Are you tired of spending a fortune on airfare? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting method to convert credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into miles that can then be used to obtain discounted or free flights to your ideal destinations. With a little bit of creativity and some insider know-how, you’ll fly for no cost in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about trading credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can later be used to purchase cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards will also let you redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or rental car offers.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for successful hacking travel is taking advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and establishing a frequent flyer mile program for a specific group of airlines. When it’s time to book a flight, evaluate the cost. If the cost is less than $300, it’s generally better to pay cash and save your miles for a more expensive flight. If the prices start to rise higher than $500, it’s best to check the frequent flyer account and see which airline can give you the best deal. It all boils down to the number of points or miles you have in your travel account for each airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets of travel hacking? First step to open an account that comes with a welcome bonus. There are many great credit cards that provide various benefits and features. It depends on the type of airline, your spending habits, and the features that are most crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit card options that can be perfect to hack travel
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
After you’ve been accepted for a credit or debit card, you’ll need to hit the limit of spending minimum in order to get the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of guidelines, so make certain to verify the details. From there you can begin to rack up miles, and then using them to book your dream trip!
Ready to jet-set with your ideas?
After you’ve accrued the points balance, you’re ready to cash them in for some nice getaway! Different credit card companies will offer different ways to redeem your rewards, here are a few examples from some of the providers I’ve worked with:
Getaway through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you own an Chase cards, you are able to redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through this portal you’ll get access to nearly every airline. You can use a combination of the points as well as cash in order to book your travel. You can book your flight entirely with points if you’ve the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you don’t possess enough points for the total cost, you are able to buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with every credit card.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for your flight tickets? Did you not know that when you book directly through United You have the option to pay with either points or dollars? Be careful, if you don’t have enough points, you cannot combine points and dollars 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 like United’s which allows you to book with either JetBlue dollar or points, but not both. However, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that allows you to combine your points with family members to accrue points twice as fast. Be sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack into the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel companion Becca I’m sure you’re pretty thrifty and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to reach the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus. But don’t fret, we’ve been through 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 your rent with credit card, go for it! Be prepared to pay a fee, usually at least 3 percent. It may be worth it in the long run when the bonus is large enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another great way to hit the spending limit is to pay for a medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills in the near future Ask your family members if you can pay them for theirs, and they will pay you back.
Pay off the loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan, consider paying them off with the credit card you have. Just make sure you pay off the balance on your credit card in full , so that you don’t end up with additional debt.
Ask family for help
Talk to your family and determine if they’ve got any big expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Just make sure you have confidence in the person you are talking to and they are aware of the reason for doing this.
If you’re celebrating the holidays you should consider purchasing all your gifts using your credit card. So you’ll be able to reach the minimum spending requirement and be ready for gift giving. Make sure that you’re not paying more than you already thinking of.
There are many ways to get the most out of using your credit or debit card for travel. You can earn miles or points to spend on flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few additional ideas for maximizing your rewards
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, make use of you travel credit card to book your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as any other travel-related expenses. Not only will you be able to hit the required amount to earn your credit card and earn points, but you’ll also be earning points or miles for these expenditures.
Use your credit card for everyday expenditures
Another way to meet the minimum amount of spending in order to accumulate points using your credit card to pay every day expenditures. This could include things like gas, groceries and even your telephone bill. Just make sure to pay off the balance in full every month to ensure you don’t accrue interest charges.
Take advantage of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide bonus points or miles for certain types of purchases, including eating out or travelling. Check out your credit card’s rewards program and avail any bonus categories that align with your spending habits.
Think about 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 an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfers. This will enable you to pay off your debt without accruing interest and simultaneously help you hit the minimum spend for the credit card’s bonus.
Utilize your miles and points prudently
When you’ve earned a significant amount of miles or points, be sure to use the points or miles wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and compare the benefits of different redemption options. For example you can use points to purchase a flight directly through the airline may provide you with a greater return than using them for a gift card.
Another option is to get an rewards card that permits you to transfer rewards to different loyalty program. This allows you to get a wider selection of choices and more flexibility when making use of your rewards. For instance, you might be able to transfer your rewards to an airline’s frequent flyer program or hotel rewards program. This can give the benefit of a wider range of flights, hotels and other travel benefits which are not accessible through your credit card’s rewards program.
Additionally, try to find out whether your credit card has any perks that can reduce your travel expenses. Many cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that can be invaluable when you travel.
If you’re traveling with a friend and both of you get rewards on your credit card. Be aware that you cannot share the costs on the same card and make sure to keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
The key to maximizing your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program of your credit card and make sure you’re making use of your credit card in the most effective method. Through a combination of the strategies I’ve outlined, you’ll be able to earn rewards quickly, redeem rewards for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide range of travel perks.