Are you tired of spending a fortune on airfare? Well, good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting method to convert credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles which you can use to get discounted or even cheap flights from your desired destinations. With a bit of creativity and some insider knowledge, you can fly for no cost within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can later be used to buy cheap or free flight tickets. Some credit cards also allow you to redeem miles towards hotel stays or rental car deals.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for success in hacking travel is taking advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and building out a frequent flyer mile program for a specific group of airlines. When it comes time to make a booking consider the cost. If the flight is under $300, it’s best to pay cash and save your miles to take a more costly flight. If your flights begin to climb above $500, you’ll want to review your frequent flyer accounts and see which airline can give you the best price. It all boils down to the number of points or miles in your travel account for each airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to hacking travel? First step to open an account with a sign-up offer. There are many great credit cards with various features and benefits. It all depends on your preferred airline, your spending habits, and what features are important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit card options that can be great to hack travel
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
After you’ve been accepted for a credit card you’ll have to meet the limit of spending minimum in order to qualify for the bonus. Every card has different rules, so be sure to look up this information. From there you can begin to rack up miles, and using them to book your dream trip!
Ready to jet-set with your goals?
Now that you’ve built up the points amount, it’s time to use them towards nice vacation! Different credit card companies will offer different ways to redeem your rewards, here are some examples from a few of the companies I’ve had experience with:
Take a trip with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own a Chase credit card, then you are able to redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through the portal, you’ll have access to nearly every airline. You can make use of a combination of money and points to pay for your trip. You can even book entirely on points if you have enough balance! Sometimes even if you don’t possess enough points for the full cost, you still can buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with the credit card of your choice.
Are you fed up of paying full price for your flight tickets? Did you realize that when booking directly through United, you have the option to pay with either points or dollars? But, be careful that if you don’t have enough points, you cannot combine dollars and points on flights. No worries though, if you’re a few points away, United gives you the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers passengers a relaxing and pleasant travel experience that includes extra legroom as well as free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is like United’s, allowing customers to book using either JetBlue points or dollars, however, not both. The difference is that JetBlue offers a distinct feature that allows you to pool your points together with your family members and earn points twice as quickly. Just make sure you can prove you’re really family before trying to hack into the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re anything like me and my travel buddy Becca I’m sure you’re pretty thrifty and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum spend for a credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried, we’ve been through it and we’re here to share our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able pay your rent with credit card, then do it! Just be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually at least 3%. It might be worth it in the end in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another way to reach the spending limit is to cover a medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses due then ask your family members to pay for theirs and they’ll repay you.
Repay the loan
If you have any loans you owe, think about repaying them using your credit card. Make sure to pay off the balance on your credit card completely so that you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Discuss your family with them and determine if they’ve got any major expenses in the near future that you can help pay for. Just make sure you have confidence in the person you are talking to and they understand why you’re doing it.
If it’s the holiday season, consider buying all your gifts using cards from your credit account. This way you can hit that minimum spend and also be ready to give gifts. Make sure that you’re not paying more than you planning to.
There are plenty of ways to get the most from using your credit or debit card for travel. accrue points or miles to be used towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few additional ways to maximize your rewards
Make travel reservations using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, use you travel credit card to pay for your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as any other travel-related expenses. Not only will you be able to meet the minimum spend to qualify for a credit card as well, but you’ll also earn points or miles for these expenditures.
Use your credit card for all your daily costs
Another way to hit the minimum spend and earn points is by using your credit card to pay for daily costs. This could be things like food, gas or even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay the balance off in full each month so you don’t accumulate interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer bonus points or miles on certain kinds of purchases, such as eating out or traveling. Make sure you review your credit card’s rewards program and make use of any bonus categories that align with your spending habits.
Take into consideration a balance transfer
If you are currently in debt on a credit card, think about transferring the balance to a travel credit card with the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfer. This will allow you to pay off the debt without accruing interest, and also aid in achieving the minimum spending requirement for the credit card bonus.
Make use of your miles or points wisely
If you’ve amassed a large amount of points or miles, be sure to use them wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and compare the worth of various redemption options. For example you can use 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 suggestion is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer rewards to different loyalty program. This will let you have a wider range of options and greater flexibility when redeeming your rewards. For instance, you might be eligible to transfer your reward to the frequent flyer program of an airline or a Hotel rewards programme. This gives you access to a wider range of flights, hotels and other travel benefits that may not be available through your credit card’s rewards program.
In addition, you should find out the card’s benefits. any perks that can help you save money on travel costs. Some cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that can be invaluable when you travel.
If you’re traveling with someone else, both of you can earn rewards using your credit card. Just remember that you can’t divide the cost with the same card, and be sure you keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do to maximizing your travel rewards is to know the rewards program of your credit card and ensure that you’re using it in the most effective method possible. By using an array of strategies I’ve listed that you can earn rewards fast, exchange them for travel experiences that are worth it and benefit from a wide assortment of travel-related perks.