Are you tired of paying an enormous amount on flights? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting way to convert credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into miles which can be used to get discounted or even free flights to your dream destinations. With a little bit of creativity and some insider information, you’ll be jet-setting for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about swapping credit card sign-up bonus as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can later be used to buy discount or no-cost flights. Some credit cards also allow you to redeem miles towards hotel stays or rental car offers.
How Does it Work?
The secret to successful travel hacking is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and building out a frequent flyer mile program on a select group of airlines. When it comes time to make a booking, evaluate the cost. If the price is under $300, it’s generally better to pay in cash and use your miles to pay to book a higher-priced flight. If the prices start to rise above $500, you’ll want to check the frequent flyer account to see which airline can give you the best price. It all boils down to the amount of miles or points in your travel bank for each airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to hacking travel? The first step is to open a credit card with a sign-up offer. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that offer a variety of advantages and features. It is all dependent on the airline, your habits with spending and what features are important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards that are great to use for hacking 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 hit the minimum spend limit in order to get the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so make certain to verify the details. Then 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 your points amount, it’s time to redeem them for some nice getaway! Different credit card companies will have different methods for redeeming your points. Here are a few examples from some of the ones I have experience with:
Getaway through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you have an Chase credit card, then you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In it, you’ll have access to almost every airline. You can make use of a combination of the points as well as cash in order to pay for your trip. You can book your flight entirely using points if you’ve got the balance for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t possess enough points for the entire cost, you still can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with any credit card.
Are you tired of paying full price for your flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United, you have the option to pay with dollars or points? Butbe aware that if you do not have enough points you cannot combine dollars and points on the same flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re just a few points away, United provides the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience , with more space and complimentary snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines which allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue points or dollars, but not both. The difference is that JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that allows you to join your points with your family members and earn points twice as fast. Just make sure you can prove you’re really family before trying to hack the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel buddy Becca I’m sure you’re pretty economical and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to hit the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus. But don’t fret because we’ve been there and are here to share our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able to pay for your rent using credit card, then do it! Be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually around 3%. It may be worth it in the long run when the bonus is large enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the minimum spend is to cover a medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses in the near future then ask your family members to pay them for theirs, and they’ll repay you.
Make a payment to pay off a loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan take into consideration repaying them using the credit card you have. Just make sure you pay the credit card balance completely so that you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Discuss your family with them and see if they have any large expenses coming up which you could help pay for. Make sure that you are able to trust the person and they are aware of the reason for taking the initiative.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season take into consideration buying all your gifts with the credit card you have. In this way, you’ll meet the minimum spending limit and also be ready for gift giving. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you contemplating to.
There are plenty of ways to make the most out of using your credit or debit card for travel and earn miles or points to use towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are some additional ideas for maximizing your rewards:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, use you travel credit card for booking your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as any other travel expenses. In addition, you’ll be able to meet the minimum amount of spending required to qualify for a credit card and earn points, but you’ll also be earning points or miles for the expenses.
Utilize your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday expenditures
Another method to reach the minimum spending requirement and earn points is by utilising your credit cards to pay for everyday expenditures. This could be things like food, gas and even your telephone bill. Just make sure to pay off the balance each month in full so you don’t accumulate interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or bonus points for certain types of purchases, such as eating out or travelling. Make sure you review your rewards program on your credit card and avail any bonus categories that match with your spending routines.
Think about the possibility of transferring your balance
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 allow you to pay off your debts without accruing interest. It will also aid in achieving the minimum spend for the credit card bonus.
Utilize your miles and points prudently
If you’ve amassed a large amount of points or miles make sure you 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 your points to purchase a flight directly with the airline might offer better return than using them for a gift card.
Another option is to get an rewards card that permits you to transfer your points to other loyalty programs. This allows you to enjoy a greater variety of options and greater flexibility in you want to redeem your rewards. For example, you may be able to transfer your rewards to an airline’s frequent flyer program or reward program for hotels. This can give the benefit of a larger selection of hotels, flights and other travel benefits that aren’t available through the rewards program on your credit card.
Also, determine the card’s benefits. any perks that can help you save money on travel costs. Many cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that are extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
When you travel with someone else each of you will be able to earn rewards using your own credit card. Be aware that you cannot divide the cost with the same card. Also, make sure you keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
In the end, the most important thing to do 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 efficient way possible. Through an array of strategies I’ve listed in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards fast, exchange rewards for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad variety of travel benefits.