Are you tired of spending a fortune on airfare? Well, good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s a fun way to convert credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles that can then be used to get discounted or even free flights to your dream destinations. With a little imagination and some information, you’ll fly for no cost in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can later be used to pay for cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards will also allow you to redeem miles for hotel stays and rental car discounts.
How Does it Work?
The key to successful hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and establishing a frequent flyer mile program with a limited number of airlines. When you are ready to make a booking take a look at the price. If the price is less than $300, it’s best to pay cash and save your miles to take a more costly flight. If your flights begin to climb above $500, you’ll want to review your frequent flyer accounts and see which airline can give you the best price. All it boils down to is the number of points or miles in your travel account for every airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to travel hacking? First step opening the credit card that comes that comes with a welcome bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that offer a variety of advantages and features. It depends on the type of airline, your habits with spending and the features that are most crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards perfect to use for hacking travel:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
Once you’ve been approved for a credit card you’ll need to reach the limit of spending minimum in order to get the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so make sure to check for the details. Then, it’s all about racking up miles and then using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to set sail with your points?
After you’ve accrued the points balance, you’re ready to redeem them for some nice vacation! Different credit card companies 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’re a holder of a Chase card, you are able to redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through the portal, you’ll have access to nearly every airline and you can combine points and cash to book your next trip. You can book your flight entirely on points if you have enough balance! Sometimes, even if you don’t have enough points to cover the total cost, you still can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using 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 of paying with dollars or points? But, be careful that if you don’t have enough points you aren’t able to combine points and dollars on the same flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re a few points away, United also offers the option to purchase additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience , with more legroom and free snacks. Plus, their booking process is like United’s, allowing passengers to book flights using JetBlue either dollars or points but not both. But, JetBlue has a unique feature that lets you pool your points together with your relatives to earn points twice as fast. Be sure to verify that you are a family member before 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 difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to reach the minimum spend for the credit card bonus. Don’t worry, we’ve been through it and are here to share our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able to pay for your rent with credit card, go for it! Just be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually at least 3 percent. It might be worth it over the long term when the bonus is large enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another great way to hit the minimum spend is to pay for a medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills coming up Ask your family members if you can pay them for theirs, and they’ll pay you back.
Repay a loan
If you’re a borrower, consider making payments on them with the credit card you have. Make sure to pay off the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t accrue additional debt.
Ask your family members for help
Ask your family members to see if they have any large expenses coming up which you could help pay for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to have confidence in the person you are talking to and they are aware of the reason for doing it.
If you’re celebrating the holidays take into consideration buying all your gifts using cards from your credit account. So you’ll be able to hit that minimum spend and also be prepared for giving gifts. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you already contemplating to.
There are plenty of methods to get the most out of using your credit or debit card for travel and accrue points or miles to use towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few additional ways to maximize your rewards:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, use you travel credit card for booking your flight, hotel, rental car, and any other travel expenses. Not only will you be able to hit the minimum amount of spending required to qualify for a credit card bonus as well, but you’ll also be earning points or miles on these expenses.
Make use of your credit card to pay for everyday expenditures
Another method to reach the minimum amount of spending in order to accumulate points by using your credit card for every day expenses. This could be things like food, gas and even your telephone bill. Make sure you pay off the balance in full each month so you don’t pay interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or bonus points for specific types of purchases, including eating out or travelling. Check out the rewards program of your credit card and make use of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending routines.
Consider a balance transfer
If you have existing outstanding debt due to a high-interest 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 and simultaneously help you hit the minimum spend for the credit card’s bonus.
Use your points or miles carefully
When you’ve earned a significant amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize them in a responsible manner. Review the rewards program for your credit card and then compare the worth of various redemption options. For instance using your points to purchase a flight directly with the airline might offer better return than using them for an gift card.
Another tip is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer your reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will allow you to enjoy a greater variety of options and greater freedom when it comes to making use of your rewards. For example, you may be eligible to transfer your rewards to the frequent flyer program of an airline or reward program for hotels. This will give the benefit of a greater selection of hotels, flights, and other travel perks that aren’t available through your credit card’s rewards program.
Also, find out whether your credit card has any perks that can save you money on travel-related expenses. Many cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that could be invaluable when you travel.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a companion each of you will be able to earn rewards with your credit card. Make sure you don’t split the cost on the same card and make sure to track your rewards separately.
The key to reaping the maximum benefits from your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program on your credit card and to ensure you’re using it in the most effective way possible. By using a combination of the strategies I’ve listed that you can get rewards in a short time, use them for travel experiences that are worth it and benefit from a wide range of travel perks.