Are you tired of paying an enormous amount on flights? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting method to convert credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles which you can use to score discounted or free flights to your dream destinations. With a little bit of creativity and some insider know-how, you’ll be jet-setting for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of trading credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. The miles can be used to purchase discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards will also permit you to use miles for hotel stays and rental car deals.
How Does it Work?
The key to success in travel hacking is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and building out frequent flyer miles with a limited number of airlines. When you are ready to book a flight, evaluate the cost. If the price is under $300, it’s generally better to pay cash and use your miles to pay to take a more costly flight. If your flights begin to climb higher than $500, it’s best to check those frequent flyer accounts and find out which airline will give you the best deal. All it boils down to is the number of points or miles you have you have in your travel savings account for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to hacking travel? First step to open an account that comes with a welcome bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards with a variety of features and benefits. It is all dependent on the airline, your spending habits, and the features that are most essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards that are perfect for travel hacking:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
If you’ve been approved for a credit card you’ll need to reach the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to get the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so be certain to verify the details. From there it’s all about building up miles, and then using them to book your dream trip!
Ready to jet-set with your goals?
Now that you’ve built up the points amount, it’s time to cash them in for some delicious vacation! Different credit card companies will have different methods for redeeming your rewards, here are a few examples from some of the ones I’ve worked with:
Take a trip with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of a Chase card, you are able to redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. In the portal, you’ll get access to almost every airline and you can make use of a combination of points and cash to pay for your travel. You can even book completely using points if you’ve got the balance for it! Sometimes even if you do not 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 with every credit card.
Are you fed up of paying full price for your flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United you can choose the option to pay with dollars or points? Butbe aware, if you don’t have enough points you can’t combine dollars and points on flights. If you’re a few points away, United provides the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue provides an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience with extra legroom as well as free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to United’s which allows you to book with either JetBlue points or dollars however, not both. But, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that lets you pool your points together with family members to accrue points twice as fast. Be sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack into the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me or my travel companion Becca, you’re probably pretty frugal and it can be daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried because we’ve been there 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 to pay your rent with credit card, go for it! Be prepared to be charged a fee, typically about 3 percent. It might be worth it in the long run in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another great way to hit the spending limit is to cover the medical bills. If you do not have any medical expenses due Ask your relatives if you could pay for theirs and they can pay you back.
Pay off the loan
If you’re a borrower take into consideration making payments on them with your credit card. Make sure to pay off the balance on your credit card in full so you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Talk to your family and see if they have any major expenses in the near future that you can help pay for. Make sure that you are able to trust the person and they are aware of the reason for doing it.
If it’s the holiday season, consider buying all your gifts using cards from your credit account. In this way, you’ll meet the minimum spending limit and also be ready for giving gifts. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you were already thinking of.
There are many ways to make the most out of your travel credit card. accumulate miles or points that you can use towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few more ideas for maximizing the rewards you earn:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, use the travel credit card for booking your flight, hotel, rental car, and any other travel-related expenses. In addition, you’ll be able to meet the minimum amount of spending required for your credit card, but you’ll also earn points or miles for those costs.
Make use of your credit card to pay for all your daily expenditures
Another method to reach the minimum spend to earn rewards is by using your credit card to pay for every day expenses. This could be things like food, gas, and even your phone bill. Make sure you pay off the balance in full each month so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Make the most of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide bonus points or miles for certain types of purchases, including dining or travel. Check out your rewards program on your credit card and avail any bonus categories that align with your spending habits.
Consider a balance transfer
If you are currently in debt on a credit card, think about transferring that balance to a travel credit card with a 0% introductory APR for balance transfers. This will enable you to pay off your debts without accruing interest. It will also assist you in reaching the minimum spending requirement for the credit card bonus.
Make use of your miles or points carefully
When you’ve earned a significant amount of points or miles, be sure to use them wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and then compare the worth of various redemption options. For example you can use points to book a flight directly through the airline may give you a better value than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer rewards to different loyalty program. This will let you get a wider selection of choices and more flexibility when you want to redeem your rewards. For instance, you might be able to transfer your rewards to the frequent flyer program of an airline or Hotel rewards programme. This gives you access to a wider range of flights, hotels and other travel benefits that aren’t available through the rewards program of your credit card.
Also, discover whether your credit card has certain benefits that will reduce your travel costs. Some cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection, and other benefits that are very beneficial when traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a friend and both of you get rewards on your credit card. Be aware that you cannot share the costs on the same card. Also, make sure to keep track of your rewards separately.
The key to reaping the maximum benefits from your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program of your credit card and to ensure you’re making use of your credit card in the most efficient method. Utilizing an array of strategies I’ve outlined that you can earn rewards quickly, redeem rewards for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide range of travel perks.