Are you tired of paying a fortune on airfare? Good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting way to turn credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles which can be used to obtain discounted or free flights to your desired destinations. With a bit of imagination and a little bit of insider knowledge, you can travel for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of swapping credit card sign-up bonus and rewards for airline miles. The miles can be used to purchase discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards will also let you redeem miles to pay for hotel stays or car rental discounts.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for success in travel hacking is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and establishing frequent flyer miles on a select group of airlines. When it comes time to book a flight consider the cost. If the price is less than $300, it’s best to pay cash and save your miles to book a higher-priced flight. If your flights begin to climb above $500, you’ll want to review your frequent flyer accounts and determine which airline offers you the best price. It all comes down to the number of points or miles in your travel bank for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to hacking travel? First step to open the credit card that comes that comes with a welcome bonus. There are plenty of great credit cards that offer a variety of advantages and features. It all depends on your preferred airline, spending habits and the features that are most essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards that are perfect to hack travel
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
Once you’ve been approved for a credit card, you’ll need to hit the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to qualify for the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so be certain to verify the details. Then you can begin to rack up miles, and then using them to book your dream trip!
Ready to jet-set with your ideas?
After you’ve accrued your points balance, you’re ready to use them towards delicious travel! Different credit card companies will have different methods of redeeming your rewards, here are some examples from some of the providers I’ve had experience with:
Escape by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own an Chase credit card, then you are able to redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In this portal you’ll get access to almost every airline, and you can use a combination of points and cash to book your trip. You can even book entirely using points if you’ve got enough balance! Sometimes, even if you don’t have enough points to cover the entire cost, you are able to purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using any credit card.
Are you fed up of paying full price for your flight tickets? Did you not know that when you book directly through United, you have the option of paying using either points or dollars? Be careful that if you don’t have enough points, you aren’t able to combine dollars and points for one flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re just a few points away, United also offers the option of buying additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers a comfortable and enjoyable travel experience that includes extra legroom and free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to United’s which allows you to book with either JetBlue either dollars or points but not both. However, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that allows you to join your points with family members to accrue points twice as fast. Make sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me and my travel buddy Becca I’m sure you’re pretty economical and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to hit the required amount to qualify for the credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried because we’ve been there and we’re here to share our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able pay your rent with credit card, then do it! Make sure you pay a fee, usually around 3%. It might be worth it over the long term if the bonus is high enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the spending limit is to cover a medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses due then ask your family members if you can pay for theirs and they will pay you back.
Repay the loan
If you’re a borrower take into consideration making payments on them with the credit card you have. Make sure to pay off the credit card balance 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 which you could help pay for. Make sure that you are able to have confidence in the person you are talking to and they are aware of the reason for doing this.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season take into consideration buying all your gifts using your credit card. So you’ll be able to hit that minimum spend and be ready for gift giving. Be sure to avoid spending more than you already contemplating to.
There are many ways to get the most out of your travel credit card. accumulate miles or points that you can use towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few additional ways to maximize your rewards
Book travel expenses with your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a vacation, make use of your travel credit card for booking your hotel, flight, rental car, and other travel costs. You’ll not only be able to hit the minimum amount of spending required for your credit card, but you’ll also be earning points or miles for these costs.
Use your credit card for all your daily costs
Another way to hit the minimum spend and earn points is making use of your credit card to pay for everyday expenditures. This can include things like gas, groceries, and even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay off the balance in full every month to ensure you don’t accrue interest charges.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer bonus points or miles for specific types of purchases, like eating out or travelling. Check out your credit card’s rewards program and take advantage of the bonus categories that are in line with your spending habits.
Take into consideration the possibility of transferring your balance
If you are currently in debt on a credit card, you might want to transfer that balance onto an account with a travel credit card that has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will allow you to pay off your debts without accruing interest. It will also assist you in reaching the minimum spend for the credit card’s bonus.
Make use of your miles or points wisely
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points make sure you use them wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card and then compare the value of different redemption options. For instance you can use your points to purchase a flight directly with the airline could give you a better value than using them to purchase an gift card.
Another suggestion is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer your rewards to different loyalty program. This will allow you to enjoy a greater variety of options and greater freedom when it comes to making use of your rewards. For example, you may be capable of transferring your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a Hotel rewards programme. This can give the benefit of a larger selection of hotels, flights and other travel benefits which are not offered through the rewards program of your credit card.
In addition, you should discover if your credit card offers any perks that can save you money on travel-related expenses. Some cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection and other benefits that can be invaluable when you travel.
If you’re traveling with a companion each of you will be able to earn rewards with your own credit card. Be aware that you cannot divide the cost with the same card and make sure you keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
Overall, the key to making the most of your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program on your credit card and ensure that you’re using it in the most effective method. By using an array of strategies I’ve listed, you’ll be able to earn rewards fast, exchange them for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad range of travel perks.