Are you tired of spending a fortune on airfare? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel woes. It’s a fun way to convert credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into miles which you can use to get discounted or even free flights to your dream destinations. With a little imagination and a little bit of insider information, you’ll fly for no cost 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 later be used to pay for discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards permit you to use miles to pay for hotel stays or car rental deals.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for successful hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and establishing a frequent flyer mile program with a limited number of airlines. When you are ready to book a flight take a look at the price. If the price is under $300, it’s usually better to pay cash and use your miles to pay to book a higher-priced flight. If the prices start to rise above $500, you’ll want to look into the frequent flyer account and find out which airline will give you the best deal. It all comes down to the amount of points or miles you have in your travel savings account for every airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn 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 is all dependent on the airline, your spending habits, and what features are important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit card options that can be perfect to use for hacking travel:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
If you’ve been approved for a credit card, you’ll have to meet the minimum spend limit in order to get the bonus. Each card has its own guidelines, so make sure to look up this information. Then you can begin to rack up miles and then using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your ideas?
After you’ve accrued the points balance, you’re ready to use them towards nice vacation! Different credit card companies will have different methods for redeeming your rewards, here are some examples from some of the companies I have experience with:
Take a trip by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have a Chase credit card, then you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through this portal you’ll have access to nearly every airline, and you can combine money and points to book your trip. You can book your flight entirely with points if you’ve the balance for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for total price, you can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with any credit card.
Are you fed up of paying full price for your flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United You have the option to pay with dollars or points? Be careful, if you don’t have enough points you aren’t able to combine points and dollars on flights. If you’re a few points short, United provides the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience with extra space and complimentary snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to United’s, allowing customers to book using either JetBlue dollar or points however, not both. However, JetBlue offers a distinct feature where you can combine your points with your relatives to earn points twice as fast. Make sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack into the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel companion Becca You’re probably quite economical and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to hit the minimum spend for a credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried because we’ve been there and are here to share 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, go for it! Be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually around 3 percent. It might be worth it in the end if the bonus is high enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another great way to hit the spending limit is to cover the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills coming up then ask your relatives if you could pay their medical bills and they can repay you.
Repay a loan
If you have any loans, consider making payments on them with your credit card. Be sure to pay off the balance on your credit card completely so that you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Discuss your family with them and see if they have any major expenses in the near future which you could help pay for. Just make sure you have confidence in the person you are talking to and they know why you’re doing this.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season take into consideration buying all your gifts using your credit card. This way you can meet the minimum spending limit and also be prepared for giving gifts. Just make sure you’re not paying more than you planning to.
There are a lot of ways to get the most from using your credit or debit card for travel. You can accrue points or miles to spend on the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few additional ways to maximize the rewards you earn:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, use your travel credit card to book your hotel, flight, rental car, and any other travel-related expenses. In addition, you’ll be able to hit the required amount to earn your credit card reward and earn points, however, you’ll also earn points or miles for the expenditures.
Use your credit card to pay for your everyday expenses
Another method to reach the minimum spending requirement to earn rewards is using your credit card to pay for daily expenses. This can include things like food, gas and even your telephone bill. Just make sure to pay the balance off in full every month to ensure you don’t pay interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer bonus points or miles for certain types of purchases, like eating out or traveling. Check out your rewards program on your credit card and avail any bonus categories that align with your spending habits.
Think about a balance transfer
If you have existing outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, consider transferring the balance to an account with a travel credit card that has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfers. This will enable you to pay off your debts without accruing interest, and also help you hit the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus.
Make use of your miles or points prudently
When you’ve earned a significant amount of miles or points, be sure to use the points or miles wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and compare the value of different redemption options. For example, using your points to book a ticket directly with the airline might offer better value than using them for 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 making use of your rewards. For example, you may be eligible to transfer your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or hotel rewards program. This gives you access to a wider selection of hotels, flights and other travel benefits that aren’t accessible through the rewards program of your credit card.
Also, find out the card’s benefits. any perks that can help you save money on travel expenses. Many cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection and other benefits that can be very beneficial when traveling.
When you travel with a friend and both of you earn rewards using your own credit card. Just remember that you can’t split the cost on the same card, and be sure to keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
Overall, the key to maximizing your travel rewards is to know the rewards program on your credit card and to ensure you’re using your credit card in the most effective method possible. Through all of the methods I’ve described, you’ll be able to earn rewards quickly, redeem them for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide assortment of travel-related perks.