Are you tired of spending an enormous amount on flights? Well, good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting method to turn credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles, which you can use to score discounted or cheap flights from your ideal destinations. With a little bit of imagination and some know-how, you’ll travel for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can later be used to pay for discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards permit you to use miles towards hotel stays or rental car deals.
How Does it Work?
The secret to success in hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and to establish a frequent flyer mile program on a select group of airlines. When you are ready to book a flight, evaluate the cost. If the price is under $300, it’s usually better to pay cash and save your miles for a more expensive flight. If the prices start to rise over $500, you’ll need to review those frequent flyer accounts and see which airline can give you the most value. All it boils down to is the amount of points or miles you have in your travel account for each airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets of travel hacking? First step opening the credit card that comes with a sign-up bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards that provide various benefits and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, your spending habits, and the features that are most important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards that are perfect to hack travel
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
If you’ve been approved for a credit or debit card, you’ll need to hit the limit of spending minimum in order to qualify for the bonus. Every card has different rules, so make certain to verify the details. From there, it’s all about racking miles and then using them to book your dream vacation!
Ready to jet-set with your goals?
Once you’ve accumulated the points amount, it’s time to redeem them for some sweet travel! Different credit card companies have different methods of redeeming your points, but here are some examples from a few of the ones I’ve worked with:
Escape through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you own a Chase cards, you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In the portal, you’ll get access to almost every airline and you can combine points and cash to pay for your travel. You can book your flight entirely on points if you have enough balance! Sometimes even if you don’t possess enough points for the total price, you can buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with the credit card of your choice.
Are you tired of paying full price for flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United You have the option of paying using either points or dollars? Be careful that if you don’t have enough points you cannot combine dollars and points for flights. No worries though, if you’re a few points short, United also offers the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue provides a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience , with more legroom as well as free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines that allows you to book with either JetBlue points or dollars, however, not both. However, 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 quickly. Be sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack into the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re anything like me and my travel companion Becca I’m sure you’re pretty frugal and it can be challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to reach the required amount to qualify for a credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried, we’ve been through it and are here to share some of our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able to pay for your rent using a credit card, do it! Just be prepared to be charged a fee, typically around 3 percent. It may be worth it in the end in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another way to reach the spending limit is to pay for the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills in the near future then ask your relatives if you could pay for theirs and they will repay you.
Pay off a loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan take into consideration making payments on them with your credit card. Be sure to pay off the credit card balance in full so you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask family for help
Discuss your family with them and look into any major expenses in the near future that you can contribute for. Just make sure you have confidence in the person you are talking to and they know why you’re taking the initiative.
If you’re celebrating the holidays you should consider purchasing all of your gifts with cards from your credit account. In this way, you’ll meet the minimum spending limit and also be prepared for gift giving. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you were planning to.
There are a lot of methods to get the most out of using your credit or debit card for travel. earn miles or points to be used towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few additional ways to maximize your rewards
Make travel reservations using your credit card
When you’re planning your next vacation, make use of your travel credit card for booking your flight, hotel, rental car, and any other travel expenses. You’ll not only be able to meet the minimum spend for your credit card bonus as well, however, you’ll also earn points or miles to cover the costs.
Make use of your credit card to pay for all your daily costs
Another method to reach the minimum spend in order to accumulate points making use of your credit card to pay daily expenditures. This could include things like food, gas and even your telephone bill. Just make sure to pay the balance off in full each month so you don’t accumulate interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer bonus points or miles on certain kinds of purchases, including eating out or traveling. Check out the rewards program of your credit card and avail the bonus categories that are in line with your spending routines.
Consider the possibility of transferring your balance
If you have existing debt on a credit card, you might want to transfer that balance to the travel credit card which has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfer. This will let you pay off your debts without accruing interest. It will also aid in achieving the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus.
Use your points or miles carefully
When you’ve earned a significant amount of points or miles make sure you use them wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and then compare the value of different redemption options. For example using points to purchase a flight directly with the airline might provide you with a greater value than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another tip is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer rewards to different loyalty program. This will let you have a wider range of choices and more flexibility in making use of your rewards. For instance, you might be eligible to transfer your rewards to an airline’s frequent flyer program or reward program for hotels. This will give an access wider range of flights, hotels and other travel benefits which are not accessible through your credit card’s rewards program.
Also, determine the card’s benefits. some perks that could reduce your travel expenses. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection, and other benefits that could be very beneficial when traveling.
When you travel with someone else, both of you can get rewards on your own credit card. Be aware that you cannot share the costs on the same card and make sure you keep track of your rewards separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do to maximizing your travel rewards is to understand your credit card’s rewards program and ensure that you’re making use of your credit card in the most effective method possible. Through all of the strategies I’ve listed, you’ll be able to get rewards in a short time, use them for travel experiences that are worth it, and enjoy a wide variety of travel benefits.