Are you tired of paying an enormous amount on flights? Well, good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel problems. It’s a fun way to convert credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles which you can use to obtain discounted or complimentary flights for your desired destinations. With a bit of creativity and some insider information, you’ll be jet-setting for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. These miles can later be used to pay for discount or no-cost flights. Some credit cards also allow you to redeem miles towards hotel stays or rental car offers.
How Does it Work?
The key to successful travel hacking is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and to establish frequent flyer miles with a limited number of airlines. When you are ready to book a flight take a look at the price. If the price is under $300, it’s usually better to pay cash and save your miles to book a higher-priced flight. When the flights start getting higher than $500, it’s best to check the frequent flyer account to find out which airline will give you the most value. 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 ready to discover the secrets to hacking travel? Your first task is opening an account with a sign-up offer. There are many great credit cards with various benefits 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 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 need to hit the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to receive the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so be sure to look up this information. Then you can begin to rack up miles and using them to book your dream vacation!
Ready to jet-set with your points?
Now that you’ve built up the points balance, you’re ready to use them towards delicious travel! Different credit card companies will have different methods of redeeming your rewards, here are some examples from a few of the providers I’ve had experience with:
Take a trip through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you own a Chase cards, you are able to use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within this portal you’ll get access to nearly every airline, and you can combine money and points to book your next trip. You can even book completely on points if you have the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for entire price, you can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using the credit card of your choice.
Are you tired of paying full price for flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option of paying with either points or dollars? But, be careful that if you do not have enough points you cannot combine points and dollars for the same flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re only a couple of points short, United also offers the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue offers an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience , with more legroom and free snacks. Plus, their booking process is like United’s, allowing you to book with either JetBlue either dollars or points however, not both. But, JetBlue has a unique feature that lets you pool your points together with family members to accrue points twice as fast. Make sure to establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re like me and my travel companion Becca I’m sure you’re pretty frugal and it can be challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum spend for a credit card bonus. But don’t fret because we’ve been there and are here to share some of our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able to pay for your rent using credit card, go for it! Be prepared to be charged a fee, typically at least 3%. It could be worthwhile in the long run when the bonus is large enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the minimum spend is to pay for the medical bills. If you do not have any medical expenses in the near future then ask your family members if you can pay for theirs and they can pay you back.
Make a payment to pay off the loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan take into consideration paying them off with your credit card. Make sure to pay the credit card balance in full so you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask family for help
Ask your family members to determine if they’ve got any large expenses coming up 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 understand why you’re taking the initiative.
If you’re celebrating the holidays you should consider purchasing all your gifts with the credit card you have. So you’ll be able to meet the minimum spending limit and also be ready to give gifts. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you were planning to.
There are a lot of methods to get the most out of using your credit or debit card for travel. You can accumulate miles or points that you can be used towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few additional ideas for maximizing the rewards you earn:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, make use of the travel credit card to book your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as any other travel expenses. You’ll not only be able to meet the required amount for your credit card bonus as well, but you’ll also be earning points or miles to cover these expenses.
Make use of your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday expenses
Another way to meet the minimum spending requirement and earn points is by utilising your credit cards to pay daily costs. This can include items like groceries, gas, and even your phone bill. Make sure you pay off the balance in full every month to ensure you don’t pay interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide bonus points or miles for specific types of purchases, such as eating out or traveling. Check out your rewards program on your credit card and take advantage of any bonus categories that match with your spending routines.
Consider the possibility of transferring your balance
If you have existing outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, consider transferring that balance onto 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 also help you hit the minimum spending requirement for the credit card bonus.
Make use of your miles or points prudently
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points make sure you use them in a responsible manner. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and compare the value of different redemption options. For example using your points to book a flight directly with the airline might offer better value than using them to purchase an gift card.
Another option is to get rewards cards that allow you to transfer rewards to different loyalty program. This allows you to get a wider selection of choices and more flexibility when redeeming your rewards. For instance, you might be capable of transferring your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a reward program for hotels. This can give an access larger selection of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks which are not available through the rewards program of your credit card.
Additionally, try to determine the card’s benefits. any perks that can help you save money on travel expenses. Many cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection, and other benefits that can be very beneficial when traveling.
If you’re traveling with a friend each of you will be able to get rewards on your credit card. Just remember that you can’t share the costs on the same card. Also, make sure to track the rewards you earn separately.
Overall, the key to making the most of your travel rewards is to know the rewards program on your credit card and make sure you’re making use of this program in the most efficient method possible. By using an array of strategies I’ve outlined that you can earn rewards quickly, redeem rewards for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide range of travel perks.