Are you tired of spending a fortune on airfare? Good news! Travel hacking is the answer to your travel-related problems. It’s a fun way to turn credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles, which can be used to score discounted or free flights to your desired destinations. With a little imagination and some knowledge, you can travel for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of trading credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. These miles can then be used to purchase cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards will also let you redeem miles towards hotel stays or car rental offers.
How Does it Work?
The key to success in hacking travel is taking advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and to establish frequent flyer miles on a select group of airlines. When it’s time to book a flight take a look at the price. If the flight is less than $300, it’s best to pay cash and save your miles to take a more costly flight. If the prices start to rise over $500, you’ll need to review those frequent flyer accounts to determine which airline offers you the best price. It all comes down to the number of points or miles you have in your travel savings account for every airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to hacking travel? Your first task is opening the credit card that comes with a sign-up offer. There are many great credit cards that provide many benefits and features. It depends on the type of airline, your spending habits, and the features that are most essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards perfect 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 have to meet the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to qualify for the bonus. Every card has different rules, so be certain to verify the details. From there you can begin to rack up miles and using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your ideas?
After you’ve accrued your points amount, it’s time to cash them in for some nice vacation! Different credit card companies will have different methods for redeeming your points. Here are some examples from some of the companies I have experience with:
Getaway through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you’re a holder of a Chase card, you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through this portal you’ll have access to nearly every airline. You can combine points and cash to book your travel. You can book your flight entirely using points if you’ve got enough balance! Sometimes, even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for total cost, you still can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with every credit card.
Are you fed up of paying full price for flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United you can choose the option of paying using dollars or points? Be careful, if you don’t have enough points you aren’t able to combine dollars and points on one flight. No worries though, if you’re just a few point short United gives you the option of buying additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides passengers a relaxing and pleasant travel experience that includes extra legroom as well as free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is like United’s, allowing passengers to book flights using JetBlue either dollars or points, but not both. The difference is that JetBlue offers a distinct feature where you can join your points with your family members and earn points twice as quickly. Make sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack into the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re like me and my travel companion Becca I’m sure you’re pretty frugal and it can be daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to hit the minimum amount required to earn credit card bonuses. Don’t worry because we’ve been there and we’re here to share some of our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able to pay your rent using credit card, then do it! Make sure you pay a fee, usually at least 3%. It may be worth it over the long term when the bonus is large enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the spending limit is to cover the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills due then ask your family members to pay their medical bills and they will reimburse you.
Make a payment to pay off a loan
If you have any loans you owe, think about making payments on them with the credit card you have. Just make sure you pay off the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Discuss your family with them and see if they have any major expenses in the near future that you can help pay for. Just make sure you have confidence in the person you are talking to and they know why you’re taking the initiative.
If you’re celebrating the holidays take into consideration buying all your gifts with your credit card. This way you can meet the minimum spending limit and also be ready to give gifts. Be sure to avoid spending more than you thinking of.
There are many ways to make the most from the travel credit card. You can accrue points or miles to spend on airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few more ideas for maximizing the rewards you earn:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, use the travel credit card for booking your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as other travel costs. Not only will you be able to meet the minimum amount of spending required for your credit card bonus and earn points, but you’ll also earn points or miles on the expenses.
Utilize your credit card to pay for everyday expenditures
Another way to hit the minimum spending requirement to earn rewards is making use of your credit card to pay everyday expenditures. This can include things like food, gas and even your telephone bill. Be sure to pay the balance off each month in full so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Take advantage of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or points in exchange for specific types of purchases, such as eating out or traveling. Check out the rewards program of your credit card and make use of any bonus categories that match with your spending routines.
Consider the possibility of transferring your balance
If you have existing outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, consider transferring that balance to the travel credit card which has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will let you pay off your debt without accruing interest and simultaneously aid in achieving the minimum amount required to earn the credit card’s bonus.
Make use of your miles or points wisely
If you’ve amassed a large amount of points or miles, be sure to use them in a responsible manner. Review the rewards program for your credit card and then compare the worth of various redemption options. For example, using your points to purchase a flight directly with the airline could offer better return than using them for an gift card.
Another suggestion is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer rewards to different loyalty program. This allows you to enjoy a greater variety of choices and more freedom when it comes to you want to redeem your rewards. For instance, you might be capable of transferring your reward to an airline’s frequent flyer program or a reward program for hotels. This gives the benefit of a larger range of flights, hotels and other travel benefits that aren’t offered through the rewards program on your credit card.
Also, discover the card’s benefits. certain benefits that will save you money on travel-related costs. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that can be invaluable when you travel.
When you travel with someone else and both of you earn rewards with your own credit card. Be aware that you cannot share the costs on the same card. Also, make sure to keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
Overall, the key to making the most of your travel rewards is to know the rewards program on your credit card and make sure 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 them for travel experiences that are worth it and benefit from a wide assortment of travel-related perks.