Are you tired of spending a fortune on airfare? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting way to convert credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles, which can be used to score discounted or free flights to your desired destinations. With a little bit of imagination and a little bit of insider know-how, you’ll be jet-setting for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of swapping credit card sign-up bonus and incentives for airline miles. The miles can be used to purchase cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards will also permit you to use miles to pay for hotel stays or rental car discounts.
How Does it Work?
The secret to successful hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and to establish a frequent flyer mile program on a select group of airlines. When you are ready to make a booking take a look at the price. If the price is under $300, it’s usually better to pay cash and use your miles to pay to book a higher-priced flight. When the flights start getting above $500, you’ll want to check your frequent flyer accounts and see which airline can give you the most value. It all comes down to the number of miles or points in your travel bank for each airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to hacking travel? First step to open an account with a sign-up bonus. There are many great credit cards that offer a variety of benefits and features. It depends on the type of airline, spending habits and the features that are most important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit card options that can be perfect for travel hacking:
- 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 receive the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so make sure to check for the details. Then 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 points?
Now that you’ve built up your points amount, it’s time to cash them in for some delicious vacation! Different credit card companies have different methods for redeeming your points, but here are a few examples from some of the companies I’ve worked with:
Take a trip through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you own an Chase credit card, then you are able to redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through this portal you’ll have access to nearly every airline, and you can use a combination of points and cash to pay for your trip. You can even book completely on points if you have the funds to pay for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t have enough points to cover the full price, you can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with every credit card.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for your flight tickets? Did you know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option of paying using dollars or points? Butbe aware, if you do not have enough points you cannot combine dollars and points on the same flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re a few points away, United provides the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience , with more legroom and free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is like United’s, allowing passengers to book flights using JetBlue points or dollars however, not both. The difference is that JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature where you can join your points with your family members and earn points twice as fast. Be sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack into the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me or my travel companion Becca You’re probably quite thrifty and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to reach the minimum amount required to earn credit card bonuses. However, don’t be worried as we’ve done it 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 your rent using credit card, then do it! Make sure you pay a cost, which is usually around 3%. It could be worthwhile 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 a medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses coming up Ask your family members if you can pay their medical bills and they will reimburse you.
Make a payment to pay off a loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan, consider repaying them using an credit card. Just make sure you pay the credit card balance in full so you don’t accumulate additional debt.
Ask your family members for help
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 know why you’re doing this.
If you’re celebrating the holidays, consider buying all your gifts using your credit card. This way you can hit that minimum spend and also be prepared for gift giving. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you contemplating to.
There are plenty of methods to get the most of the travel credit card. You can accrue points or miles to spend on the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few more ways to maximize your rewards:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, make use of the travel credit card for booking your hotel, flight, rental car, and any other travel-related expenses. You’ll not only be able to meet the minimum spend to qualify for a credit card, however, you’ll also earn points or miles on these expenditures.
Utilize your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday costs
Another way to meet the minimum spend to earn rewards is using your credit card to pay for everyday expenditures. This can include things like food, gas and even your telephone bill. Be sure to pay off the balance in full every month to ensure you don’t pay interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or points in exchange for certain types of purchases, such as dining or travel. Be sure to review your credit card’s rewards program and avail any bonus categories that match with your spending routines.
Consider a balance transfer
If you’re in the middle of a outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, think about transferring the balance to an account with a travel credit card that has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfers. This will let you pay off your debts without accruing interest, and also help you hit the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus.
Make use of your miles or points wisely
If you’ve amassed a large amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize the points or miles wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card, and evaluate the worth of various redemption options. For instance using your points to purchase a flight directly with the airline could offer better value than using them to purchase the purchase of a gift card.
Another tip is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer points to other loyalty programs. This allows you to get a wider selection of choices and more flexibility in redeeming your rewards. For instance, you might be capable of transferring your reward to the frequent flyer program of an airline or hotel rewards program. This can give you access to a wider selection of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks which are not available through the rewards program of your credit card.
In addition, you should determine whether your credit card has some perks that could reduce your travel costs. Some 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 someone else each of you will be able to get rewards on your own credit card. Just remember that you can’t divide the cost with the same card and make sure to track your rewards separately.
The key to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to know your credit card’s rewards program and ensure that you’re making use of your credit card in the most effective method. Utilizing all of the methods I’ve described that you can get rewards in a short time, use rewards for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad variety of travel benefits.