Are you tired of spending a fortune on airfare? Good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting way to turn credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles which you can use to obtain discounted or complimentary flights for your desired destinations. With a bit of creativity and some insider knowledge, you can be jet-setting for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about trading credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can then be used to pay for discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards will also let you redeem miles for hotel stays and car rental discounts.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for successful travel hacking is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and to establish a frequent flyer mile program 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 best to pay in cash and save your miles to take a more costly flight. If the prices start to rise higher than $500, it’s best to look into your frequent flyer accounts to find out which airline will give you the best price. All it boils down to is the number of points or miles you have in your travel account for every airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to hacking travel? Your first task is to open the credit card that comes that comes with a welcome bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that provide various benefits and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, spending habits and the features that are most essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit card options that can be excellent to hack travel
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
After you’ve been accepted for a credit or debit card, you’ll have to meet the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to get the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so be sure to look up the details. From there, it’s all about racking up miles, and using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your goals?
Once you’ve accumulated the points amount, it’s time to redeem them for some nice getaway! Different credit card companies have different methods for redeeming your points, but here are some examples from some of the ones I’ve had experience with:
Take a trip by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of an Chase cards, you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In this portal you’ll have access to virtually every airline. You can combine the points as well as cash in order to pay for your travel. You can book your flight entirely with points if you’ve enough balance! Sometimes even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for entire cost, you are able to book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using any 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 to pay with either points or dollars? Butbe aware, if you don’t have enough points you can’t combine points and dollars for flights. No worries though, if you’re a few point short United also offers the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue provides a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience , with more space and complimentary snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to United’s which allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue dollar or points, however, not both. The difference is that JetBlue offers a distinct feature that lets you pool your points together with your relatives to earn points twice as fast. Just make sure you can 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, you’re probably pretty economical and it’s 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 we’re here to share some of our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able pay your rent using credit card, then do it! Make sure you pay a cost, which is usually at least 3 percent. It might be worth it over the long term when the bonus is large enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another great way to hit the minimum spend is to cover the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills in the near future then ask your family members if you can pay their medical bills and they will pay you back.
Make a payment to pay off the loan
If you have any loans take into consideration repaying them using your credit card. Make sure to pay the credit card balance in full so you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask family for help
Ask your family members to see if they have any major expenses in the near future which you could help pay for. Make sure that you are able to trust the person and they know why you’re taking the initiative.
If it’s the holiday season you should consider purchasing all your gifts with your credit card. This way you can reach the minimum spending requirement and also be ready to give gifts. Be sure to avoid paying more than you contemplating to.
There are a lot of ways to get the most out of your travel credit card. You can earn miles or points to use towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few more ideas for maximizing your rewards:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, 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 minimum spend to earn your credit card reward and earn points, but you’ll also earn points or miles for the costs.
Use your credit card to pay for your everyday costs
Another method to reach the minimum spending requirement in order to accumulate points by using your credit card for everyday costs. This can include things like food, gas or even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay the balance off each month in full so you don’t pay interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or points in exchange for specific types of purchases, like eating out or traveling. Be sure to review your credit card’s rewards program and make use of any bonus categories that align with your spending routines.
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 a travel credit card with an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will allow you to pay off the debt without accruing interest. It will also assist you in reaching the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus.
Utilize your miles and points wisely
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of points or miles Make sure to utilize the points or miles wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card, and evaluate the benefits of different redemption options. For instance using points to purchase a flight directly through the airline may give you a better value than using them to purchase the purchase of a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer rewards to different loyalty program. This allows you to get a wider selection of choices and more flexibility when you want to redeem your rewards. For instance, you might be capable of transferring your reward to an airline’s frequent flyer program or a reward program for hotels. This can give the benefit of a larger selection of hotels, flights and other travel benefits which are not available through the rewards program of your credit card.
Also, determine whether your credit card has any perks that can save you money on travel-related costs. Many cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that could be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling 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 you keep track of your rewards separately.
The key to maximizing your travel rewards is to understand your credit card’s rewards program and ensure that you’re making use of this program in the most efficient way possible. Through a combination of the strategies I’ve listed that you can earn rewards quickly, redeem rewards for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad assortment of travel-related perks.