Are you tired of paying a fortune on airfare? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting way to convert welcome bonuses and other incentives into miles which you can use to obtain discounted or complimentary flights for your dream destinations. With a little bit of imagination and some know-how, you’ll fly for no cost within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about swapping credit card sign-up bonus and incentives for airline miles. These miles can later be used to pay for cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards allow you to redeem miles for hotel stays and car rental deals.
How Does it Work?
The secret to success in hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and establishing a frequent flyer mile program for a specific group of airlines. When you are ready to make a booking consider the cost. If the flight 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 those frequent flyer accounts to see which airline can give you the best deal. 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
Ready to learn the secrets to hacking travel? The first step is opening the credit card that comes that comes with a welcome bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards that offer many benefits and features. It depends on the type of airline, spending habits and the features that are most crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards perfect for travel hacking:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
Once you’ve been approved for a credit card, you’ll have to meet the minimum spend limit in order to qualify for the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so make sure to check for this information. 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 goals?
Once you’ve accumulated the points balance, you’re ready to redeem them for some nice travel! Different credit card providers will offer different ways to redeem your points, but here are a few examples from some of the providers I’ve had experience with:
Escape by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have an Chase cards, you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within the portal, you’ll get access to virtually every airline. You can combine points and cash to book your next trip. You can even book completely using points if you’ve got enough balance! Sometimes even if you do not possess enough points for the entire cost, you still can buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using the credit card of your choice.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for your flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United you can choose the option of paying using either points or dollars? Be careful, if you do not have enough points you can’t combine dollars and points for the same flight. If you’re just a few point short United provides the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue provides an enjoyable and comfortable travel experience that includes extra legroom and free snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to United’s which allows customers to book using either JetBlue dollar or points, however, not both. However, JetBlue offers a distinct feature where you can combine your points with your family members and earn points twice as fast. Just make sure you can verify that you are a family member before trying to hack into the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel buddy Becca, you’re probably pretty thrifty and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to reach the minimum spend for credit card bonuses. However, don’t be worried as we’ve done it and are 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! Be prepared to pay a fee, usually around 3%. It could be worthwhile over the long term in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another excellent way to meet the spending limit is to cover a medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills in the near future Ask your family members to pay them for theirs, and they’ll pay you back.
Repay a loan
If you have any loans take into consideration making payments on them with your credit card. Make sure to pay off the balance on your credit card in full so you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Discuss your family with them and determine if they’ve got any large expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Make sure that you are able to trust the person and they are aware of the reason for doing it.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season you should consider purchasing all your gifts using the credit card you have. This way you can meet the minimum spending limit and also be ready for giving gifts. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you already thinking of.
There are many methods to get the most of using your credit or debit card for travel and accumulate miles or points that you can spend on airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few more ways to maximize the rewards you earn:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, use your travel credit card to book your hotel, flight, rental car, and any other travel expenses. You’ll not only be able to hit the minimum amount of spending required to earn your credit card reward, but you’ll also be earning points or miles for the costs.
Make use of your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday expenses
Another method to reach the minimum spending requirement in order to accumulate points using your credit card for every day costs. This can include things like gas, groceries or even your phone bill. Make sure you pay the balance off each month in full so you don’t pay interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or bonus points on certain kinds of purchases, like eating out or traveling. Be sure to review the rewards program of your credit card and make use of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending routines.
Take into consideration a balance transfer
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer the balance to a travel credit card with an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will enable you to pay off your debt without accruing interest and simultaneously aid in achieving the minimum spend for the credit card’s bonus.
Use your points or miles prudently
If you’ve amassed a large amount of points or miles make sure you use them in a responsible manner. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and compare the value of different redemption options. For example using your points to book a flight directly through the airline may offer better value than using them to purchase a gift card.
Another option is to get rewards cards that allow you to transfer your points to other loyalty programs. This will allow you to get a wider selection of choices and more flexibility in you want to redeem your rewards. For example, you may be capable of transferring your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or reward program for hotels. This gives you access to a larger variety of hotels, flights and other travel benefits that may not be offered through the rewards program of your credit card.
In addition, you should find out whether your credit card has certain benefits that will save you money on travel-related expenses. Some cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that can be invaluable when you travel.
When you travel with a friend, both of you can earn rewards with your credit card. Just remember that you can’t divide the cost with the same card. Also, make sure you keep track of your rewards separately.
The key to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to know the rewards program of your credit card and ensure that you’re using it in the most effective method possible. Utilizing an array of methods I’ve described in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards quickly, redeem rewards for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad range of travel perks.