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 an exciting way to convert credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into miles which you can use to get discounted or even cheap flights from your ideal destinations. With a little creativity and some insider knowledge, you can travel for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. The miles can be used to buy cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards permit you to use miles to pay for hotel stays or rental car deals.
How Does it Work?
The key to success in hacking travel is taking advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and establishing a frequent flyer mile program 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 generally better to pay cash and save your miles for a more expensive flight. If your flights begin to climb higher than $500, it’s best to review the frequent flyer account and see which airline can give you the best price. It all boils down to the number of points or miles in your travel account for every airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets of travel hacking? First step to open the credit card that comes with a sign-up offer. There are many great credit cards with various features and benefits. It is all dependent on the airline, your spending habits, and the features that are most important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards perfect to use for hacking travel:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
If you’ve been approved for a credit card you’ll have to meet the minimum spend limit in order to get the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so make certain to verify the details. From there you can begin to rack up miles, and then using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your points?
Once you’ve accumulated the points balance, you’re ready to cash them in for some sweet vacation! Different credit card providers will offer different ways to redeem your points, but here are some examples from some of the providers I’ve worked with:
Take a trip by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own an Chase card, you are able to redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within it, you’ll get access to nearly every airline. You can combine the points as well as cash in order to pay for your trip. You can even book completely using points if you’ve got the balance for it! Sometimes even if you don’t have enough points to cover the entire price, you can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using every credit card.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for your flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United You have the option to pay with either points or dollars? Butbe aware, 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 a few points short, United also offers the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience , with more space and complimentary snacks. Additionally, their booking process is like United’s which allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue either dollars or points, however, not both. The difference is that JetBlue offers a distinct feature where you can 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 into the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re like me and my travel companion Becca, you’re probably pretty frugal and it can be challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to reach the minimum spend for the credit card bonus. Don’t worry as we’ve done it and we’re here to share our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able to pay for your rent using credit card, then do it! Just be prepared to be charged a fee, typically around 3 percent. It could be worthwhile over the long term if the bonus is high enough.
Pay for a medical bill
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 for theirs and they’ll reimburse you.
Pay off the loan
If you have any loans, consider making payments on them with your credit card. Be sure to pay the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Ask your family members to determine if they’ve got any big expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Just make sure you have confidence in the person you are talking to and they know why you’re doing this.
If it’s the holiday season you should consider purchasing all your gifts with your credit card. This way you can meet the minimum spending limit and be ready for giving gifts. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you were contemplating to.
There are many ways to get the most from 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 some additional ways to maximize your rewards
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, make use of you travel credit card to book your hotel, flight, rental car, and any other travel expenses. In addition, you’ll achieve the minimum spend to earn your credit card, but you’ll also be earning points or miles on the costs.
Utilize your credit card to pay for everyday expenses
Another method to reach the minimum amount of spending in order to accumulate points making use of your credit card to pay for daily costs. This could include things like gas, groceries, and even your phone bill. Be sure to pay the balance off in full every month to ensure you don’t accumulate interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or points in exchange for certain types of purchases, like dining or travel. Be sure to review your credit card’s rewards program and take advantage of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending habits.
Think about a balance transfer
If you’re in the middle of a outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer that balance to an account with a travel credit card that 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 amount required to earn the credit card bonus.
Utilize your miles and points wisely
When you’ve earned a significant amount of miles or points make sure you use them wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and then compare the value of different redemption options. For instance you can use points to book a flight directly with the airline might provide you with a greater return than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another option is to get a rewards card that allows you to transfer your reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will let you get a wider selection of choices and more flexibility in you want to redeem your rewards. For instance, you might be eligible to transfer your rewards to an airline’s frequent flyer program or a hotel rewards program. This can give you access to a wider range of flights, hotels, and other travel perks that may not be accessible through the rewards program on your credit card.
Additionally, try to determine whether your credit card has certain benefits that will help you save money on travel costs. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that are very beneficial when traveling.
If you’re traveling with a companion and both of you earn rewards with your own credit card. Be aware that you cannot share the costs on the same card. Also, make sure to keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
Overall, the key to reaping the maximum benefits from your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program of your credit card and to ensure you’re using it in the most efficient method. Through an array of strategies I’ve outlined, you’ll be able to get rewards in a short time, use rewards for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad assortment of travel-related perks.