card. Be sure to pay the credit card balance completely so that you don’t accrue additional debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Discuss your family with them and see if they have any major expenses in the near future which you could help pay for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to trust the person and they know why you’re doing this.
If you’re celebrating the holidays, consider buying all of your gifts with cards from your credit account. In this way, you’ll hit that minimum spend and be ready for giving gifts. Be sure to avoid spending more than you were contemplating to.
There are plenty of ways to get the most of the travel credit card. You can accrue points or miles to be used towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few more ways to maximize your rewards
Make travel reservations using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, make use of your travel credit card for booking your hotel, flight, rental car, and other travel costs. Not only will you achieve the required amount for your credit card, however, you’ll also earn points or miles for these costs.
Make use of your credit card to pay for everyday expenses
Another method to reach the minimum spending requirement and earn points is by using your credit card to pay everyday expenses. This could include things like food, gas or even your phone bill. Be sure to pay the balance off in full each month so you don’t accumulate interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide bonus points or miles on certain kinds of purchases, like eating out or traveling. Make sure you review your credit card’s rewards program and make use of any bonus categories that match with your spending routines.
Consider the possibility of transferring your balance
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer the balance to the travel credit card which has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfers. This will let you pay off your debts without accruing interest and simultaneously help you hit the minimum spend for the credit card’s bonus.
Use your points or miles prudently
When you’ve earned a significant amount of miles or points, be sure to use the points or miles wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card, and evaluate the worth of various redemption options. For example, using points to purchase a flight directly through the airline may give you a better return than using them for an gift card.
Another tip is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer your reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will allow you to enjoy a greater variety of choices and more flexibility when you want to redeem your rewards. For instance, you might be eligible to transfer your rewards to an airline’s frequent flyer program or Hotel rewards programme. This can give an access greater variety of hotels, flights and other travel benefits which are not offered through the rewards program on your credit card.
Also, find out whether your credit card has some perks that could save you money on travel-related expenses. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that are invaluable when you travel.
Finally, when you’re traveling with someone else and both of you earn rewards using your credit card. Just remember that you can’t divide the cost with the same card, and be sure to keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
Overall, the key to maximizing your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program on your credit card and make sure you’re making use of it in the most effective method. By using a combination of the strategies I’ve listed that you can earn rewards fast, exchange rewards for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad assortment of travel-related perks.