Are you tired of spending a fortune on airfare? Good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting method to turn credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles, which can be used to get discounted or even complimentary flights for your ideal destinations. With a little imagination and a little bit of insider information, you’ll travel for free within a matter of minutes.
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 allow you to redeem miles for hotel stays and rental car offers.
How Does it Work?
The key to success in hacking travel is taking advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and establishing frequent flyer miles for a specific group of airlines. When it comes time to make a booking, evaluate the cost. If the cost is under $300, it’s best to pay cash and save your miles to book a higher-priced flight. If the prices start to rise above $500, you’ll want to look into your frequent flyer accounts and find out which airline will give you the best price. It all boils down to the number of points or miles in your travel account for each airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets of travel hacking? The first step is to open the credit card that comes that comes with a welcome bonus. There are many great credit cards with a variety of benefits and features. It depends on the type of airline, your habits with spending and what features are crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards that are excellent to hack travel
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
Once you’ve been approved for a credit card you’ll need to hit the minimum spend limit in order to qualify for the bonus. Every card has different rules, so be sure to look up this information. Then you can begin to rack miles and using them to book your dream vacation!
Ready to jet-set with your goals?
Now that you’ve built up your points amount, it’s time to use them towards delicious getaway! Different credit card providers will offer different ways to redeem your points, but here are some examples from a few of the companies I’ve had experience with:
Escape by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own a Chase credit card, then you are able to redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In it, you’ll get access to virtually every airline and you can combine points and cash to book your trip. You can even book entirely using points if you’ve got enough balance! Sometimes, even if you don’t have enough points to cover the total cost, you are able to buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using the credit card of your choice.
Are you tired of paying full price for flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United, you have the option to pay with dollars or points? But, be careful that if you don’t have enough points, you can’t combine dollars and points on the same flight. If you’re only a couple of points away, United also offers the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience with extra legroom and free snacks. Plus, their booking process is like United’s that allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue points or dollars, but not both. The difference is that JetBlue offers a distinct feature that lets you pool your points together with your family members and earn points twice as quickly. Just make sure you can establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel buddy Becca, you’re probably pretty frugal and it can be difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to hit the required amount to qualify for the credit card bonus. But don’t fret as we’ve done it and are 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 using credit card, then do it! Be prepared to pay a fee, usually around 3 percent. It may be worth it in the end when the bonus is large enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another way to reach the spending limit is to cover the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills due, ask your family members to pay them for theirs, and they can repay you.
Pay off the loan
If you have any loans, consider repaying them using your credit card. Make sure to pay off the balance on your credit card in full , so that you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask family for help
Discuss your family with them and determine if they’ve got any major expenses in the near future that you can help pay for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to trust the person and they are aware of the reason for doing it.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season, consider buying all your gifts using your credit card. In this way, you’ll meet the minimum spending limit and also be ready to give gifts. Just make sure you’re not paying more than you already planning to.
There are many ways to get the most from the travel credit card. You can earn miles or points to use towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few more ideas for maximizing your rewards:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
If you’re planning a vacation, make use of your travel credit card to pay for your hotel, flight, rental car, and any other travel expenses. Not only will you be able to hit the minimum amount of spending required to qualify for a credit card bonus, however, you’ll also earn points or miles to cover the costs.
Make use of your credit card to pay for all your daily expenses
Another way to hit the minimum spending requirement in order to accumulate points by using your credit card for everyday expenses. This can include items like groceries, gas, and even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay off the balance in full every month to ensure you don’t pay interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or points in exchange on certain kinds of purchases, such as dining or travel. Be sure to review your credit card’s rewards program and avail any bonus categories that align with your spending habits.
Think about a balance transfer
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a high-interest credit card, consider transferring that balance to the travel credit card which has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfers. This will let you pay off the debt without accruing interest and simultaneously assist you in reaching the minimum spending requirement for the credit card bonus.
Utilize your miles and points carefully
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize the points or miles wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and then compare the benefits of different redemption options. For example, using points to book a ticket directly with the airline might provide you with a greater value than using them to purchase an gift card.
Another suggestion is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer your points to other loyalty programs. This will let you get a wider selection of options and greater flexibility in making use of your rewards. For instance, you might be capable of transferring your rewards to an airline’s frequent flyer program or reward program for hotels. This will give you access to a greater selection of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks that aren’t offered through the rewards program on your credit card.
Additionally, try to find out whether your credit card has any perks that can reduce your travel costs. Some cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that can be very beneficial when traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a friend, both of you can earn rewards using your credit card. Be aware that you cannot split the cost on the same card, and be sure to track the rewards you earn separately.
Overall, the key to maximizing your rewards for travel is to be aware of your credit card’s rewards program and make sure you’re using this program in the most effective method. By using a combination of the strategies I’ve listed that you can get rewards in a short time, use them for travel experiences that are worth it, and enjoy a wide variety of travel benefits.