Are you tired of spending an enormous amount on flights? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel woes. It’s a fun way to convert credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles, which you can use to obtain discounted or free flights to your ideal destinations. With a bit of imagination and some information, you’ll travel for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about trading credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. These miles can later be used to buy discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards will also permit you to use miles for hotel stays and car rental deals.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for successful travel hacking 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 you are ready to make a booking consider the cost. If the price is less than $300, it’s usually better to pay in cash and save your miles to take a more costly flight. If your flights begin to climb over $500, you’ll need to check the frequent flyer account to find out which airline will give you the best price. All it boils down to is the number of points or miles you have in your travel savings account for each airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets of travel hacking? First step opening the credit card that comes with a sign-up offer. There are plenty of great credit cards that provide various features and benefits. It all depends on your preferred airline, your habits with spending and what features are important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards great 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 need to reach the limit of spending minimum in order to receive the bonus. Every card has different rules, so make sure to check for this information. Then, it’s all about racking up miles, and using them to plan your dream trip!
Ready to jet-set with your ideas?
Once you’ve accumulated the points balance, it’s time to use them towards nice travel! Different credit card companies offer different ways to redeem your points. Here are some examples from some of the providers I’ve had experience with:
Getaway with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of a Chase card, 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 use a combination of money and points to pay for your travel. 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 total cost, you are able to book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using the credit card of your choice.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for your flight tickets? Did you realize that when booking directly through United you can choose the option to pay with either points or dollars? But, be careful that if you do not have enough points you can’t combine dollars and points for one flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re only a couple of points short, United also offers the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than 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 passengers to book flights using JetBlue either dollars or points however, not both. But, JetBlue has a unique feature that allows you to pool your points together with your relatives to earn points twice as fast. Make sure to establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack into the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me or my travel buddy Becca I’m sure you’re pretty thrifty and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum spend for the credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried because we’ve been there 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 using credit card, go for it! Be prepared to be charged a fee, typically at least 3 percent. It may be worth it in the long run when the bonus is large enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another way to reach the minimum spend is to cover a medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses in the near future Ask your family members to pay their medical bills and they will reimburse you.
Pay off the loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan take into consideration repaying them using the credit card you have. Just make sure you pay off the balance on your credit card in full so you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Talk to your family and see if they have any big expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to trust the person and they are aware of the reason for taking the initiative.
If you’re celebrating the holidays you should consider purchasing all of your gifts with the credit card you have. In this way, you’ll meet the minimum spending limit and be ready to give gifts. Be sure to avoid spending more than you already contemplating to.
There are many ways to make the most out of the travel credit card. You can accrue points or miles to be used towards airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are some additional ideas for maximizing your rewards:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
If you’re planning a vacation, make use of you travel credit card for booking your hotel, flight, rental car, and other travel costs. Not only will you achieve the minimum spend to earn your credit card reward, however, you’ll also earn points or miles on the expenditures.
Make use of your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday expenditures
Another way to hit the minimum amount of spending in order to accumulate points making use of your credit card for daily expenditures. This could include things like gas, groceries and even your telephone bill. Make sure you pay off the balance each month in full so you don’t accumulate interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer bonus points or miles on certain kinds of purchases, including eating out or traveling. Make sure you review the rewards program of your credit card and take advantage of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending routines.
Consider a balance transfer
If you have existing debt on a high-interest credit card, consider transferring that balance to a travel credit card with an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will allow you to pay off the debt without accruing interest and simultaneously aid in achieving the minimum spend for the credit card’s bonus.
Use your points or miles carefully
If you’ve amassed a large amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize the points or miles wisely. Examine the rewards program of 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 give you a better value than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another option is to get rewards cards that allow you to transfer rewards to different loyalty program. This will allow you to have a wider range of choices and more flexibility when redeeming your rewards. For instance, you might be eligible to transfer your rewards to an airline’s frequent flyer program or a Hotel rewards programme. This will give you access to a larger selection of hotels, flights and other travel benefits that aren’t available through your credit card’s rewards program.
Additionally, try to discover the card’s benefits. certain benefits that will reduce your travel costs. Many cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that can be very beneficial when traveling.
When you travel with a friend, both of you can earn rewards with your credit card. Just remember that you can’t share the costs on the same card and make sure you keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
Overall, the key to making the most of your travel rewards is to know the rewards program of your credit card and to ensure you’re using it in the most effective method. Utilizing all of the methods I’ve described, you’ll be able to get rewards in a short time, use them for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad variety of travel benefits.