Are you tired of spending a fortune on airfare? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting way to turn 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 bit of creativity and some insider knowledge, you can fly for no cost within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of trading credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. These miles can then be used to purchase discounted or even free flights. Some credit cards also allow you to redeem miles for hotel stays and car rental deals.
How Does it Work?
The key to success in hacking travel is taking advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and to establish frequent flyer miles on a select group of airlines. When it comes time to book a flight take a look at the price. If the cost is less than $300, it’s generally better to pay in cash and use your miles to pay for a more expensive flight. If the prices start to rise above $500, you’ll want to look into the frequent flyer account and see which airline can give you the best deal. It all boils down to 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 of travel hacking? The first step is opening the credit card that comes with a sign-up bonus. There are many great credit cards that offer various features and benefits. It all depends on your preferred airline, your habits with spending and the features that are most essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit card options that can be great to hack travel
- 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 spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to receive the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so be certain to verify the details. Then, it’s all about racking 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, it’s time to redeem them for some nice getaway! Different credit card companies will offer different ways to redeem your rewards, here are some examples from some of the companies I’ve worked with:
Escape by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of an Chase cards, you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through this portal you’ll get access to virtually every airline, and you can use a combination of money and points to pay for your next trip. You can even book entirely with points if you’ve the balance for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t possess enough points for the total cost, you are able to book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with the credit card of your choice.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for your flight tickets? Did you know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option to pay with either points or dollars? Butbe aware in case you do not have enough points you can’t combine dollars and points for one flight. No worries though, if you’re only a couple of point short United gives you the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience , with more space and complimentary snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to United’s which allows customers to book using either JetBlue dollar or points, but not both. But, JetBlue has a unique feature that allows you to pool your points together with your relatives to earn points twice as fast. Be sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack into the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re like me or my travel companion Becca I’m sure you’re pretty economical 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. However, don’t be worried as we’ve done it and are here to share some of 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! Be prepared to be charged a fee, typically at least 3 percent. It might be worth it over the long term in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another way to reach the minimum spend is to cover an medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills in the near future Ask your family members if you can pay for theirs and they’ll repay you.
Make a payment to pay off a loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan take into consideration paying them off with your credit card. Be sure to pay off the balance on your credit card in full , so that you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Ask your family members to see if they have any large expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to are able to trust the person and that they understand why you’re taking the initiative.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season you should consider purchasing all of your gifts with the credit card you have. In this way, you’ll hit that minimum spend and also be ready for gift giving. Be sure to avoid spending more than you thinking of.
There are plenty of ways to make the most out of the travel credit card. You can accrue points or miles to spend on flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few additional ways to maximize the rewards you earn:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, use your travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel, rental car, and any other travel expenses. You’ll not only be able to hit the minimum amount of spending required for your credit card reward and earn points, however, you’ll also earn points or miles to cover those costs.
Use your credit card to pay for your everyday expenses
Another way to hit the minimum amount of spending and earn points is by using your credit card to pay for everyday expenses. This could include items like groceries, gas and even your telephone bill. Just make sure to pay off the balance each month in full so you don’t pay interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer bonus points or miles on certain kinds of purchases, including eating out or traveling. Make sure you review your credit card’s rewards program and avail any bonus categories that match with your spending habits.
Think about the possibility of transferring your balance
If you are currently in debt on a credit card, consider transferring that balance onto a travel credit card with a 0% introductory APR for balance transfer. This will let you pay off your debt without accruing interest, and also assist you in reaching the minimum spend for the credit card bonus.
Make use of your miles or points prudently
If you’ve amassed a large amount of points or miles Make sure to utilize them in a responsible manner. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and then compare the value of different redemption options. For instance, using points to purchase a flight directly through the airline may offer better value than using them for an gift card.
Another option is to get a rewards card that allows you to transfer your rewards to different loyalty program. This allows you to have a wider range of choices and more flexibility in you want to redeem your rewards. For instance, you might be capable of transferring your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a hotel rewards program. This gives an access wider range of flights, hotels, and other travel perks that aren’t accessible through your credit card’s rewards program.
In addition, you should discover if your credit card offers some perks that could save you money on travel-related costs. Some cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that could be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
When you travel with someone else and both of you earn rewards with your credit card. Be aware that you cannot share the costs on the same card. Also, make sure you keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
In the end, the most important thing to do to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program on your credit card and make sure you’re using it in the most effective method. Through an array of strategies I’ve listed, you’ll be able to earn rewards quickly, redeem them for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide assortment of travel-related perks.