Are you tired of spending a fortune on airfare? Well, good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting way to convert credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles that can then be used to score discounted or free flights to your desired destinations. With a little creativity and some insider information, you’ll fly for no cost in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of trading credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. The miles can be used to pay for discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards permit you to use miles to pay for hotel stays or rental car discounts.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for 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’s time to make a booking take a look at the price. If the flight is less than $300, it’s usually better to pay cash and save your miles for a more expensive flight. If the prices start to rise over $500, you’ll need to look into your frequent flyer accounts and see which airline can give you the most value. It all comes down to the amount of miles or points in your travel bank for every airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets of travel hacking? First step to open an account with a sign-up bonus. There are many great credit cards that offer various advantages and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, your habits with spending and the features that are most important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards perfect for travel hacking:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
After you’ve been accepted for a credit card you’ll need to hit the limit of spending minimum in order to qualify for the bonus. Every card has different rules, so be certain to verify this information. Then, it’s all about racking up miles and using them to plan your dream trip!
Ready to jet-set with your ideas?
Once you’ve accumulated the points balance, you’re ready to use them towards sweet getaway! Different credit card companies have different methods for redeeming your rewards, here are a few examples from some of the companies I have experience with:
Getaway with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have an Chase card, you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through the portal, you’ll have access to virtually every airline. You can combine the points as well as cash in order to book your travel. You can even book entirely using points if you’ve got enough balance! Sometimes even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for entire price, you can buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with any credit card.
Are you tired of paying full price for flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United You have the option of paying using either points or dollars? Butbe aware that if you don’t have enough points, you cannot combine dollars and points for flights. If you’re just a few points short, United gives you the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers an enjoyable and comfortable travel experience that includes extra legroom as well as free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is like United’s which allows you to book with either JetBlue points or dollars however, not both. The difference is that JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature where you can pool your points together with your family members and earn points twice as quickly. Be sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me and my travel companion Becca I’m sure you’re pretty frugal and it can be difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to reach the minimum spend for a credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried as we’ve done it and are here to share some of our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able to pay your rent with credit card, then do it! Be prepared to be charged a fee, typically around 3%. It may be worth it in the end if the bonus is high enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another great way to hit the minimum spend is to pay for an medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses coming up, ask your family members to pay their medical bills and they will reimburse you.
Pay off the loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan, consider paying them off with an credit card. Just make sure you pay the credit card balance in full so you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask family for help
Discuss your family with them and see if they have any major expenses in the near future 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 are aware of the reason for taking the initiative.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season, consider buying all your gifts with cards from your credit account. In this way, you’ll hit that minimum spend and also be prepared for gift giving. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you thinking of.
There are many methods to get the most from using your credit or debit card for travel. You can earn miles or points to use towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few more ideas for maximizing your rewards
Book travel expenses with your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, make use of you travel credit card to pay for your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as any other travel expenses. In addition, you’ll be able to hit the minimum amount of spending required for your credit card reward as well, however, you’ll also earn points or miles for these expenses.
Use your credit card for everyday costs
Another method to reach the minimum spending requirement to earn rewards is by utilising your credit cards to pay daily expenses. This can include items like groceries, gas or even your phone bill. Be sure to pay off the balance in full every month to ensure you don’t accrue interest charges.
Benefit from bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or bonus points on certain kinds of purchases, such as eating out or traveling. Check out your credit card’s rewards program and avail any bonus categories that align with your spending routines.
Consider the possibility of transferring your balance
If you are currently in outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer the balance to an account with a travel credit card that has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfers. This will let you pay off the debt without accruing interest, and also assist you in reaching the minimum spend for the credit card bonus.
Use your points or miles carefully
If you’ve amassed a large amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize them in a responsible manner. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and compare the benefits of different redemption options. For instance you can use your points to purchase a flight directly with the airline could give you a better value than using them to purchase the purchase of a gift card.
Another option is to get an rewards card that permits you to transfer your rewards to different loyalty program. This will allow you to enjoy a greater variety of choices and more flexibility when you want to redeem your rewards. For instance, you might be eligible to transfer your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a hotel rewards program. This can give you access to a greater selection of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks that aren’t offered through the rewards program on your credit card.
In addition, you should discover whether your credit card has any perks that can help you save money on travel expenses. Some cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that are extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
If you’re traveling with someone else and both of you earn rewards using your credit card. Just remember that you can’t share the costs on the same card. Also, make sure to track your rewards separately.
Overall, the key to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to understand your credit card’s rewards program and make sure you’re making use of this program in the most effective method. Utilizing an array of methods I’ve described in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards fast, exchange rewards for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad assortment of travel-related perks.