Are you tired of paying an enormous amount on flights? Good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s a fun way to convert welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles which you can use to obtain discounted or cheap flights from your desired destinations. With a little bit of imagination and some information, you’ll travel for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about swapping credit card sign-up bonus and incentives for airline miles. These miles can later be used to purchase discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards let you redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or car rental deals.
How Does it Work?
The secret to success in hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and building out a frequent flyer mile program with a limited number of airlines. When you are ready to book a flight, evaluate the cost. If the flight is less than $300, it’s generally better to pay cash and use your miles to pay to book a higher-priced flight. If your flights begin to climb over $500, you’ll need to check those frequent flyer accounts and see which airline can give you the best deal. It all boils down to the amount of points or miles in your travel bank for each airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to travel hacking? Your first task is to open a credit card that comes with a welcome bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that offer a variety of benefits and features. It is all dependent on the airline, your spending habits, and what features are important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards great to use for hacking travel:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
Once you’ve been approved for a credit card, you’ll have to meet the minimum spend limit in order to get the bonus. Every card has different rules, so be certain to verify the details. From there it’s all about building up miles, and using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your goals?
Now that you’ve built up your points balance, you’re ready to use them towards sweet travel! Different credit card providers will have different methods of redeeming your points, but here are some examples from a few of the companies I’ve worked with:
Getaway with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have a Chase card, you are able to redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within this portal you’ll get access to virtually every airline and you can use a combination of points and cash to book your trip. You can book your flight entirely using points if you’ve got enough balance! Sometimes even if you do not be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for total cost, you are able to 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 full price for your flight tickets? Did you realize that when booking directly through United You have the option of paying using dollars or points? Butbe aware, if you don’t have enough points you cannot combine points and dollars for flights. Don’t worry, though, if you’re just a few points away, United provides the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides a comfortable and enjoyable travel experience that includes extra space and complimentary snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to United’s, allowing you to book with either JetBlue either dollars or points however, not both. However, JetBlue has a unique feature where you can join your points with your relatives to earn points twice as fast. Be sure to establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel companion Becca, you’re probably pretty frugal and it can be challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to hit the minimum spend for a credit card bonus. But don’t fret because we’ve been there and are here to share some of our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able to pay for your rent with credit card, then do it! Make sure you be charged a fee, typically at least 3 percent. It may be worth it over the long term if the bonus is high enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the minimum spend is to pay for a medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills in the near future then ask your family members to pay for theirs and they’ll repay you.
Repay a loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan you owe, think about repaying them using an credit card. Make sure to pay off the balance on your credit card in full so you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask family for help
Discuss your family with them and see if they have any big expenses coming up which you could help pay for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to have confidence in the person you are talking to and they are aware of the reason for doing this.
If you’re celebrating the holidays take into consideration buying all your gifts with the credit card you have. This way you can reach the minimum spending requirement and also be prepared for gift giving. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you planning 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 use towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few more ideas for maximizing your rewards:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
If you’re planning a vacation, make use of your travel credit card to book your flight, hotel, rental car, and other travel costs. In addition, you’ll be able to hit the minimum amount of spending required for your credit card bonus, but you’ll also earn points or miles for these expenditures.
Make use of your credit card to pay for everyday expenditures
Another way to hit the minimum spend to earn rewards is making use of your credit card to pay for daily costs. This could be items like groceries, gas or even your phone bill. Be sure to pay the balance off in full every month to ensure you don’t accumulate interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or bonus points on certain kinds of purchases, like eating out or traveling. Be sure to review the rewards program of your credit card and take advantage of any bonus categories that match with your spending habits.
Take into consideration the possibility of transferring your balance
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 an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will let you pay off the debt without accruing interest, and also aid in achieving the minimum spend for the credit card’s bonus.
Use your points or miles carefully
When you’ve earned a significant amount of points or miles Make sure to utilize them in a responsible manner. Review the rewards program for your credit card and compare the benefits of different redemption options. For example you can use points to book a flight directly through the airline may give you a better return than using them for a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer your rewards to different loyalty program. This allows you to get a wider selection of choices and more flexibility when you want to redeem your rewards. For example, you may be eligible to transfer your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or reward program for hotels. This gives the benefit of a greater selection of hotels, flights and other travel benefits which are not offered through your credit card’s rewards program.
In addition, you should find out the card’s benefits. some perks that could reduce your travel expenses. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that can be invaluable when you travel.
When you travel with a companion each of you will be able to earn rewards with your own credit card. Just remember that you can’t share the costs on the same card. Also, make sure to keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
Overall, the key to maximizing your travel rewards is to understand your credit card’s rewards program and ensure that you’re using it in the most effective way possible. Through an array of methods I’ve described in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards quickly, redeem them for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad assortment of travel-related perks.