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 an exciting method to convert bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles, which you can use to obtain discounted or complimentary flights for your desired destinations. With a little bit of creativity and some insider know-how, you’ll 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 as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can then be used to purchase discount or no-cost flights. 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 travel is taking advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and building out frequent flyer miles 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 generally 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 those frequent flyer accounts to see which airline can give you the best deal. It all boils down to the number of points or miles in your travel bank for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to travel hacking? The first step is opening an account that comes with a welcome bonus. There are many great credit cards that offer a variety of benefits and features. It depends on the type of airline, spending habits and what features are essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards that are 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 limit of spending minimum in order to receive the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of guidelines, so make certain to verify the details. Then you can begin to rack miles and then using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your points?
Now that you’ve built up your points balance, you’re ready to use them towards delicious travel! Different credit card companies will offer different ways to redeem your points, but here are some examples from a few of the providers I have experience with:
Escape by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of a Chase cards, you are able to use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through the portal, you’ll have access to nearly every airline, and you can make use of a combination of money and points to pay for your trip. You can even book completely with points if you’ve the balance for it! Sometimes even if you do not have enough points to cover the total cost, you are able to purchase flights through the 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 know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option of paying with dollars or points? Be careful, if you don’t have enough points you cannot combine points and dollars for the same flight. If you’re only a couple of points away, United gives you the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue offers passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience , with more space and complimentary snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to United’s which allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue points or dollars, however, not both. The difference is that JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that lets you join your points with your family members and earn points twice as quickly. Make sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack into the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me or my travel buddy Becca You’re probably quite thrifty and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to reach the minimum spend for the credit card bonus. Don’t worry, we’ve been through it and we’re here to share some of our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able pay your rent using a credit card, do it! Just be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually at least 3%. It may be worth it over the long term if the bonus is high enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another great way to hit the minimum spend is to pay for a medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills due Ask your relatives if you could pay them for theirs, and they will repay you.
Repay a loan
If you’re a borrower take into consideration making payments on them with an credit card. Be sure to pay the credit card balance completely so that you don’t accumulate additional debt.
Ask family for help
Ask your family members to look into any major expenses in the near future which you could help pay for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to have confidence in the person you are talking to and they are aware of the reason for doing it.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season, consider buying all your gifts with cards from your credit account. This way you can reach the minimum spending requirement and also be prepared for gift giving. Make sure that you’re not paying more than you already contemplating to.
There are many ways to get the most of the travel credit card. You can accrue points or miles to be used towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few more ideas for maximizing the rewards you earn:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, use your travel credit card for booking your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as any other travel expenses. You’ll not only be able to meet the minimum amount of spending required to earn your credit card as well, however, you’ll also earn points or miles on these expenditures.
Make use of your credit card to pay for everyday expenses
Another way to meet the minimum amount of spending to earn rewards is by making use of your credit card for daily expenditures. This could include things like gas, groceries, and even your phone bill. Be sure to pay off the balance each month in full so you don’t pay interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or bonus points on certain kinds of purchases, such as dining or travel. Check out 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 that balance onto the travel credit card which has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfer. This will allow you to pay off your debts without accruing interest and simultaneously assist you in reaching the minimum spending requirement for the credit card bonus.
Use your points or miles carefully
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of points or miles make sure you use the points or miles wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card, and evaluate the value of different redemption options. For instance using your points to book a ticket directly through the airline may offer better value than using them to purchase an gift card.
Another suggestion is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer rewards to different loyalty program. This allows you to get a wider selection of choices and more flexibility when making use of your rewards. For instance, you might be capable of transferring your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a hotel rewards program. This can give the benefit of a larger range of flights, hotels and other travel benefits which are not available through the rewards program on your credit card.
Additionally, try to determine if your credit card offers some perks that could reduce your travel expenses. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that can be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
When you travel with a friend each of you will be able to earn rewards with your own credit card. Just remember that you can’t divide the cost with the same card. Also, make sure to keep track of 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 to ensure you’re making use of your credit card in the most efficient way possible. By using a combination of the methods I’ve described in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards fast, exchange them for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide assortment of travel-related perks.