Are you tired of paying a fortune on airfare? Good news! Travel hacking is the answer to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting method to convert credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles, that can then be used to get discounted or even complimentary flights for your dream destinations. With a little bit of creativity and some insider knowledge, you can fly for no cost in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. These miles can later be used to purchase discount or no-cost flights. Some credit cards also permit you to use miles towards hotel stays or rental car deals.
How Does it Work?
The secret to success in hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and to establish a frequent flyer mile program on a select group of airlines. When it comes time to book a flight take a look at the price. If the cost is less than $300, it’s best to pay in cash and save your miles to take a more costly flight. When the flights start getting over $500, you’ll need to check your frequent flyer accounts and see which airline can give you the best price. It all comes down to the amount of points or miles in your travel account for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets of travel hacking? The first step is opening a credit card that comes with a welcome bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that provide various advantages and features. It depends on the type of airline, your habits with spending and what features are essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit card options that can be excellent for travel hacking:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
If you’ve been approved for a credit or debit card, you’ll have to meet the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to get the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so make certain to verify the details. From there, it’s all about racking up miles and using them to plan your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your goals?
Once you’ve accumulated your points balance, it’s time to cash them in for some delicious vacation! Different credit card providers will have different methods of redeeming your points. Here are a few examples from some of the companies I have experience with:
Escape with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have a Chase card, you are able to redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through the portal, you’ll have access to almost every airline and you can make use of a combination of points and cash to pay for your trip. You can book your flight entirely using points if you’ve got the funds to pay for it! Sometimes, even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for entire cost, you still can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using any credit card.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United, you have the option to pay with dollars or points? Butbe aware, if you don’t have enough points, you can’t combine points and dollars for the same flight. If you’re only a couple of points short, United also offers the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides passengers a relaxing and pleasant travel experience that includes extra legroom as well as free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to United’s that allows you to book with either JetBlue dollar or points but not both. The difference is that JetBlue has a unique feature that lets you pool your points together with your family members and earn points twice as fast. Be sure to 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 buddy Becca You’re probably quite frugal and it can be difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum amount required to earn a credit card bonus. But don’t fret 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 pay your rent with credit card, then do it! Just be prepared to pay a fee, usually about 3 percent. It could be worthwhile in the end in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another way to reach the spending limit is to cover a medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses coming up then ask your family members to pay their medical bills and they’ll reimburse you.
Repay the loan
If you’re a borrower you owe, think about repaying them using an credit card. Be sure to pay the credit card balance completely so that you don’t end up with more debt.
Ask family for help
Discuss your family with them and see if they have any major expenses in the near future which you could help pay for. Just make sure you are able to trust the person and that they know why you’re doing this.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season take into consideration buying all your gifts using cards from your credit account. So you’ll be able to reach the minimum spending requirement and also be prepared for gift giving. Just make sure you’re not paying more than you thinking of.
There are many methods to get the most from your travel credit card and earn miles or points to use towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few additional suggestions for maximising your rewards
Make travel reservations using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, use you travel credit card for booking your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as other travel costs. You’ll not only be able to meet the minimum amount of spending required to qualify for a credit card, but you’ll also be earning points or miles for these expenditures.
Make use of your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday costs
Another method to reach the minimum amount of spending and earn points is making use of your credit card to pay for daily expenditures. This can include things like gas, groceries, and even your phone bill. Make sure you pay the balance off in full every month to ensure you don’t accumulate interest.
Benefit from bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or bonus points for certain types of purchases, including eating out or travelling. Check out your rewards program on your credit card and avail any bonus categories that align with your spending routines.
Take into consideration the possibility of transferring your balance
If you are currently in debt on a credit card, think about transferring that balance to the travel credit card which has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfers. This will let you pay off your debts without accruing interest. It will also help you hit the minimum spending requirement for the credit card’s bonus.
Make use of your miles or points wisely
When you’ve earned a significant amount of points or miles, be sure to use the points or miles wisely. Examine the rewards program of your credit card and then compare the benefits of different redemption options. For example you can use your points to book a flight directly with the airline might provide you with a greater value than using them to purchase the purchase of a gift card.
Another tip is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer rewards to different loyalty program. This will let you enjoy a greater variety of options and greater freedom when it comes to redeeming your rewards. For instance, you might be capable of transferring your reward to an airline’s frequent flyer program or reward program for hotels. This can give the benefit of a greater selection of hotels, flights, and other travel perks that may not be offered through the rewards program on your credit card.
Also, find out whether your credit card has some perks that could 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 are invaluable when you travel.
When you travel with someone else and both of you earn rewards using your credit card. Make sure you don’t share the costs on the same card and make sure you keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do to maximizing your rewards for travel is to be aware of your credit card’s rewards program and to ensure you’re using your credit card in the most effective method possible. Through a combination of the methods I’ve described, you’ll be able to earn rewards fast, exchange rewards for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide range of travel perks.