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 convert credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into miles which you can use to score discounted or free flights to your ideal destinations. With a little imagination and a little bit of insider knowledge, you can be jet-setting for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about trading credit card sign-up bonuses as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can then be used to purchase discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards let you redeem miles for hotel stays and rental car discounts.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for successful hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and establishing a frequent flyer mile program on a select group of airlines. When it comes time to make a booking take a look at the price. If the price is under $300, it’s usually better to pay in cash and save your miles to book a higher-priced flight. When the flights start getting higher than $500, it’s best to review the frequent flyer account to find out which airline will give you the best deal. All it boils down to is the number of points or miles you have in your travel bank for every airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to travel hacking? Your first task is to open the credit card that comes that comes with a welcome bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards that offer various features and benefits. It all depends on your preferred airline, spending habits and the features that are most important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit card options that can be excellent for travel hacking:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
After you’ve been accepted for a credit card you’ll need to hit the minimum spend limit in order to qualify for the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so be sure to check for this information. Then you can begin to rack up miles, and using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your ideas?
After you’ve accrued your points amount, it’s time to redeem them for some sweet travel! Different credit card providers will have different methods of redeeming your points. Here are some examples from some of the providers I’ve had experience with:
Escape by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have an Chase card, you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through this portal you’ll get access to almost every airline, and you can make use of a combination of points and cash to book your next trip. You can even book entirely using points if you’ve got the balance for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t have enough points to cover the full cost, you are able to purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using any credit card.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for your flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option of paying using either points or dollars? Be careful in case you don’t have enough points, you aren’t able to combine dollars and points on one flight. If you’re a few points short, United provides the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue provides passengers a relaxing and pleasant travel experience that includes extra legroom and free snacks. Plus, their booking process is like United’s, allowing you to book with either JetBlue points or dollars, however, not both. However, JetBlue offers a distinct feature where you can join 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 like me and my travel buddy Becca, you’re probably pretty economical and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to reach the required amount to qualify for credit card bonuses. However, don’t be worried, we’ve been through it and we’re here to share our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able to pay your rent using a credit card, do it! Make sure you pay a fee, usually around 3 percent. It might be worth it in the long run in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another way to reach the minimum spend is to pay for a medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses in the near future Ask your family members if you can pay their medical bills and they’ll reimburse you.
Pay off the loan
If you’re a borrower take into consideration repaying them using your credit card. Be sure to pay off the balance on your credit card in full , so that you don’t end up with additional debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Ask your family members to look into any big expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to trust the person and they understand why you’re doing this.
If you’re celebrating the holidays you should consider purchasing all your gifts with your credit card. In this way, you’ll reach the minimum spending requirement and also be ready to give gifts. Make sure that you’re not paying more than you already contemplating to.
There are a lot of ways to get the most out of the travel credit card. You can earn miles or points to use towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few additional ideas for maximizing the rewards you earn:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a vacation, make use of the travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as other travel costs. In addition, you’ll be able to hit the minimum amount of spending required to qualify for a credit card bonus as well, but you’ll also be earning points or miles on those expenditures.
Use your credit card for all your daily expenses
Another method to reach the minimum spend to earn rewards is using your credit card to pay everyday expenditures. This could be items like groceries, gas, and even your phone bill. Be sure to pay the balance off each month in full so you don’t accumulate interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or bonus points on certain kinds of purchases, like eating out or travelling. Be sure to review your rewards program on your credit card and make use of any bonus categories that align with your spending habits.
Consider the possibility of transferring your balance
If you have existing debt on a credit card, think about transferring that balance onto the travel credit card which has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will let you pay off the debt without accruing interest, and also assist you in reaching the minimum spending requirement for the credit card bonus.
Make use of your miles or points prudently
When you’ve earned a significant amount of miles or points, be sure to 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 flight directly with the airline might offer better return than using them for a gift card.
Another option is to get rewards cards that allow you to transfer your rewards to different loyalty program. This will allow you to have a wider range of options and greater flexibility in redeeming your rewards. For instance, you might be able to transfer your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a reward program for hotels. This gives you access to a larger variety of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks that may not be offered through your credit card’s rewards program.
Also, find out the card’s benefits. some perks that could reduce your travel expenses. Some cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection and other benefits that are very beneficial when traveling.
If you’re traveling with a companion each of you will be able to get rewards on your credit card. Be aware that you cannot share the costs on the same card and make sure to track your rewards separately.
The key to maximizing your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program of your credit card and ensure that you’re making use of your credit card in the most efficient method. By using an array of strategies I’ve outlined that you can earn rewards quickly, redeem them for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide assortment of travel-related perks.