Are you tired of spending a fortune on airfare? Good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting method to convert credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into miles which can be used to get discounted or even cheap flights from your desired destinations. With a little bit of creativity and some insider know-how, you’ll fly for no cost in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about swapping credit card sign-up bonus and incentives for airline miles. These miles can then be used to purchase discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards will also permit you to use miles for hotel stays and rental car offers.
How Does it Work?
The secret to success in hacking travel is taking advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and building out a frequent flyer mile program with a limited number of airlines. When it’s time to book a flight take a look at the price. If the price is under $300, it’s best to pay cash and save your miles to book a higher-priced flight. If your flights begin to climb higher than $500, it’s best to check your frequent flyer accounts and find out which airline will give you the most value. All it boils down to is the number of points or miles in your travel bank 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 a credit card with a sign-up offer. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that offer many features and benefits. It is all dependent on the airline, spending habits and the features that are most crucial 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 have to meet the limit of spending minimum in order to get the bonus. Every card has different rules, so be certain to verify this information. Then it’s all about building up miles, and then using them to book your dream trip!
Ready to jet-set with your ideas?
Once you’ve accumulated the points amount, it’s time to redeem them for some delicious getaway! Different credit card companies have different methods for redeeming your rewards, here are some examples from a few of the ones I’ve had experience with:
Take a trip with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have a Chase credit card, then you can redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. In it, you’ll get access to nearly every airline. You can combine the points as well as cash in order to pay for 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 cost, you still can buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with any credit card.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for your flight tickets? Did you not know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option of paying with either points or dollars? Be careful that if you do not have enough points you aren’t able to combine points and dollars for flights. No worries though, if you’re only a couple of points away, United provides the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers a comfortable and enjoyable travel experience that includes extra legroom and free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is like United’s, allowing customers to book using either JetBlue points or dollars but not both. But, JetBlue offers a distinct feature that lets you join your points with family members to accrue points twice as fast. Just make sure you can establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me or my travel buddy 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 the credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried because we’ve been there and are 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 with credit card, go for it! Make sure you pay a cost, which is usually at least 3 percent. It might be worth it in the end when the bonus is large enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another great way to hit the spending limit is to pay for a medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses due, ask your family members if you can pay for theirs and they’ll repay you.
Repay the loan
If you’re a borrower take into consideration making payments on them with your credit card. Be sure to pay off the credit card balance completely so that you don’t accrue additional debt.
Ask your family members for help
Discuss your family with them and see if they have any big expenses coming up which you could help pay for. Make sure that you are able to are able to trust the person and that they understand why you’re doing this.
If it’s the holiday season, consider buying all of your gifts with your credit card. In this way, you’ll reach the minimum spending requirement and be ready for giving gifts. Just make sure you’re not paying more than you contemplating to.
There are a lot of ways to make the most out of using your credit or debit card for travel. earn miles or points to be used towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few additional ways to maximize the rewards you earn:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, use the travel credit card for booking your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as any other travel expenses. Not only will you be able to meet the minimum spend for your credit card bonus as well, but you’ll also earn points or miles for those costs.
Utilize your credit card to pay for everyday expenses
Another way to hit the minimum amount of spending in order to accumulate points by using your credit card to pay daily expenditures. This could 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 miles or bonus points on certain kinds of purchases, like dining or travel. Make sure you review your credit card’s rewards program and make use of any bonus categories that align with your spending routines.
Take into consideration a balance transfer
If you are currently in debt on a credit card, you might want to transfer the balance to the travel credit card which has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfers. This will allow you to pay off the debt without accruing interest. It will also aid in achieving the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus.
Utilize your miles and points wisely
If you’ve amassed a large amount of points or miles make sure you use them in a responsible manner. Review the rewards program for your credit card and then compare the benefits of different redemption options. For instance, using points to book a flight directly through the airline may give you a better value than using them for a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer rewards to different loyalty program. This will let you enjoy a greater variety of options and greater freedom when it comes to you want to redeem your rewards. For example, you may be able to transfer your reward to an airline’s frequent flyer program or reward program for hotels. This gives an access larger range of flights, hotels and other travel benefits that may not be available through the rewards program of your credit card.
In addition, you should find out whether your credit card has some perks that could save you money on travel-related expenses. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection, and other benefits that could be invaluable when you travel.
When you travel with a friend, both of you can earn rewards using your credit card. Just remember that you can’t share the costs on the same card. Also, make sure you keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
The key to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program on your credit card and to ensure you’re using your credit card in the most efficient method. Through a combination 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 assortment of travel-related perks.