Are you tired of paying 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 cheap flights from your ideal destinations. With a bit of imagination and a little bit of insider knowledge, you can be jet-setting for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about swapping credit card sign-up bonus and rewards for airline miles. These miles can later be used to pay for cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards let you redeem miles towards hotel stays or rental car offers.
How Does it Work?
The key to successful hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and building out frequent flyer miles on a select group of airlines. When you are ready to book a flight consider the cost. If the price 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 above $500, you’ll want to look into the frequent flyer account and see which airline can give you the most value. All it boils down to is the amount of points or miles you have in your travel bank for each airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to hacking travel? The first step is opening the credit card that comes with a sign-up offer. There are plenty of great credit cards with many advantages and features. It is all dependent on the airline, your habits with spending and what features are essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards perfect for travel hacking:
- 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 minimum spend limit in order to receive the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so make sure to look up this information. From there, it’s all about racking up miles and using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your points?
Once you’ve accumulated your points amount, it’s time to cash them in for some sweet getaway! Different credit card providers will have different methods of redeeming your points, but here are some examples from a few of the providers I’ve had experience with:
Getaway by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have an Chase credit card, then you are able to redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through it, you’ll get access to virtually every airline. You can use a combination of the points as well as cash in order to pay for your next trip. You can book your flight entirely 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 total cost, you are able to purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using any credit card.
Are you tired of paying full price for your flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United, you have the option of paying using dollars or points? Butbe aware, if you do not have enough points you can’t combine dollars and points for flights. No worries though, if you’re just a few points short, United also offers the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience , with more legroom as well as free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is like United’s that allows you to book with either JetBlue dollar or points however, not both. However, JetBlue offers a distinct feature where you can pool your points together 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 You’re probably quite thrifty and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to reach the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried as we’ve done it 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! Make sure you be charged a fee, typically around 3%. It could be worthwhile in the end when the bonus is large enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another excellent way to meet the minimum spend is to pay for an medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses in the near future then ask your family members to pay for theirs and they’ll reimburse you.
Repay the loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan you owe, think about paying them off with your credit card. Just make sure you pay off the credit card balance completely so that you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Ask your family members to look into any major expenses in the near future that you can contribute for. Just make sure you are able to trust the person and that they understand why you’re doing this.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season take into consideration buying all your gifts using the credit card you have. In this way, you’ll meet the minimum spending limit and also be ready for gift giving. Be sure to avoid spending more than you already thinking of.
There are a lot of ways to make the most out of the travel credit card. accrue points or miles to use towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few additional ideas for maximizing your rewards
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, use your travel credit card to book your flight, hotel, rental car, and any other travel expenses. In addition, you’ll achieve the required amount to earn your credit card as well, but you’ll also be earning points or miles to cover the costs.
Use your credit card for everyday expenditures
Another method to reach the minimum spending requirement and earn points is by making use of your credit card to pay for every day costs. This can include things like gas, groceries and even your telephone bill. Just make sure to pay off the balance in full each month so you don’t pay interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or points in exchange for specific types of purchases, including eating out or traveling. Be sure to review your rewards program on your credit card and make use of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending habits.
Take into consideration a balance transfer
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a high-interest credit card, think about transferring that balance to an account with a travel credit card that has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfers. This will enable you to pay off your debt without accruing interest and simultaneously aid in achieving the minimum spending requirement for the credit card bonus.
Utilize your miles and points wisely
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize them wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card and then compare the worth of various redemption options. For instance using points to book a flight directly with the airline might provide you with a greater value than using them to purchase an gift card.
Another tip is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will allow you to enjoy a greater variety of options and greater flexibility when making use of your rewards. For instance, you might be eligible to transfer your rewards to the frequent flyer program of an airline or a hotel rewards program. This can give the benefit of a greater selection of hotels, flights, and other travel perks which are not accessible through your credit card’s rewards program.
In addition, you should find out whether your credit card has any perks that can help you save money on travel expenses. Many cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that could be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
When you travel with someone else, both of you can get rewards on your credit card. Just remember that you can’t divide the cost with the same card, and be sure to keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
Overall, the key to making the most of your travel rewards is to know the rewards program of your credit card and make sure you’re using this program in the most effective method. Utilizing 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 assortment of travel-related perks.