Are you tired of spending a fortune on airfare? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking is the answer to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting way to turn credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into miles that can then be used to score discounted or complimentary flights for your desired destinations. With a bit of creativity and some insider knowledge, you can fly for no cost in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about trading credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. The miles can be used to buy cheap or free flight tickets. Some credit cards also allow you to redeem miles for hotel stays and rental car offers.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for success in travel hacking is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and establishing frequent flyer miles on a select group of airlines. When it comes time to make a booking consider the cost. If the flight is under $300, it’s usually better to pay cash and use your miles to pay to take a more costly flight. If the prices start to rise higher than $500, it’s best to review the frequent flyer account to determine which airline offers you the best price. It all boils down to the number of miles or points you have in your travel savings account for each airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets of 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 provide various benefits and features. It depends on the type of airline, your spending habits, and what features are essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few 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 have to meet the minimum spend limit in order to qualify for the bonus. Each card has its own guidelines, so make certain to verify this information. Then it’s all about building up miles and using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your goals?
Once you’ve accumulated your points amount, it’s time to redeem them for some sweet travel! Different credit card companies offer different ways to redeem your rewards, here are some examples from a few of the ones I have experience with:
Escape through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you own an Chase cards, you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through the portal, you’ll get access to almost every airline, and you can make use of a combination of the points as well as cash in order to book your trip. You can book your flight entirely with points if you’ve the balance for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t have enough points to cover the total cost, you still can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using the credit card of your choice.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for your flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option of paying with dollars or points? Be careful that if you don’t have enough points, you can’t combine dollars and points on flights. If you’re a few points away, United also offers the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue provides a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience with extra legroom as well as free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is like United’s which allows customers to book using either JetBlue points or dollars, but not both. The difference is that JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that allows you to pool your points together with your family members and earn points twice as fast. Make sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack into the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel buddy Becca You’re probably quite economical and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to hit the minimum amount required to earn credit card bonuses. Don’t worry because we’ve been there and we’re here to share our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able pay your rent using credit card, then do it! Be prepared to pay a fee, usually around 3%. It might be worth it in the long run if the bonus is high enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another way to reach the spending limit is to pay for an medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills in the near future then ask your family members to pay them for theirs, and they can pay you back.
Repay a loan
If you’re a borrower you owe, think about repaying them using your credit card. Be sure to pay off the credit card balance completely so that you don’t end up with additional debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Talk to your family and determine if they’ve got any large expenses coming up which you could help pay for. Make sure that you are able to trust the person and they know why you’re taking the initiative.
If you’re celebrating the holidays, consider buying all your gifts with cards from your credit account. So you’ll be able to meet the minimum spending limit and also be ready to give gifts. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you contemplating to.
There are a lot of ways to get the most from using your credit or debit card for travel. accrue points or miles to be used towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are some additional suggestions for maximising your rewards:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, use the travel credit card to book your flight, hotel, rental car, and any other travel-related expenses. You’ll not only be able to hit the required amount to qualify for a credit card and earn points, however, you’ll also earn points or miles for the costs.
Utilize your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday expenses
Another way to meet the minimum amount of spending and earn points is by using your credit card to pay for daily expenditures. This could include things like gas, groceries and even your telephone bill. Be sure to pay off the balance each month in full so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Take advantage of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide bonus points or miles for certain types of purchases, such as dining or travel. Check out your rewards program on your credit card and take advantage of any bonus categories that match with your spending habits.
Consider the possibility of transferring your balance
If you are currently in debt on a credit card, think about transferring that balance to an account with a travel credit card that has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfers. This will let you pay off the debt without accruing interest. It will also help you hit 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, be sure to use them wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and compare the value of different redemption options. For instance using your points to book a ticket directly with the airline could give you a better value than using them to purchase a gift card.
Another tip is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer your rewards to different loyalty program. This allows you to enjoy a greater variety of options and greater flexibility when you want to redeem your rewards. For example, you may be able to transfer your reward to the frequent flyer program of an airline or hotel rewards program. This can give you access to a larger selection of hotels, flights, and other travel perks that aren’t offered through the rewards program of your credit card.
Also, discover the card’s benefits. certain benefits that will save you money on travel-related expenses. Many cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that are invaluable when you travel.
If you’re traveling with someone else, both of you can earn rewards with your own credit card. Just remember that you can’t divide the cost with the same card, and be sure you keep track of your rewards separately.
The key to maximizing your travel rewards is to understand your credit card’s rewards program and make sure you’re using your credit card in the most effective method possible. Through a combination of the strategies I’ve listed that you can earn rewards quickly, redeem rewards for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide variety of travel benefits.