Are you tired of paying a fortune on airfare? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting method to turn credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles, which can be used to get discounted or even free flights to your desired destinations. With a little 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 about trading credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. These miles can then be used to buy discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards will also allow you to redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or car rental discounts.
How Does it Work?
The key to successful hacking travel is taking advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and to establish frequent flyer miles with a limited number of airlines. When it comes time to book a flight take a look at the price. If the flight is less than $300, it’s best to pay cash and use your miles to pay to book a higher-priced flight. When the flights start getting higher than $500, it’s best to look into those frequent flyer accounts to find out which airline will give you the most value. It all comes down to the amount of points or miles you have in your travel bank for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to travel hacking? The first step is to open the credit card that comes with a sign-up bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards that offer various benefits and features. It depends on the type of airline, your spending habits, and the features that are most crucial 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
If you’ve been approved for a credit or debit card, you’ll need to hit the limit of spending minimum in order to get the bonus. Every card has different guidelines, so make certain to verify the details. From there you can begin to rack up miles and using them to book your dream trip!
Ready to jet-set with your goals?
Once you’ve accumulated your points balance, you’re ready to redeem them for some nice vacation! Different credit card providers will have different methods for redeeming your points. Here are a few examples from some of the providers I have experience with:
Escape through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you’re a holder of a Chase card, you can redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through it, you’ll have access to virtually every airline, and you can use a combination of money and points to pay for your trip. You can even book completely using points if you’ve got the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you do not have enough points to cover the full cost, you still can book flights using the 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 not know that when you book directly through United You have the option of paying using dollars or points? Butbe aware in case you don’t have enough points, you aren’t able to combine points and dollars for the same flight. No worries though, if you’re a few points away, United gives you the option of buying additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience , with more legroom and free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to that of United Airlines which allows customers to book using either JetBlue points or dollars, but not both. However, JetBlue offers a distinct feature where you can pool your points together with your family members and earn points twice as fast. Be sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack into the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re like me or my travel companion Becca I’m sure you’re pretty frugal and it can be daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to reach the minimum amount required to earn a credit card bonus. Don’t worry as we’ve done it and are here to share our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able to pay your rent using a credit card, do it! Just be prepared to pay a fee, usually about 3 percent. It might be worth it over the long term in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another way to reach the minimum spend is to pay for the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills in the near future, ask your relatives if you could pay for theirs and they can reimburse you.
Pay off the loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan take into consideration repaying them using an credit card. Just make sure you pay off the balance on your credit card in full so you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Talk to your family and look into any large 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 know why you’re doing it.
If it’s the holiday season, consider buying all of your gifts with your credit card. In this way, you’ll 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 get the most out of your travel credit card. You can earn miles or points to be used towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are some additional ideas for maximizing your rewards
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, make use of you travel credit card to book your flight, hotel, rental car, and any other travel-related expenses. In addition, you’ll achieve the minimum amount of spending required to qualify for a credit card reward and earn points, but you’ll also earn points or miles on these expenses.
Make use of your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday costs
Another way to hit the minimum spending requirement to earn rewards is by making use of your credit card to pay for every day expenditures. This can include things like food, gas 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 specific types of purchases, like eating out or travelling. Be sure to review your rewards program on your credit card and take advantage of any bonus categories that align with your spending habits.
Consider the possibility of transferring your balance
If you have existing outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, think about transferring the balance to the travel credit card which has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will let you pay off the debt without accruing interest and simultaneously help you hit the minimum spend for the credit card’s bonus.
Make use of your miles or points carefully
If you’ve amassed a large amount of miles or points make sure you use them in a responsible manner. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and then compare the worth of various redemption options. For instance using points to book a flight directly through the airline may give you a better value than using them to purchase an gift card.
Another suggestion is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will allow you to get a wider selection of options and greater freedom when it comes to you want to redeem your rewards. For instance, you might be capable of transferring your rewards to an airline’s frequent flyer program or a hotel rewards program. This can give you access to a wider selection of hotels, flights and other travel benefits which are not accessible through your credit card’s rewards program.
Also, determine whether your credit card has some perks that could save you money on travel-related costs. Some cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that can be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a friend, both of you can get rewards on your own credit card. Be aware that you cannot divide the cost with the same card. Also, make sure to keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
Overall, the key to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to understand your credit card’s rewards program and ensure that you’re making use of it in the most efficient method. By using all of the strategies I’ve listed in this article, you’ll be able get rewards in a short time, use them for travel experiences that are worth it and benefit from a wide range of travel perks.