Are you tired of spending a fortune on airfare? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting method to convert credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into miles which you can use to score discounted or free flights to your ideal destinations. With a little bit of creativity and some insider information, you’ll fly for no cost within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of swapping credit card sign-up bonus and incentives for airline miles. The miles can be used to purchase discounted or even free flights. Some credit cards also allow you to redeem miles for hotel stays and rental car deals.
How Does it Work?
The key to success in hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and to establish frequent flyer miles for a specific group of airlines. When it’s time to make a booking take a look at the price. If the price is less than $300, it’s usually better to pay cash and save your miles to book a higher-priced flight. When the flights start getting over $500, you’ll need to review the frequent flyer account and find out which airline will give you the best price. It all boils down to the number of points or miles you have in your travel account for every airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets to travel hacking? The first step is opening the credit card that comes with a sign-up offer. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards with many features and benefits. It depends on the type of airline, spending habits and the features that are most important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards that are perfect for travel hacking:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
After you’ve been accepted for a credit card you’ll need to hit the minimum spend limit in order to receive the bonus. Every card has different guidelines, so make sure to look up this information. From there, it’s all about racking up miles, and using them to book your dream vacation!
Ready to jet-set with your ideas?
Now that you’ve built up your points balance, it’s time to use them towards delicious getaway! Different credit card providers will offer different ways to redeem your rewards, here are a few examples from some of the providers I have experience with:
Escape through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you have an Chase credit card, then you can redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within the portal, you’ll have access to virtually every airline and you can use a combination of money and points to pay for your next trip. You can even book entirely on points if you have enough balance! Sometimes even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for entire cost, you are able to purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using any credit card.
Are you tired of paying full price for your flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option of paying with dollars or points? But, be careful, if you do not have enough points you can’t combine points and dollars on one flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re only a couple of point 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 offers passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience , with more space and complimentary snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to that of United Airlines that allows customers to book using either JetBlue points or dollars but not both. The difference is that JetBlue offers a distinct feature that lets you pool your points together 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.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me and my travel buddy Becca I’m sure you’re pretty frugal and it can be daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to hit the minimum spend for a credit card bonus. However, don’t be worried because we’ve been there and are here to share some of our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able to pay for your rent with a credit card, do it! Make sure you be charged a fee, typically around 3%. It could be worthwhile over the long term in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another great way to hit the minimum spend is to pay for an medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses due, ask your relatives if you could pay them for theirs, and they’ll repay you.
Make a payment to pay off the loan
If you’re a borrower, consider paying them off with an credit card. Be sure to pay off the balance on your credit card completely so that you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Ask your family members to look into 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 doing this.
If you’re celebrating the holidays you should consider purchasing all your gifts with the credit card you have. So you’ll be able to meet the minimum spending limit and also be ready for giving gifts. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you planning to.
There are a lot of ways to get the most from using your credit or debit card for travel. accumulate miles or points that you can 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
Whenever you’re planning a vacation, make use of your travel credit card for booking your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as any other travel expenses. In addition, you’ll be able to meet the minimum amount of spending required to qualify for a credit card reward, but you’ll also be earning points or miles on the costs.
Make use of your credit card to pay for everyday expenses
Another way to meet the minimum amount of spending in order to accumulate points by using your credit card for every day expenses. This could include things like food, gas or even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay the balance off each month in full so 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 traveling. Be sure to review your credit card’s rewards program and make use of any bonus categories that align with your spending routines.
Consider the possibility of transferring your balance
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 the travel credit card which has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfers. This will let you pay off your debts without accruing interest, and also help you hit the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus.
Make use of your miles or points prudently
If you’ve amassed a large amount of points or miles, be sure to use them wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card, and evaluate the worth of various redemption options. For instance you can use points to purchase a flight directly with the airline could give you a better value than using them to purchase a 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 get a wider selection of choices and more freedom when it comes to you want to redeem your rewards. For example, you may be capable of transferring your rewards to the frequent flyer program of an airline or a Hotel rewards programme. This gives the benefit of a larger selection of hotels, flights and other travel benefits that may not be accessible through your credit card’s rewards program.
Additionally, try to discover whether your credit card has any perks that can reduce your travel expenses. Some cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that are extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with someone else and both of you get rewards on your credit card. Just remember that you can’t split the cost on the same card and make sure you keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
The key to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to know the rewards program of your credit card and make sure you’re using this program in the most effective method. Utilizing an array of strategies I’ve outlined, you’ll be able to earn rewards quickly, redeem them for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad range of travel perks.