Are you tired of paying a fortune on airfare? Well, good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting method to convert credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into miles which you can use to get discounted or even complimentary flights for your ideal destinations. With a little imagination and a little bit of insider know-how, you’ll be jet-setting for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. The miles can be used to pay for discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards let you redeem miles towards hotel stays or car rental deals.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for successful hacking travel is taking advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and to establish a frequent flyer mile program on a select group of airlines. When it’s time to book a flight take a look at the price. If the price is under $300, it’s best to pay cash and save your miles to take a more costly flight. If your flights begin to climb higher than $500, it’s best to look into those frequent flyer accounts and see which airline can give you the best price. All it boils down to is the amount 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 of travel hacking? The first step is opening an account with a sign-up bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards that provide many benefits and features. It depends on the type of airline, spending habits and what features are important 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
After you’ve been accepted for a credit card you’ll need to reach the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to qualify for the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so be sure to check for the details. Then it’s all about building miles and then using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to set sail with your points?
Once you’ve accumulated your points balance, you’re ready to use them towards sweet vacation! Different credit card companies will offer different ways to redeem your rewards, here are some examples from a few of the providers I’ve had experience with:
Getaway with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have a Chase credit card, then you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through the portal, you’ll get access to almost every airline and you can combine points and cash to pay for your trip. You can even book entirely on points if you have enough balance! Sometimes, even if you don’t have enough points to cover the full price, you can buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using any 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 of paying using either points or dollars? Be careful in case you don’t have enough points, you can’t combine dollars and points for flights. If you’re a few point short United gives you the option of buying additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers an enjoyable and comfortable travel experience that includes extra space and complimentary snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to United’s, allowing passengers to book flights using JetBlue points or dollars, however, not both. But, JetBlue offers a distinct feature that allows you to join your points with family members to accrue points twice as quickly. Just make sure you can prove you’re really family before trying to hack the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re anything like me and my travel companion Becca You’re probably quite thrifty and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to hit the required amount to qualify for credit card bonuses. However, don’t be worried, we’ve been through it and are here to share our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able to pay your rent using a credit card, do it! Be prepared to be charged a fee, typically at least 3%. It may be worth it in the end in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another great way to hit the spending limit is to pay for an medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses coming up then ask your family members if you can pay for theirs and they will pay you back.
Repay the loan
If you’re a borrower, consider making payments on them with an credit card. Make sure to pay off the credit card balance in full so you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Talk to your family and see if they have any large expenses coming up which you could help pay for. Be sure to be sure that you’re 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 take into consideration buying all your gifts using cards from your credit account. This way you can meet the minimum spending limit and be ready to give gifts. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you were planning to.
There are plenty of ways to get the most from using your credit or debit card for travel. accumulate miles or points that you can be used towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few more ideas for maximizing your rewards
Book travel expenses with your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, use your travel credit card to book your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as other travel costs. In addition, you’ll be able to hit the required amount to earn your credit card reward and earn points, but you’ll also be earning points or miles on these expenditures.
Use your credit card to pay for your everyday expenditures
Another method to reach the minimum spending requirement to earn rewards is by making use of your credit card to pay daily costs. This could be items like groceries, gas, and even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay the balance off in full every month to ensure you don’t accrue interest charges.
Make the most of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide bonus points or miles for specific types of purchases, including eating out or traveling. Make sure you review your credit card’s rewards program and take advantage of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending routines.
Take into consideration a balance transfer
If you are currently in outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, consider transferring the balance to the travel credit card which 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 amount required to earn the credit card bonus.
Utilize your miles and points wisely
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of points or miles Make sure to utilize 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 through the airline may offer better return than using them for a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer rewards to different loyalty program. This will allow you to have a wider range of choices and more flexibility in redeeming your rewards. For example, you may be capable of transferring your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a hotel rewards program. This can give you access to a wider variety of hotels, flights and other travel benefits that aren’t offered through the rewards program on your credit card.
Additionally, try to discover the card’s benefits. any perks that can reduce your travel expenses. Many cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that could be very beneficial when traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a companion each of you will be able to earn rewards with your own credit card. Just remember that you can’t share the costs on the same card. Also, make sure to keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
Overall, 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 using it in the most effective method possible. Utilizing a combination of the strategies I’ve outlined that you can get rewards in a short time, use rewards for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide assortment of travel-related perks.