Are you tired of paying an enormous amount on flights? Good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel woes. 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 ideal destinations. With a little bit of 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 swapping credit card sign-up bonus and rewards for airline miles. These miles can then be used to pay for discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards will also let you redeem miles for hotel stays and rental car discounts.
How Does it Work?
The key to success in travel hacking is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and to establish frequent flyer miles with a limited number of airlines. When you are ready to book a flight take a look at the price. If the price is under $300, it’s best to pay cash and save your miles to book a higher-priced flight. If the prices start to rise over $500, you’ll need to review the frequent flyer account to find out which airline will give you the best deal. It all boils down to the number of points or miles in your travel account for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to travel hacking? First step opening an account with a sign-up offer. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that offer various features and benefits. It is all dependent on the airline, spending habits and the features that are most important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit card options that can be perfect 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 qualify for the bonus. Every card has different guidelines, so make sure to check for the details. From there you can begin to rack miles and using them to plan your dream trip!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your points?
Once you’ve accumulated your points amount, it’s time to redeem them for some sweet vacation! Different credit card companies offer different ways to redeem your points. Here are a few examples from some of the providers I’ve had experience with:
Getaway with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of an Chase credit card, then you are able to use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In it, you’ll get access to virtually every airline. You can make use of a combination of points and cash to book your trip. You can even book entirely on points if you have the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you do not be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for entire 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 flight tickets? Did you realize that when booking directly through United you can choose the option of paying with dollars or points? Be careful in case you do not have enough points you cannot combine dollars and points on the same flight. No worries though, if you’re only a couple of points short, United gives you the option of buying additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue offers a comfortable and enjoyable travel experience that includes extra legroom as well as free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to United’s which allows you to book with either JetBlue dollar or points, but not both. But, JetBlue has a unique feature that allows you to pool your points together with family members to accrue points twice as fast. Be sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack into the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me and my travel buddy Becca, you’re probably pretty frugal and it can be daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to reach the required amount to qualify for the credit card bonus. 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 huge one! If you’re able to pay for your rent with credit card, then do it! Make sure you pay a fee, usually at least 3 percent. It might be worth it in the long run when the bonus is large enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the minimum spend is to cover a medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills coming up, ask your family members if you can pay their medical bills and they will repay you.
Pay off the loan
If you’re a borrower you owe, think about repaying them using an credit card. Make sure to pay off the balance on your credit card in full , so that you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask family for help
Ask your family members to see if they have any large expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Just make sure you have confidence in the person you are talking to and they are aware of the reason for doing this.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season you should consider purchasing all your gifts using the credit card you have. So you’ll be able to reach the minimum spending requirement and also be prepared to give gifts. Just make sure you’re not paying more than you already planning to.
There are many ways to make the most out of using your credit or debit card for travel. accumulate miles or points that you can spend on flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few additional ideas for maximizing your rewards
Make travel reservations using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a vacation, make use of you travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel, rental car, and any other travel-related expenses. In addition, you’ll be able to hit the minimum spend to qualify for a credit card reward and earn points, but you’ll also earn points or miles to cover these expenditures.
Use your credit card for all your daily expenditures
Another method to reach the minimum spending requirement in order to accumulate points by making use of your credit card for daily expenditures. This could include things like gas, groceries and even your telephone bill. Be sure to pay the balance off in full each month so you don’t pay interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer bonus points or miles on certain kinds of purchases, including eating out or traveling. Check out your credit card’s rewards program and make use of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending habits.
Take into consideration a balance transfer
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a credit card, you might want to transfer that balance onto an account with a travel credit card that has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will allow you to pay off your debt without accruing interest. It will also aid in achieving the minimum spend for the credit card bonus.
Utilize your miles and points wisely
When you’ve earned a significant amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize them wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card, and evaluate the worth of various redemption options. For instance using your points to book a flight directly through the airline may offer better return than using them for a gift card.
Another option is to get an rewards card that permits you to transfer your rewards to different loyalty program. This allows you to have a wider range of choices and more freedom when it comes to redeeming your rewards. For example, you may be able to transfer your rewards to an airline’s frequent flyer program or a reward program for hotels. This gives an access greater selection of hotels, flights and other travel benefits that may not be offered through the rewards program on your credit card.
Additionally, try to find out the card’s benefits. any perks that can save you money on travel-related expenses. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection and other benefits that are extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with someone else, both of you can get rewards on your own credit card. Just remember that you can’t split the cost on the same card. Also, make sure to track your rewards separately.
The key to making the most of your travel rewards is to know the rewards program on your credit card and to ensure you’re making use of it in the most effective way possible. By using all of the strategies I’ve listed, you’ll be able to get rewards in a short time, use them for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide range of travel perks.