Are you tired of paying a fortune on airfare? Well, good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s a fun way to turn credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles which you can use to score discounted or free flights to your dream destinations. With a little imagination and a little bit of insider knowledge, you can travel for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. These miles can then be used to purchase discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards allow you to redeem miles for hotel stays and car rental discounts.
How Does it Work?
The secret to success in hacking travel is taking advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and establishing a frequent flyer mile program for a specific group of airlines. When it comes time to make a booking, evaluate the cost. If the flight is under $300, it’s usually better to pay in cash and use your miles to pay for a more expensive flight. If your flights begin to climb over $500, you’ll need to look into those frequent flyer accounts and determine which airline offers you the best deal. It all comes down to the number of miles or points you have in your travel savings account for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to hacking travel? First step to open an account with a sign-up offer. There are many great credit cards with various advantages and features. It is all dependent on the airline, spending habits and what features are important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards excellent to hack travel
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
Once you’ve been approved for a credit or debit card, you’ll have to meet the limit of spending minimum in order to qualify for the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so make sure to look up this information. From there it’s all about building miles and using them to plan your dream vacation!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your goals?
After you’ve accrued your points amount, it’s time to use them towards sweet travel! Different credit card companies will have different methods for redeeming your points, but here are some examples from a few of the ones I have experience with:
Getaway with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of an Chase card, you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In this portal you’ll have access to almost every airline. You can make use of a combination of the points as well as cash in order to pay for your travel. You can even book completely using points if you’ve got the balance for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for full cost, you still can 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 flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United, you have the option of paying with dollars or points? Be careful that if you do not have enough points you can’t combine dollars and points on flights. If you’re just a few points short, United provides the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience with extra legroom as well as free snacks. Plus, their booking process is like United’s which allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue either dollars or points, but not both. The difference is that JetBlue offers a distinct feature where you can combine your points with family members to accrue points twice as fast. Be sure to establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack into the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re anything like me and my travel companion Becca, you’re probably pretty frugal and it can be daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus. But don’t fret, we’ve been through 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, then do it! Make sure you pay a fee, usually around 3 percent. It may be worth it in the end when the bonus is large enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another great way to hit the minimum spend is to pay for the medical bills. If you do not have any medical expenses in the near future, ask your family members if you can pay for theirs and they can repay you.
Pay off the loan
If you have any loans you owe, think about paying them off with the credit card you have. Just make sure you pay off the balance on your credit card completely so that you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask family for help
Discuss your family with them and see if they have any major expenses in the near future that you can contribute for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to trust the person and they know why you’re taking the initiative.
If it’s the holiday season you should consider purchasing all your gifts with your credit card. So you’ll be able to hit that minimum spend and also be prepared for gift giving. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you contemplating to.
There are many ways to make the most from the travel credit card. accumulate miles or points that you can be used towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are some additional ideas for maximizing your rewards:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, use your travel credit card to book your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as any other travel expenses. In addition, you’ll be able to hit the minimum spend for your credit card, however, you’ll also earn points or miles on those costs.
Use your credit card for all your daily expenses
Another way to hit the minimum amount of spending and earn points is utilising your credit cards to pay for everyday costs. This could include things like gas, groceries and even your telephone bill. Just make sure to pay the balance off each month in full so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or bonus points for certain types of purchases, including eating out or traveling. Check out your credit card’s rewards program and avail any bonus categories that match with your spending habits.
Take into consideration the possibility of transferring your balance
If you have existing debt on a credit card, you might want to transfer that balance onto the travel credit card which has the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfer. This will let you pay off your debt without accruing interest and simultaneously aid in achieving the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus.
Make use of your miles or points prudently
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of points or miles make sure you use them in a responsible manner. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and then compare the worth of various redemption options. For example you can use your points to book a ticket directly through the airline may provide you with a greater return than using them for an gift card.
Another tip is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer your points to other loyalty programs. This will let you get a wider selection of choices and more flexibility in making use of your rewards. For instance, you might be able to transfer your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or reward program for hotels. This gives an access greater selection of hotels, flights and other travel benefits which are not offered through the rewards program of your credit card.
In addition, you should discover whether your credit card has some perks that could reduce your travel costs. Many cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that could be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a companion and both of you earn rewards using your own credit card. Make sure you don’t share the costs on the same card. Also, make sure to track your rewards in a separate manner.
The key to making the most of your travel rewards is to know your credit card’s rewards program and ensure that you’re making use of this program in the most effective way possible. Utilizing a combination of the strategies I’ve listed in this article, you’ll be able get rewards in a short time, use rewards for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad assortment of travel-related perks.