Are you tired of paying a fortune on airfare? Well, good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s a fun way to convert credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles which can be used to get discounted or even complimentary flights for your dream destinations. With a bit of imagination and some information, you’ll fly for no cost within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about trading credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. The miles can be used to buy cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards permit you to use miles towards hotel stays or rental car deals.
How Does it Work?
The key to successful hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and establishing a frequent flyer mile program with a limited number of airlines. When you are ready to make a booking, evaluate the cost. If the flight is under $300, it’s best to pay in cash and use your miles to pay to take a more costly flight. If the prices start to rise higher than $500, it’s best to check the frequent flyer account to determine which airline offers you the most value. It all boils down to the amount of points or miles in your travel account for each airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets of travel hacking? The first step is to open an account that comes with a welcome bonus. There are many great credit cards that offer various features and benefits. It depends on the type of airline, your spending habits, and what features are important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit card options that can be excellent to hack travel
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
If you’ve been approved for a credit or debit card, you’ll need to hit the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to qualify for the bonus. Each card has its own guidelines, so make sure to look up this information. Then it’s all about building up miles, and using them to plan your dream trip!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your points?
Once you’ve accumulated the points balance, it’s time to use them towards nice vacation! Different credit card providers will have different methods for redeeming your points. Here are some examples from some of the ones I’ve had experience with:
Getaway by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own a Chase credit card, then you are able to redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within the portal, you’ll get access to virtually 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 the funds to pay for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t possess enough points for the entire 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 flight tickets? Did you realize that when booking directly through United you can choose the option of paying with dollars or points? Butbe aware in case you do not have enough points you aren’t able to combine dollars and points for one flight. If you’re only a couple of points away, United gives you 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 extra legroom and free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to that of United Airlines which allows customers to book using either JetBlue either dollars or points however, not both. But, JetBlue has a unique feature that lets you join your points with family members to accrue points twice as quickly. Be sure to establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel companion Becca, you’re probably pretty thrifty and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum amount required to earn a credit card bonus. But don’t fret as we’ve done it and are here to share our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able to pay your rent with credit card, go for it! Be prepared to be charged a fee, typically about 3 percent. It could be worthwhile over the long term when the bonus is large enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another way to reach the required spending is to pay for a medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills due Ask your family members to pay them for theirs, and they’ll reimburse you.
Make a payment to pay off the loan
If you’re a borrower take into consideration repaying them using an credit card. Be sure to pay the credit card balance completely so that you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask family for help
Discuss your family with them and see if they have any big expenses coming up which you could help pay for. Just make sure you have confidence in the person you are talking to and they understand why you’re taking the initiative.
If it’s the holiday season take into consideration buying all your gifts using cards from your credit account. So you’ll be able to hit that minimum spend and be ready for gift giving. Make sure that you’re not paying more than you thinking of.
There are a lot of ways to make the most from using your credit or debit card for travel and earn miles or points to spend on the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few additional ideas for maximizing your rewards
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a vacation, make use of the travel credit card to pay for your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as any other travel expenses. Not only will you be able to meet the minimum spend to qualify for a credit card bonus and earn points, but you’ll also earn points or miles to cover those costs.
Use your credit card to pay for your everyday expenditures
Another method to reach the minimum spend in order to accumulate points by using your credit card to pay for every day expenditures. This can include things like gas, groceries or even your phone bill. Make sure you pay the balance off in full each month so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or points in exchange for certain types of purchases, like dining or travel. Check out your credit card’s rewards program and take advantage of 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, think about transferring the balance to a travel credit card with a 0% introductory APR for balance transfer. This will let you pay off the debt without accruing interest, and also aid in achieving the minimum spending requirement for the credit card’s bonus.
Use your points or miles carefully
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points, be sure to use them wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and compare the worth of various redemption options. For instance using points to book a ticket directly through the airline may give you a better value than using them to purchase an gift card.
Another suggestion is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer rewards to different loyalty program. This will allow you to get a wider selection of options and greater freedom when it comes to you want to redeem your rewards. For instance, you might be eligible to transfer your reward to an airline’s frequent flyer program or reward program for hotels. This can give you access to a larger variety of hotels, flights and other travel benefits that aren’t available through the rewards program on your credit card.
In addition, you should discover whether your credit card has 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 could be invaluable when you travel.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a friend each of you will be able to earn rewards using your credit card. Be aware that you cannot split the cost on the same card and make sure to keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
Overall, the key to making the most of your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program of your credit card and to ensure you’re making use of your credit card in the most effective method. Utilizing an array of strategies I’ve listed in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards quickly, redeem them for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide range of travel perks.