Are you fed up of spending a fortune on airfare? Good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting method to convert credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles which you can use to score discounted or cheap flights from your dream destinations. With a little bit of imagination and a little bit of insider knowledge, you can travel for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about trading credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. The miles can be used to pay for discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards will also let you redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or car rental deals.
How Does it Work?
The key to successful travel hacking is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and establishing a frequent flyer mile program with a limited number of airlines. When it’s time to book a flight take a look at the price. If the cost is less than $300, it’s generally better to pay in cash and use your miles to pay to take a more costly flight. When the flights start getting higher than $500, it’s best to review those frequent flyer accounts to determine which airline offers you the best price. It all comes down to the amount of miles or points in your travel account for each airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets of travel hacking? The first step is to open an account with a sign-up bonus. There are many great credit cards that offer many benefits and features. It is all dependent on the airline, your spending habits, and the features that are most essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards that are perfect for travel hacking:
- 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 receive the bonus. Each card has its own guidelines, so make certain to verify this information. From there, it’s all about racking up miles, and then using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your points?
Now that you’ve built up your points balance, it’s time to redeem them for some nice travel! Different credit card companies will offer different ways to redeem your points, but here are a few examples from some of the providers I’ve had experience with:
Take a trip with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have a Chase card, you are able to use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through the portal, you’ll get access to virtually every airline and you can use a combination of points and cash to pay for your travel. You can even book completely with points if you’ve enough balance! Sometimes even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for total price, you can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with every credit card.
Are you fed up of paying full price for your flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United, you have the option of paying with dollars or points? But, be careful in case you don’t have enough points, you can’t combine dollars and points on flights. If you’re only a couple of points short, United also offers the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience with extra legroom as well as free snacks. Plus, their booking process is like United’s which allows you to book with either JetBlue dollar or points, however, not both. But, JetBlue offers a distinct feature that lets you pool your points together with family members to accrue points twice as fast. Just make sure you can prove you’re really family before trying to hack the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re anything like me and my travel buddy Becca, you’re probably pretty frugal and it can be challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to reach the required amount to qualify for a credit card bonus. But don’t fret as we’ve done it and we’re 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, go for it! Make sure you pay a fee, usually about 3 percent. It might be worth it over the long term when the bonus is large enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another great way to hit the minimum spend is to pay for a medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills due then ask your relatives if you could pay for theirs and they will reimburse you.
Repay the loan
If you have any loans, consider paying them off with your credit card. Just make sure you pay the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t accumulate additional debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Discuss your family with them and see if they have any major expenses in the near future which you could help pay for. Make sure that you are able to have confidence in the person you are talking to and they know why you’re taking the initiative.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season, consider buying all of your gifts with the credit card you have. This way you can meet the minimum spending limit and also be prepared to give gifts. Just make sure you’re not paying more than you already thinking of.
There are a lot of methods to get the most out of your travel credit card. accumulate miles or points that you can spend on airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are some additional ideas for maximizing the rewards you earn:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, use the travel credit card for booking your hotel, flight, rental car, and any other travel expenses. In addition, you’ll be able to hit the required amount to qualify for a credit card bonus, however, you’ll also earn points or miles on the expenses.
Use your credit card to pay for your everyday expenses
Another way to hit the minimum spend to earn rewards is making use of your credit card for every day expenses. This could be things like food, gas and even your telephone bill. Be sure to pay the balance off each month in full so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Make the most of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or bonus points on certain kinds of purchases, like dining or travel. Check out the rewards program of your credit card and avail any bonus categories that align with your spending routines.
Take into consideration a balance transfer
If you have existing debt on a credit card, think about transferring that balance to a travel credit card with an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will enable you to pay off the debt 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 carefully
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize them wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and then compare the benefits of different redemption options. For instance, using points to purchase a flight directly with the airline could provide you with a greater value than using them to purchase a gift card.
Another option is to get an rewards card that permits you to transfer your reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will allow you to have a wider range of options and greater freedom when it comes to you want to redeem your rewards. For example, you may be eligible to transfer your rewards to an airline’s frequent flyer program or a reward program for hotels. This will give you access to a wider range of flights, hotels as well as other travel perks that may not be accessible through your credit card’s rewards program.
Additionally, try to determine the card’s benefits. any perks that can save you money on travel-related expenses. Many cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that could be very beneficial when traveling.
If you’re traveling with someone else, both of you can earn rewards with your own credit card. Be aware that you cannot share the costs on the same card, and be sure to track the rewards you earn separately.
The key to reaping the maximum benefits from your rewards for travel is to be aware of your credit card’s rewards program and make sure you’re making use of this program in the most effective method possible. Through an array of strategies I’ve listed that you can earn rewards quickly, redeem them for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad variety of travel benefits.