Are you tired of spending a fortune on airfare? Good news! Travel hacking is the answer to your travel-related problems. It’s a fun way to convert credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles which you can use to obtain discounted or complimentary flights for your ideal destinations. With a bit of creativity and some insider know-how, you’ll travel for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about trading credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. These miles can then be used to purchase cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards will also allow you to redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or rental car offers.
How Does it Work?
The secret to successful travel hacking is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and to establish frequent flyer miles for a specific group of airlines. When it comes time to make a booking take a look at the price. If the cost is under $300, it’s best to pay in cash and use your miles to pay to take a more costly flight. If your flights begin to climb over $500, you’ll need to look into those frequent flyer accounts to see which airline can give you the most value. It all comes 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 hacking travel? First step opening an account with a sign-up offer. There are many great credit cards with a variety of advantages and features. It depends on the type of airline, your spending habits, and what features are important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards that are perfect to hack travel
- 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 limit of spending minimum 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 it’s all about building up miles and using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your points?
Now that you’ve built up the points amount, it’s time to redeem them for some nice vacation! Different credit card companies have different methods for redeeming your points, but here are some examples from a few of the ones I’ve worked with:
Getaway with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own a Chase card, you are able to use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In the portal, you’ll have access to nearly every airline. You can use a combination of money and points to book your trip. You can even book entirely on points if you have the funds to pay for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t possess enough points for the entire price, you can 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 flight tickets? Did you know that when you book directly through United You have the option to pay with dollars or points? Be careful, if you don’t have enough points you can’t combine points and dollars for the same flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re just a few point short United gives you the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue provides passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience with extra space and complimentary snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines which allows you to book with either JetBlue points or dollars, however, 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. Just make sure you can establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel buddy Becca I’m sure you’re pretty economical and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to reach the required amount to qualify for a credit card bonus. Don’t worry as we’ve done it and we’re here to share our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able to pay your rent using a credit card, do it! Just be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually around 3 percent. It might be worth it in the end if the bonus is high enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another excellent way to meet the spending limit is to pay for an medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills due Ask your family members if you can pay them for theirs, and they can repay you.
Repay the loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan you owe, think about repaying them using an credit card. Just make sure you pay off the balance on your credit card in full so you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Ask your family members to look into any big expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Make sure that you are able to trust the person and they are aware of the reason for doing it.
If you’re celebrating the holidays take into consideration buying all your gifts with your credit card. In this way, you’ll meet the minimum spending limit and also be ready to give gifts. Just make sure you’re not paying more than you already planning to.
There are a lot of ways to get the most of your travel credit card. accumulate miles or points that you can be used towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are some additional ways to maximize the rewards you earn:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
If you’re planning a vacation, make use of your travel credit card for booking your hotel, flight, rental car, and any other travel expenses. Not only will you be able to hit the minimum amount of spending required to qualify for a credit card, however, you’ll also earn points or miles on those costs.
Make use of your credit card to pay for all your daily expenses
Another way to hit the minimum spend and earn points is making use of your credit card to pay for everyday expenses. This can include things like food, gas and even your telephone bill. Be sure to pay the balance off in full each month so you don’t accumulate interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer bonus points or miles on certain kinds of purchases, like dining or travel. Be sure to review your credit card’s rewards program and avail any bonus categories that align with your spending habits.
Take into consideration a balance transfer
If you’re in the middle of a debt on a credit card, consider transferring that balance onto the travel credit card which has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfers. This will enable you to pay off your debts without accruing interest. It will also assist you in reaching the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus.
Use your points or miles prudently
When you’ve earned a significant amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize them in a responsible manner. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and then compare the benefits of different redemption options. For instance, using points to book a ticket directly with the airline could provide you with a greater return than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another option is to get rewards cards that allow you to transfer your rewards to different loyalty program. This allows you to get a wider selection of options and greater freedom when it comes to making use of your rewards. For instance, you might be capable of transferring your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or reward program for hotels. This can give an access larger variety of hotels, flights, and other travel perks that aren’t offered through the rewards program of your credit card.
In addition, you should determine the card’s benefits. certain benefits that will save you money on travel-related costs. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that can be invaluable when you travel.
When you travel with a friend each of you will be able to earn rewards with your credit card. Be aware that you cannot divide the cost with the same card. Also, make sure to track your rewards in a separate manner.
Overall, the key to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program on your credit card and make sure you’re making use of it in the most efficient method. By using all of the strategies I’ve outlined in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards fast, exchange rewards for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide range of travel perks.