Are you tired of paying a fortune on airfare? Good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s a fun way to turn credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles which you can use to obtain discounted or complimentary flights for your desired destinations. With a little creativity and some insider know-how, you’ll fly for no cost within a matter of minutes.
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. Certain credit cards will also permit you to use miles to pay for hotel stays or car rental discounts.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for successful hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and building out a frequent flyer mile program with a limited number of airlines. When you are ready to book a flight consider the cost. If the flight is under $300, it’s best to pay in cash and save your miles to book a higher-priced flight. When the flights start getting above $500, you’ll want to check the frequent flyer account to see which airline can give you the most value. It all comes 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 to hacking travel? Your first task is to open an account with a sign-up offer. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that provide many features and benefits. It all depends on your preferred airline, your spending habits, and what features are essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit card options that can be great 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 reach the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to qualify for the bonus. Each card has its own guidelines, so make certain to verify this information. From there it’s all about building up miles and then using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to set sail with your points?
After you’ve accrued your points balance, it’s time to use them towards delicious getaway! Different credit card companies will have different methods of redeeming your points. Here are some examples from a few of the providers I’ve had experience with:
Escape by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of a Chase credit card, then you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within this portal you’ll have access to virtually every airline. You can combine points and cash to pay for your trip. You can even book completely using points if you’ve got the balance for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for full cost, you are able to book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using the credit card of your choice.
Are you fed up of paying full price for your flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United You have the option of paying using dollars or points? Be careful in case you do not have enough points you can’t combine dollars and points on the same flight. No worries though, if you’re only a couple of points away, United also offers the option of buying additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides passengers a relaxing and pleasant travel experience that includes extra legroom and free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to that of United Airlines that allows you to book with either JetBlue dollar or points, however, not both. However, JetBlue has a unique feature where you can pool your points together with family members to accrue points twice as quickly. Make sure to establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack into the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re like me or my travel buddy Becca I’m sure you’re pretty economical and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to hit the minimum amount required to earn credit card bonuses. 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 an important one! If you’re able pay your rent using credit card, then do it! Be prepared to pay a fee, usually at least 3%. It may be worth it in the end if the bonus is high enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the spending limit is to cover the medical bills. If you do not have any medical expenses coming up, ask your family members if you can pay their medical bills and they can pay you back.
Repay a loan
If you have any loans take into consideration paying them off with an credit card. Make sure to pay the credit card balance completely so that you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Discuss your family with them and look into any big expenses coming up 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 this.
If it’s the holiday season you should consider purchasing all of your gifts with your credit card. So you’ll be able to reach the minimum spending requirement and also be prepared for gift giving. Be sure to avoid spending more than you already thinking of.
There are a lot of methods to get the most out of your travel credit card and earn miles or points to use towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few additional ways to maximize your rewards
Book travel expenses with your credit card
If you’re planning a vacation, make use of your travel credit card to book your hotel, flight, rental car, and any other travel-related expenses. You’ll not only be able to meet the minimum amount of spending required to qualify for a credit card bonus, however, you’ll also earn points or miles on the expenditures.
Use your credit card to pay for your everyday expenditures
Another method to reach the minimum amount of spending to earn rewards is by using your credit card to pay every day expenditures. This could include things like gas, groceries, and even your phone bill. Be sure to pay the balance off in full every month to ensure you don’t accrue interest charges.
Make the most of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or bonus points for specific types of purchases, such as eating out or traveling. Make sure you review your rewards program on your credit card and take advantage of any bonus categories that match with your spending routines.
Think about a balance transfer
If you have existing debt on a credit card, think about transferring that balance onto an account with a travel credit card that has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfers. This will allow you to pay off your debt without accruing interest and simultaneously help you hit the minimum spend for the credit card bonus.
Make use of your miles or points wisely
When you’ve earned a significant amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize them wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card and then compare the benefits of different redemption options. For example, using points to book a flight directly with the airline could give you a better return than using them for a gift card.
Another tip is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer reward points into other loyalty programmes. This allows you to get a wider selection of choices and more flexibility when you want to redeem your rewards. For instance, you might be eligible to transfer your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or hotel rewards program. This can give you access to a greater range of flights, hotels as well as other travel perks that may not be accessible through the rewards program on your credit card.
In addition, you should discover the card’s benefits. certain benefits that will save you money on travel-related expenses. Many cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection, and other benefits that could be very beneficial when traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a friend each of you will be able to earn rewards with your credit card. Make sure you don’t share the costs on the same card and make sure you keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
The key to making the most of your rewards for travel is to be aware of your credit card’s rewards program and make sure you’re using your credit card in the most effective method. By using a combination of the strategies I’ve listed that you can earn rewards quickly, redeem them for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad variety of travel benefits.