Are you tired of spending a fortune on airfare? Good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting method to convert credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles, which you can use to score discounted or complimentary flights for your desired destinations. With a little bit of imagination and some knowledge, you can 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. These miles can then be used to buy cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards permit you to use miles to pay for hotel stays or rental car discounts.
How Does it Work?
The secret to successful hacking travel is taking advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and to establish frequent flyer miles on a select group of airlines. When it’s time to book a flight, evaluate the cost. If the flight is under $300, it’s best to pay in cash and use your miles to pay to book a higher-priced flight. If the prices start to rise over $500, you’ll need to review those frequent flyer accounts and see which airline can give you the best deal. It all comes down to the number of miles or points in your travel bank for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to hacking travel? First step opening an account that comes with a welcome bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards with 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 some credit card options that can be 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 spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to get the bonus. Every card has different guidelines, so make sure to look up the details. From there, it’s all about racking up miles and using them to plan your dream vacation!
Ready to jet-set with your goals?
Once you’ve accumulated the points balance, you’re ready to cash them in for some delicious vacation! Different credit card companies offer different ways to redeem 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 own an Chase card, you are able to redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within this portal you’ll get access to nearly every airline. You can use a combination of money and points to pay for your next trip. You can even book completely using points if you’ve got the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you do not be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for full 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 the full cost for your flight tickets? Did you know that when you book directly through United, you have the option to pay with either points or dollars? But, be careful in case you do not have enough points you cannot combine dollars and points for the same flight. No worries though, if you’re just a few points away, United gives you the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue offers a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience with extra space and complimentary snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to that of United Airlines that allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue points or dollars but not both. However, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that allows you to combine your points with your family members and earn points twice as fast. Just make sure you can 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 to reach the minimum amount required to earn credit card bonuses. Don’t worry, we’ve been through it and we’re here to share our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able to pay for your rent using a credit card, do it! Make sure you be charged a fee, typically at least 3%. It might be worth it over the long term when the bonus is large enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the required spending is to pay for the medical bills. If you do not have any medical expenses in the near future then ask your family members to pay for theirs and they’ll repay you.
Make a payment to pay off the loan
If you’re a borrower, consider repaying them using the credit card you have. Be sure to pay off the balance on your credit card in full so you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Discuss your family with them and determine if they’ve got any big expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to trust the person 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 cards from your credit account. This way you can meet the minimum spending limit and also be ready for giving gifts. Be sure to avoid paying more than you already planning to.
There are plenty of ways to get the most out of using your credit or debit card for travel. earn miles or points to be used towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few additional ideas for maximizing the rewards you earn:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
If you’re planning a vacation, make use of you travel credit card to book your hotel, flight, rental car, and any other travel-related expenses. In addition, you’ll be able to hit the minimum amount of spending required to qualify for a credit card reward, however, you’ll also earn points or miles to cover those costs.
Use your credit card for all your daily expenditures
Another method to reach the minimum spending requirement in order to accumulate points by using your credit card for every day expenditures. This could be items like groceries, gas or even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay off the balance in full every month to ensure you don’t accrue interest charges.
Take advantage of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide bonus points or miles for certain types of purchases, including dining or travel. Be sure to review the rewards program of your credit card and avail the bonus categories that are in line with your spending habits.
Take into consideration the possibility of transferring your balance
If you are currently in debt on a high-interest credit card, consider transferring that balance onto a travel credit card with a 0% introductory APR for balance transfers. This will allow you to pay off your debt without accruing interest and simultaneously assist you in reaching the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus.
Use your points or miles prudently
If you’ve amassed a large amount of points or miles make sure you use the points or miles wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card, and evaluate the benefits of different redemption options. For example using points to book a ticket directly with the airline could give you a better value than using them to purchase an gift card.
Another tip is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer your rewards to different loyalty program. This will allow you to have a wider range of options and greater freedom when it comes to making use of your rewards. For example, you may be capable of transferring your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a Hotel rewards programme. This will give you access to a greater selection of hotels, flights, and other travel perks that aren’t offered through the rewards program on your credit card.
Also, determine the card’s benefits. certain benefits that will save you money on travel-related costs. Many cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that could be very beneficial when traveling.
When you travel with a friend, both of you can earn rewards using your own credit card. Just remember that you can’t share the costs on the same card and make sure to track the rewards you earn separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do to maximizing your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program of your credit card and to ensure you’re using your credit card in the most effective method possible. Utilizing an array of strategies I’ve listed, you’ll be able to earn rewards fast, exchange them for travel experiences that are worth it and benefit from a wide range of travel perks.