Are you tired of spending a fortune on airfare? Good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s a fun way to convert credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles that can then be used to score discounted or cheap flights from your desired destinations. With a little imagination and some know-how, you’ll be jet-setting for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about trading credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. These miles can later be used to purchase discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards let you redeem miles towards hotel stays or rental car discounts.
How Does it Work?
The key to successful travel hacking is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and to establish frequent flyer miles on a select group of airlines. When it comes time to book a flight take a look at the price. If the flight is under $300, it’s usually better to pay cash and save your miles to take a more costly flight. If the prices start to rise above $500, you’ll want to look into the frequent flyer account and see which airline can give you the best deal. It all comes down to the number of points or miles in your travel bank for each airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to travel hacking? Your first task is to open a credit card that comes with a welcome bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards that offer a variety of advantages and features. It is all dependent on the airline, spending habits and what features are crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit card options that can be perfect to use for hacking 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 hit the minimum spend limit in order to receive the bonus. Every card has different rules, so be sure to check for the details. From there it’s all about building up miles and using them to plan your dream trip!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your ideas?
Once you’ve accumulated your points balance, you’re ready to use them towards sweet getaway! Different credit card providers will have different methods for redeeming your points, but here are some examples from a few of the providers I’ve worked with:
Escape by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of a Chase credit card, then you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through it, you’ll have access to almost every airline. You can make use of a combination of money and points to pay for your travel. You can even book entirely with points if you’ve enough balance! Sometimes even if you don’t possess enough points for the total cost, you are able to book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using the credit card of your choice.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for your flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United you can choose the option of paying with either points or dollars? Be careful in case you do not have enough points you cannot combine points and dollars on flights. If you’re just a few point short United provides the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience , with more legroom and free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines, allowing customers to book using either JetBlue dollar or points, however, not both. However, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that lets you combine your points with your relatives to earn points twice as quickly. Make sure to establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack into the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel buddy Becca You’re probably quite frugal and it can be difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to reach the required amount to qualify for the credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried because we’ve been there and we’re here to share our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able pay your rent with credit card, go for it! Make sure you pay a fee, usually around 3 percent. It may be worth it over the long term in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another excellent way to meet the required spending is to pay for an medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses due then ask your relatives if you could pay them for theirs, and they can reimburse you.
Make a payment to pay off the loan
If you have any loans take into consideration making payments on them with the credit card you have. Be sure to pay off the credit card balance completely so that you don’t accrue additional debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Talk to your family and look into any big expenses coming up which you could help pay for. Just make sure you are able to trust the person and that they understand why you’re doing it.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season you should consider purchasing all your gifts with cards from your credit account. This way you can reach the minimum spending requirement and also be ready for gift giving. Make sure that you’re not paying more than you thinking of.
There are plenty of ways to make the most from the travel credit card. You can accrue points or miles to be used towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few additional ideas for maximizing your rewards
Make travel reservations using your credit card
If you’re planning a vacation, make use of you travel credit card to pay for your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as any other travel-related expenses. Not only will you achieve the required amount for your credit card bonus, but you’ll also earn points or miles on those costs.
Utilize your credit card to pay for everyday expenses
Another way to hit the minimum amount of spending and earn points is by making use of your credit card to pay for everyday expenses. This can include things like food, gas and even your telephone bill. Be sure to pay off the balance in full each month so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Make the most of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer bonus points or miles for certain types of purchases, like dining or travel. Make sure you review the rewards program of your credit card and make use of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending habits.
Think about the possibility of transferring your balance
If you are currently in outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer the balance to an account with a travel credit card that has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfer. This will let you pay off your debts without accruing interest and simultaneously help you hit the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus.
Make use of your miles or points carefully
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize them in a responsible manner. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and then compare the worth of various redemption options. For instance you can use your points to book a flight directly with the airline could give you a better value than using them for a gift card.
Another option is to get a rewards card that allows you to transfer rewards to different loyalty program. This allows you to get a wider selection of options and greater flexibility in redeeming your rewards. For instance, you might be able to transfer your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a hotel rewards program. This can give an access wider variety of hotels, flights, and other travel perks that may not be offered through your credit card’s rewards program.
In addition, you should discover the card’s benefits. certain benefits that will save you money on travel-related costs. Many cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection, and other benefits that could be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a companion and both of you earn rewards using your credit card. Be aware that you cannot share the costs on the same card, and be sure to track the rewards you earn separately.
The key to maximizing your rewards for travel is to be aware of your credit card’s rewards program and ensure that you’re making use of your credit card in the most effective method. By using all of the strategies I’ve listed, you’ll be able to earn rewards fast, exchange rewards for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide variety of travel benefits.