Are you tired of spending a fortune on airfare? Good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting method to convert credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into miles which you can use to obtain discounted or complimentary flights for your desired destinations. With a little creativity and some insider know-how, you’ll travel 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. These miles can then be used to purchase cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards will also let you redeem miles towards hotel stays or rental car discounts.
How Does it Work?
The secret to successful hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and building out frequent flyer miles on a select group of airlines. When it’s time to book a flight take a look at the price. If the price is less than $300, it’s generally 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 those frequent flyer accounts to find out which airline will give you the most value. 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
Are you ready to discover the secrets to travel hacking? First step to open a credit card with a sign-up bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards with many features and benefits. It is all dependent on the airline, your habits with spending and what features are essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards that are perfect to hack 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 card has different guidelines, so make sure to check for the details. From there, it’s all about racking up miles and using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your goals?
After you’ve accrued your points balance, you’re ready to use them towards delicious vacation! Different credit card providers will have different methods for redeeming your points. Here are a few examples from some of the companies I’ve worked with:
Escape through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you have a Chase cards, you are able to redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within the portal, you’ll have access to nearly every airline, and you can use a combination of the points as well as cash in order to book your travel. You can even book entirely on points if you have enough balance! Sometimes, even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for full price, you can buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using every credit card.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for your flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option of paying with dollars or points? Be careful that if you don’t have enough points you can’t combine points and dollars on one flight. If you’re just a few points short, United provides the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides an enjoyable and comfortable travel experience that includes extra space and complimentary snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to United’s which allows customers to book using either JetBlue points or dollars however, not both. The difference is that JetBlue has a unique feature that allows you to combine 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 into the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re anything like me and my travel buddy Becca I’m sure you’re pretty economical and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to reach the required amount to qualify for credit card bonuses. Don’t worry, we’ve been through it and we’re here to share some of our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able pay your rent using credit card, then do it! Just be prepared to pay a fee, usually at least 3%. It could be worthwhile over the long term when the bonus is large enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another way to reach the required spending is to cover 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 pay you back.
Repay a loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan you owe, think about repaying them using your credit card. Make sure to pay off the credit card balance in full so you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Talk to your family and determine if they’ve got any major expenses in the near future that you can contribute for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to have confidence in the person you are talking to and they know why you’re doing it.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season you should consider purchasing all your gifts with your credit card. So you’ll be able to meet the minimum spending limit and also be ready to give gifts. Just make sure you’re not paying more than you thinking of.
There are plenty of ways to get the most out of your travel credit card and accrue points or miles to be used towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are some additional ideas for maximizing your rewards
Book travel expenses with your credit card
If you’re planning a vacation, make use of your travel credit card to book your flight, hotel, rental car, and other travel costs. In addition, you’ll be able to meet the minimum spend to qualify for a credit card bonus as well, however, you’ll also earn points or miles on those expenditures.
Utilize your credit card to pay for all your daily expenses
Another way to hit the minimum spending requirement to earn rewards is by utilising your credit cards to pay for daily expenses. This could include things like gas, groceries, and even your phone bill. Make sure you pay the balance off in full each month so you don’t accumulate interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or bonus points on certain kinds of purchases, including eating out or travelling. Make sure you review your rewards program on your credit card and take advantage of 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, you might want to transfer the balance to the travel credit card which has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will enable you to pay off your debts without accruing interest and simultaneously assist you in reaching the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus.
Use your points or miles wisely
If you’ve amassed a large amount of miles or points, 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, using your points to book a ticket directly through the airline may provide you with a greater return than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another option is to get a rewards card that allows you to transfer points to other loyalty programs. This will allow you to enjoy a greater variety of options and greater flexibility in making use of your rewards. For example, you may be able to transfer your reward to the frequent flyer program of an airline or a Hotel rewards programme. This can give you access to a larger selection of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks which are not offered through the rewards program of your credit card.
Also, determine whether your credit card has certain benefits that will help you save money on travel expenses. Some cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that can be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
When you travel with someone else, both of you can earn rewards using your credit card. Make sure you don’t split the cost on the same card and make sure to track your rewards separately.
Overall, the key to making the most of your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program of your credit card and make sure you’re using it in the most efficient way possible. Through a combination of the methods I’ve described that you can earn rewards quickly, redeem them for travel experiences that are worth it and benefit from a wide variety of travel benefits.