Are you tired of paying an enormous amount on flights? Well, good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s a fun way to turn credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles which you can use to score discounted or free flights to your desired destinations. With a bit of imagination and a little bit of insider know-how, you’ll travel for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about swapping credit card sign-up bonus as well as incentives to earn airline miles. The miles can be used to buy cheap or free flight tickets. Some credit cards also allow you to redeem miles for hotel stays and rental car discounts.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for success in travel hacking is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and to establish frequent flyer miles for a specific group of airlines. When you are ready to book a flight consider 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. When the flights start getting over $500, you’ll need to look into the frequent flyer account and determine which airline offers you the most value. All it boils down to is the amount of points or miles you have you have in your travel savings account for every airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to hacking travel? First step opening a credit card with a sign-up offer. There are many great credit cards with various advantages and features. 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 great to use for hacking travel:
- 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 minimum spend limit in order to qualify for the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so be sure to check for the details. Then you can begin to rack miles and then using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your ideas?
Now that you’ve built up your points balance, it’s time to use them towards nice travel! Different credit card providers will have different methods for redeeming your points. Here are some examples from a few of the ones I’ve worked with:
Escape with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of an Chase cards, you are able to redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within the portal, you’ll get access to nearly every airline, and you can combine the points as well as cash in order to book your next trip. You can even book completely using points if you’ve got enough balance! Sometimes even if you do not have enough points to cover the entire cost, you still can buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using any credit card.
Are you tired of paying full price for your flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option of paying 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 points short, United provides the option to purchase additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience with extra legroom as well as free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is like United’s, allowing you to book with either JetBlue dollar or points but not both. However, JetBlue has a unique feature that lets you combine your points with your family members and earn points twice as fast. Just make sure you can prove you’re really family before trying to hack into the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me and my travel buddy Becca You’re probably quite economical and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum amount required to earn credit card bonuses. Don’t worry because we’ve been there and we’re here to share our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able pay your rent with credit card, then do it! Be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually at least 3 percent. It may be worth it in the end if the bonus is high enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another great way to hit the required spending is to pay for the medical bills. If you do not have any medical expenses coming up, ask your relatives if you could pay for theirs and they can repay you.
Make a payment to pay off the loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan you owe, think about 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 additional debt.
Ask family for help
Talk to your family and determine if they’ve got any major expenses in the near future which you could help pay for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to are able to trust the person and that they understand why you’re taking the initiative.
If it’s the holiday season you should consider purchasing all your gifts using cards from your credit account. In this way, you’ll reach the minimum spending requirement and also be ready for gift giving. Be sure to avoid spending more than you already thinking of.
There are plenty of ways to get the most out of your travel credit card. accrue points or miles to be used towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are some additional ways to maximize your rewards
Book travel expenses with your credit card
If you’re planning a vacation, make use of the travel credit card for booking your hotel, flight, rental car, and other travel costs. Not only will you achieve the minimum spend to earn your credit card reward as well, but you’ll also earn points or miles to cover those costs.
Use your credit card for everyday costs
Another way to hit the minimum spending requirement to earn rewards is making use of your credit card to pay for everyday expenditures. This can include items like groceries, gas and even your telephone bill. Be sure to pay the balance off in full every month to ensure you don’t pay interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer bonus points or miles for specific types of purchases, including eating out or travelling. Make sure you review your credit card’s rewards program and take advantage of any bonus categories that align with your spending habits.
Think about the possibility of transferring your balance
If you are currently in debt on 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 transfer. This will enable you to pay off your debt without accruing interest and simultaneously aid in achieving the minimum spend for the credit card bonus.
Utilize your miles and points wisely
When you’ve earned a significant amount of miles or points make sure you use them in a responsible manner. Review the rewards program for your credit card and compare the benefits of different redemption options. For instance using your points to purchase a flight directly with the airline could give you a better return than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another tip is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer your rewards to different loyalty program. This will let you enjoy a greater variety of choices and more flexibility when you want to redeem your rewards. For example, you may be eligible to transfer your rewards to the frequent flyer program of an airline or a hotel rewards program. This will give an access wider selection of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks that may not be accessible through the rewards program on your credit card.
Additionally, try to find out if your credit card offers certain benefits that will save you money on travel-related expenses. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that can be very beneficial when traveling.
When you travel with someone else, both of you can get rewards on your credit card. Just remember that you can’t divide the cost with the same card, and be sure to track your rewards in a separate manner.
Overall, the key to maximizing your rewards for travel is to be aware of your credit card’s rewards program and to ensure you’re making use of this program in the most effective method possible. Utilizing a combination of the strategies I’ve listed, you’ll be able to earn rewards fast, exchange them for travel experiences that are worth it and take advantage of a broad variety of travel benefits.