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 problems. It’s an exciting method to turn credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into miles which can be used to get discounted or even free flights to your ideal destinations. With a little bit of imagination and a little bit of insider information, you’ll fly for no cost in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of trading credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can then be used to pay for discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards allow you to redeem miles towards hotel stays or car rental discounts.
How Does it Work?
The secret to success in hacking travel is taking advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and building out frequent flyer miles for a specific group of airlines. When you are ready to make a booking, evaluate the cost. If the cost is under $300, it’s generally better to pay cash and use your miles to pay to take a more costly flight. If your flights begin to climb over $500, you’ll need to look into those frequent flyer accounts to see which airline can give you the best deal. All it boils down to is the number of points or miles you have in your travel savings account for each airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to hacking travel? The first step is opening the credit card that comes that comes with a welcome bonus. There are many great credit cards that provide many advantages and features. It depends on the type of airline, your habits with spending and what features are important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards that are great to hack travel
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
If you’ve been approved for a credit card, you’ll need to reach the limit of spending minimum in order to get the bonus. Each card has its own guidelines, so make sure to check for the details. From there, it’s all about racking up miles and using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your points?
After you’ve accrued the points amount, it’s time to use them towards delicious getaway! Different credit card companies have different methods of redeeming your points, but here are a few examples from some of the ones I’ve had experience with:
Getaway by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own an Chase cards, you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through the portal, you’ll get access to nearly every airline, and you can combine the points as well as cash in order to book your travel. You can even book completely with points if you’ve the balance for it! Sometimes even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for entire price, you can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with every credit card.
Are you fed up of paying full price for your flight tickets? Did you realize that when booking directly through United, you have the option to pay with either points or dollars? Be careful, if you do not have enough points you cannot combine points and dollars on flights. No worries though, if you’re just a few points short, United also offers the option to purchase additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience , with more legroom and free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is like United’s which allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue points or dollars, however, not both. However, JetBlue offers a distinct feature that lets you pool your points together with your family members and earn points twice as fast. Just make sure you can establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack into the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel buddy Becca, you’re probably pretty frugal and it can be difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to hit the required amount to qualify for the credit card bonus. But don’t fret because we’ve been there and we’re here to share our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able to pay for your rent using a credit card, do it! Be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually at least 3%. It may be worth it in the end when the bonus is large enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another great way to hit the minimum spend is to cover an medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses due Ask your family members if you can pay them for theirs, and they will pay you back.
Repay the loan
If you’re a borrower you owe, think about paying them off with an credit card. Just make sure you pay off the balance on your credit card completely so that you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask family for help
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 have confidence in the person you are talking to and they are aware of the reason for doing this.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season take into consideration buying all your gifts with your credit card. So you’ll be able to meet the minimum spending limit and also be ready for gift giving. Make sure that you’re not paying more than you already contemplating to.
There are plenty of ways to get the most of using your credit or debit card for travel. You can earn miles or points to use towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few additional ideas for maximizing your rewards
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a vacation, make use of your travel credit card to pay for your hotel, flight, rental car, and any other travel expenses. You’ll not only achieve the minimum spend to earn your credit card, however, you’ll also earn points or miles to cover the expenditures.
Use your credit card for everyday costs
Another way to hit the minimum amount of spending and earn points is by making use of your credit card to pay every day costs. This can include things like food, gas or even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay the balance off in full each month so you don’t pay interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide bonus points or miles for certain types of purchases, like dining or travel. Make sure you review your credit card’s rewards program and make use of any bonus categories that match with your spending routines.
Take into consideration a balance transfer
If you are currently in debt on a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer that balance onto 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 debts without accruing interest and simultaneously aid in achieving the minimum spending requirement for the credit card bonus.
Make use of your miles or points wisely
If you’ve amassed a large amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize them wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and compare the worth of various redemption options. For instance you can use points to book a flight directly with the airline could provide you with a greater value than using them to purchase the purchase of a gift card.
Another tip is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer rewards to different loyalty program. This will allow you to enjoy a greater variety of choices and more flexibility in making use of your rewards. For instance, you might be eligible to transfer your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a hotel rewards program. This will give the benefit of a wider variety of hotels, flights, and other travel perks which are not available through the rewards program of your credit card.
In addition, you should determine whether your credit card has some perks that could save you money on travel-related costs. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection and other benefits that are extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with someone else each of you will be able to earn rewards with your own credit card. Make sure you don’t share the costs on the same card, and be sure to track your rewards separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do to maximizing your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program on your credit card and to ensure you’re using your credit card in the most effective method possible. By using a combination of the strategies I’ve outlined in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards quickly, redeem them for travel experiences that are worth it and take advantage of a broad range of travel perks.