Are you tired of paying a fortune on airfare? Well, good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting way to turn credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles which can be used to obtain discounted or complimentary flights for your desired destinations. With a bit of creativity and some insider information, you’ll be jet-setting for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. The miles can be used to pay for cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards allow you to redeem miles towards hotel stays or rental car offers.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for successful hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and to establish frequent flyer miles for a specific group of airlines. When you are ready to make a booking, evaluate the cost. If the flight is less than $300, it’s usually better to pay cash and save your miles for a more expensive flight. If your flights begin to climb 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 number of points or miles you have you have in your travel savings account for each airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to hacking travel? First step opening an account that comes with a welcome bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards that offer many advantages and features. It is all dependent on the airline, spending habits and the features that are most important 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
Once you’ve been approved for a credit card, you’ll need to hit the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to qualify for the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so be sure to look up this information. Then, it’s all about racking up miles, and using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your goals?
After you’ve accrued the points balance, you’re ready to use them towards sweet getaway! Different credit card providers will have different methods for redeeming 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 credit card, then you are able to redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within it, you’ll get access to virtually every airline. You can use a combination of money and points to book your trip. You can even book entirely using points if you’ve got enough balance! Sometimes, even if you don’t possess enough points for the entire price, you can buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using every credit card.
Are you fed up of paying full price for your flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United You have the option to pay with dollars or points? Butbe aware, if you don’t have enough points, you cannot combine dollars and points on flights. If you’re a few point short United also offers the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers a comfortable and enjoyable travel experience that includes extra space and complimentary snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to United’s, allowing customers to book using either JetBlue either dollars or points, but not both. But, JetBlue has a unique feature that allows you to join your points with your family members and earn points twice as quickly. Make sure to 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 companion Becca You’re probably quite frugal and it can be daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to hit the minimum spend for credit card bonuses. But don’t fret 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 to pay for your rent with credit card, then do it! Be prepared to be charged a fee, typically at least 3%. It could be worthwhile in the long run if the bonus is high enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another great way to hit the spending limit is to cover a medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills coming up Ask your family members if you can pay their medical bills and they can repay you.
Pay off a loan
If you’re a borrower, consider repaying them using an credit card. Just make sure you pay the credit card balance completely so that you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask family for help
Ask your family members to determine if they’ve got any large expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Just make sure you are able to trust the person and that they understand why you’re doing it.
If it’s the holiday season take into consideration buying all of your gifts with cards from your credit account. In this way, you’ll reach the minimum spending requirement and also be ready to give gifts. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you already planning to.
There are many methods to get the most from the travel credit card. accumulate miles or points that you can be used towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few additional ways to maximize the rewards you earn:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, use your travel credit card for booking your flight, hotel, rental car, and any other travel expenses. You’ll not only be able to hit the minimum amount of spending required to qualify for a credit card and earn points, but you’ll also be earning points or miles on the expenditures.
Make use of your credit card to pay for all your daily costs
Another way to hit the minimum spend in order to accumulate points by utilising your credit cards to pay for everyday expenditures. This could include things like food, gas and even your telephone bill. Be sure to pay off the balance in full every month to ensure you don’t accumulate interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or points in exchange for certain types of purchases, like eating out or travelling. Be sure to review the rewards program of your credit card and take advantage of any bonus categories that match with your spending habits.
Think about a balance transfer
If you have existing debt on a high-interest credit card, consider transferring that balance onto a travel credit card with an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will allow you to pay off your debt without accruing interest and simultaneously assist you in reaching the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus.
Use your points or miles prudently
When you’ve earned a significant amount of points or miles, be sure to use the points or miles wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card, and evaluate the worth of various redemption options. For instance you can use points to book a flight directly with the airline might give you a better return than using them for an gift card.
Another option is to get rewards cards that allow you to transfer your rewards to different loyalty program. This will allow you to have a wider range of options and greater flexibility in you want to redeem your rewards. For example, you may be eligible to transfer your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or reward program for hotels. This will give the benefit of a wider range of flights, hotels as well as other travel perks that may not be accessible through the rewards program on your credit card.
Also, discover whether your credit card has some perks that could reduce your travel expenses. Some cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection and other benefits that can be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a companion, both of you can earn rewards using your own credit card. Just remember that you can’t share the costs on the same card and make sure to track your rewards in a separate manner.
The key to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to know the rewards program on your credit card and make sure you’re using it in the most efficient method possible. Utilizing an array of strategies I’ve listed in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards quickly, redeem them for travel experiences that are worth it, and enjoy a wide variety of travel benefits.