Are you tired of paying a fortune on airfare? Well, good news! Travel hacking is the answer to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting method to convert credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles, that can then be used to score discounted or cheap flights from your desired destinations. With a little bit of creativity and some insider know-how, you’ll 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 and incentives for airline miles. These miles can then be used to buy discount or no-cost flights. Some credit cards also let you redeem miles towards hotel stays or rental car offers.
How Does it Work?
The key to successful hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and establishing a frequent flyer mile program for a specific group of airlines. When it comes time to make a booking consider the cost. If the cost is less than $300, it’s generally better to pay in cash and save your miles 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 best deal. All it boils down to is the number of points or miles you have in your travel savings account for each airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to hacking travel? The first step is to open an account with a sign-up offer. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that provide a variety of features and benefits. It depends on the type of airline, spending habits and what features are important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards that are excellent 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 reach the minimum spend limit in order to receive the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so make certain to verify this information. Then it’s all about building miles and then using them to book your dream trip!
Ready to jet-set with your ideas?
After you’ve accrued your points amount, it’s time to cash them in for some delicious getaway! Different credit card companies have different methods for redeeming your rewards, here are some examples from some of the ones I have experience with:
Getaway by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have an Chase cards, you are able to redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within it, you’ll get access to virtually every airline. You can combine money and points to pay for your travel. You can even book entirely with points if you’ve enough balance! Sometimes even if you don’t possess enough points for the entire price, you can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using 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 of paying using either points or dollars? Butbe aware, if you don’t have enough points you cannot combine points and dollars on flights. No worries though, if you’re a few points short, United gives you the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience , with more space and complimentary snacks. Additionally, their booking process is like United’s which allows customers to book using either JetBlue dollar or points, however, not both. The difference is that JetBlue has a unique feature where you can join your points with your family members and earn points twice as fast. Be sure to establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack into the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me or my travel buddy Becca I’m sure you’re pretty frugal and it can be daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to hit the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried as we’ve done it and we’re here to share 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, go for it! Be prepared to be charged a fee, typically at least 3%. It could be worthwhile over the long term when the bonus is large enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another great way to hit the required spending is to cover an medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses due, ask your family members to pay them for theirs, and they will pay you back.
Pay off a loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan take into consideration paying them off with your credit card. Be sure to pay off the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask family for help
Ask your family members to look into any large expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Make sure that you are able to are able to trust the person and that they know why you’re doing this.
If you’re celebrating the holidays take into consideration buying all of your gifts with your credit card. So you’ll be able to hit that minimum spend and be ready to give gifts. Be sure to avoid spending more than you already planning to.
There are a lot of ways to get the most from the travel credit card. You can earn miles or points to spend on the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few more ways to maximize your rewards
Make travel reservations using your credit card
If you’re planning a vacation, make use of the travel credit card for booking your flight, hotel, rental car, and any other travel expenses. You’ll not only be able to meet the required amount for your credit card reward, but you’ll also earn points or miles for the expenditures.
Use your credit card for all your daily expenditures
Another way to hit the minimum spend and earn points is making use of your credit card to pay for daily expenses. This can include items like groceries, gas, and even your phone bill. Make sure you pay the balance off each month in full so you don’t pay interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide bonus points or miles for specific types of purchases, such as dining or travel. Make sure you review your rewards program on your credit card and make use of any bonus categories that align with your spending habits.
Think about a balance transfer
If you have existing debt on a credit card, you might want to transfer that balance to the travel credit card which has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfers. This will enable you to pay off the debt without accruing interest and simultaneously help you hit the minimum amount required to earn the credit card’s bonus.
Use your points or miles prudently
When you’ve earned a significant amount of points or miles Make sure to utilize the points or miles wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card, and evaluate the worth of various redemption options. For example, using your points to book a ticket directly with the airline could provide you with a greater return than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another option is to get a rewards card that allows you to transfer rewards to different loyalty program. This will allow you to have a wider range of choices and more flexibility in making use of your rewards. For instance, you might be eligible to transfer your rewards to an airline’s frequent flyer program or a hotel rewards program. This can give the benefit of a larger range of flights, hotels and other travel benefits that aren’t offered through your credit card’s rewards program.
Also, discover the card’s benefits. any perks that can help you save money on travel costs. Many cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that can be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
When you travel with someone else, both of you can earn rewards using your credit card. Make sure you don’t split the cost on the same card and make sure to keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
Overall, the key to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to know your credit card’s rewards program and make sure you’re making use of it in the most effective way possible. By using all of the strategies I’ve outlined in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards quickly, redeem rewards for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad range of travel perks.