Are you tired of paying a fortune on airfare? 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 miles which you can use to obtain discounted or free flights to your ideal destinations. With a bit of imagination and some knowledge, you can be jet-setting for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about trading credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. These miles can later be used to pay for cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards will also let you redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or rental car deals.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for success in travel hacking is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and establishing a frequent flyer mile program with a limited number of airlines. When it’s time to make a booking consider the cost. If the price is under $300, it’s best to pay cash and use your miles to pay to book a higher-priced flight. If the prices start to rise above $500, you’ll want to check those frequent flyer accounts and determine which airline offers you the best deal. It all boils down to the number of miles or points you have in your travel savings account for each airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets of travel hacking? The first step is to open the credit card that comes with a sign-up offer. There are many great credit cards that provide various features and benefits. It depends on the type of airline, your habits with spending and the features that are most essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards that are excellent to hack 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 receive the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so be sure to check for this information. From there, it’s all about racking miles and using them to book your dream trip!
Ready to jet-set with your goals?
Once you’ve accumulated the points amount, it’s time to cash them in for some delicious vacation! Different credit card providers will have different methods of redeeming your points, but here are a few examples from some of the ones I’ve had experience with:
Take a trip through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you’re a holder of an Chase card, you are able to redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. In it, you’ll get access to almost every airline, and you can use a combination of money and points to book your next trip. You can book your flight entirely on points if you have the balance for it! Sometimes even if you do not possess enough points for the entire cost, you are able to buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using every credit card.
Are you fed up of paying full price for flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United You have the option of paying with dollars or points? Butbe aware in case you don’t have enough points, you cannot combine dollars and points for one flight. If you’re only a couple of points away, United also offers the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience , with more legroom as well as free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to United’s that allows you to book with either JetBlue points or dollars, but not both. However, JetBlue offers a distinct feature that lets you combine your points with family members to accrue points twice as fast. 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 like me or my travel buddy Becca I’m sure you’re pretty economical and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the required amount to qualify for the credit card bonus. Don’t worry 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 pay your rent using credit card, then do it! Just be prepared to pay a fee, usually at least 3%. It might be worth it in the long run in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the required spending is to pay for the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills due Ask your family members to pay for theirs and they will reimburse you.
Make a payment to pay off a loan
If you’re a borrower take into consideration paying them off with your credit card. Be sure to pay off the balance on your credit card in full , so that you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask family for help
Ask your family members to see if they have any big expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to are able to trust the person and that they know why you’re doing this.
If you’re celebrating the holidays, consider buying all of your gifts with cards from your credit account. This way you can hit that minimum spend and be ready to give gifts. Be sure to avoid paying more than you already planning to.
There are many ways to make the most out of the travel credit card. accumulate miles or points that you can use towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few additional ways to maximize the rewards you earn:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, make use of you travel credit card for booking your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as other travel costs. Not only will you achieve the minimum amount of spending required to earn your credit card, but you’ll also earn points or miles for those costs.
Use your credit card to pay for your everyday costs
Another way to meet the minimum spending requirement to earn rewards is using your credit card to pay everyday expenses. This can include things like gas, groceries or even your phone bill. Make sure you pay off the balance in full each month so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Make the most of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or bonus points for certain types of purchases, such as eating out or travelling. Make sure you review your credit card’s rewards program and avail the bonus categories that are in line with your spending routines.
Consider the possibility of transferring your balance
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a credit card, you might want to transfer the balance to a travel credit card with an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfers. This will enable you to pay off your debts without accruing interest, and also assist you in reaching the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus.
Make use of your miles or points prudently
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of points or miles make sure you use the points or miles wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and then compare the value of different redemption options. For instance using your points to book a ticket directly with the airline might give you a better return than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another option is to get a rewards card that allows you to transfer your points to other loyalty programs. This will allow you to enjoy a greater variety of choices and more freedom when it comes to redeeming your rewards. For example, you may be capable of transferring your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or hotel rewards program. This can give the benefit of a larger range of flights, hotels as well as other travel perks that may not be available through the rewards program on your credit card.
In addition, you should find out whether your credit card has some perks that could reduce your travel costs. Many cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that could be very beneficial when traveling.
When you travel with a friend each of you will be able to earn rewards using your credit card. Just remember that you can’t share the costs on the same card and make sure to track your rewards separately.
Overall, the key to making the most of your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program on your credit card and ensure that you’re making use of your credit card in the most efficient method. Through an array of methods I’ve described, you’ll be able to get rewards in a short time, use rewards for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad variety of travel benefits.