Are you tired of spending a fortune on airfare? Well, good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting method to turn credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles, which you can use to get discounted or even cheap flights from your desired destinations. With a little imagination and some 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 incentives for airline miles. These miles can then be used to purchase discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards permit you to use miles towards hotel stays or car rental deals.
How Does it Work?
The key to successful hacking travel is taking advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and to establish a frequent flyer mile program on a select group of airlines. When it comes time to make a booking, evaluate the cost. If the flight is under $300, it’s usually better to pay in cash and use your miles to pay to book a higher-priced flight. If the prices start to rise over $500, you’ll need to check those frequent flyer accounts and find out which airline will give you the best deal. All it boils down to is the number of points or miles you have you have in your travel savings account for each airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to hacking travel? First step opening the credit card that comes that comes with a welcome bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards with various advantages and features. It depends on the type of airline, your spending habits, and what features are essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards that are 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 have to meet the minimum spend limit in order to qualify for the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so be certain to verify this information. From there, it’s all about racking up miles, and then using them to book your dream vacation!
Ready to jet-set with your points?
Now that you’ve built up your points balance, you’re ready to cash them in for some delicious vacation! Different credit card providers will offer different ways to redeem your points, but here are some examples from a few of the companies I’ve worked with:
Escape through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you have a Chase cards, you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through it, you’ll have access to almost every airline and you can combine points and cash to book your next trip. You can even book completely with points if you’ve the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you do not be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for entire cost, you still can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using every credit card.
Are you tired of paying full price for flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option of paying with dollars or points? Butbe aware that if you don’t have enough points you aren’t able to combine dollars and points for one flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re just a few point short United also offers the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides an enjoyable and comfortable travel experience that includes extra legroom as well as free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to United’s, allowing you to book with either JetBlue points or dollars but not both. The difference is that JetBlue has a unique feature where you can combine your points with family members to accrue points twice as fast. Be sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack into the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re 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 in order to meet the required amount to qualify for a credit card bonus. But don’t fret because we’ve been there and are 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 with credit card, then do it! Just be prepared to pay a fee, usually at least 3 percent. It may be worth it in the long run if the bonus is high enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another way to reach the minimum spend is to pay for a medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills due, ask your relatives if you could pay their medical bills and they will pay you back.
Make a payment to pay off a loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan you owe, think about paying them off with your credit card. Make sure to pay off the credit card balance in full so you don’t accrue additional debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Talk to your family and look into any big expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Make sure that you are able to are able to trust the person and that they know why you’re taking the initiative.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season you should consider purchasing all your gifts with the credit card you have. In this way, you’ll reach the minimum spending requirement and also be ready for giving gifts. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you already thinking of.
There are a lot of ways to get the most of using your credit or debit card for travel and accumulate miles or points that you can spend on flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are some additional ways to maximize your rewards
Make travel reservations using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, make use of the travel credit card to book your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as other travel costs. Not only will you be able to hit the minimum amount of spending required to qualify for a credit card reward as well, however, you’ll also earn points or miles for the expenses.
Make use of your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday expenditures
Another way to meet the minimum spend to earn rewards is by making use of your credit card for every day expenditures. This could be items like groceries, gas and even your telephone bill. Make sure you pay the balance off in full each month so you don’t pay interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or points in exchange for specific types of purchases, including dining or travel. Make sure you review your credit card’s rewards program and take advantage of any bonus categories that align with your spending routines.
Consider a balance transfer
If you are currently in debt on a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer that balance to a travel credit card with the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfer. This will enable you to pay off your debts without accruing interest. It will also help you hit the minimum spend for the credit card’s bonus.
Use your points or miles prudently
If you’ve amassed a large amount of points or miles, be sure to use the points or miles wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and then compare the worth of various redemption options. For example you can use your points to book a ticket directly with the airline might offer better return than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer your reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will allow you to get a wider selection of choices and more flexibility in you want to redeem your rewards. For example, you may be eligible to transfer your reward to the frequent flyer program of an airline or a Hotel rewards programme. This gives you access to a larger variety of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks that may not be available through the rewards program on your credit card.
In addition, you should discover the card’s benefits. some perks that could help you save money on travel expenses. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that could be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
When you travel with a friend and both of you earn rewards with your own credit card. Make sure you don’t divide the cost with the same card, and be sure you keep track of your rewards separately.
Overall, the key to maximizing your rewards for travel is to be aware of your credit card’s rewards program and make sure you’re using this program in the most efficient way possible. Utilizing all of the strategies I’ve outlined, you’ll be able to get rewards in a short time, use them for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide range of travel perks.