Are you tired of spending a fortune on airfare? Well, good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting way to convert credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into miles which you can use to score discounted or cheap flights from your dream destinations. With a bit of imagination and some knowledge, you can travel for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about trading credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. The miles can be used to buy discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards will also let you redeem miles towards hotel stays or car rental discounts.
How Does it Work?
The key to successful travel hacking is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and establishing frequent flyer miles on a select group of airlines. When you are ready to book a flight take a look at the price. If the flight is less than $300, it’s usually better to pay cash and use your miles to pay to book a higher-priced flight. If the prices start to rise higher than $500, it’s best to look into those frequent flyer accounts and find out which airline will give you the best deal. All it boils down to is the amount of points or miles you have in your travel account for each airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to travel hacking? Your first task is to open a credit card with a sign-up offer. There are plenty of great credit cards with various benefits and features. It depends on the type of airline, your spending habits, and what features are important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards that are great to hack travel
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
After you’ve been accepted for a credit card you’ll have to meet the minimum spend limit in order to get the bonus. Every card has different rules, so be sure to check for the details. Then you can begin to rack up miles and then using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your goals?
Now that you’ve built up the points balance, it’s time to use them towards delicious vacation! Different credit card companies have different methods for redeeming your points, but here are a few examples from some of the ones I’ve had experience with:
Escape through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you own a Chase card, you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within this portal you’ll get access to nearly every airline, and you can make use of a combination of the points as well as cash in order to pay for your next trip. You can even book completely with points if you’ve enough balance! Sometimes even if you don’t possess enough points for the total cost, you are able to purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with the credit card of your choice.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for flights? Did you know that when you book directly through United, you have the option of paying using either points or dollars? But, be careful that if you don’t have enough points, you aren’t able to combine points and dollars for one flight. No worries though, if you’re just a few points away, United gives you the option to purchase additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides a comfortable and enjoyable travel experience that includes extra legroom as well as free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to United’s which allows customers to book using either JetBlue dollar or points, but not both. But, JetBlue has a unique feature where you can combine your points with your family members and earn points twice as fast. Be sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack into the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
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 hit the required amount to qualify for the credit card bonus. Don’t worry as we’ve done it and are 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 with credit card, then do it! Just be prepared to be charged a fee, typically at least 3%. It might be worth it in the long run in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the minimum spend is to pay for an medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills in the near future, ask your family members if you can pay them for theirs, and they will repay you.
Pay off the loan
If you’re a borrower take into consideration paying them off with your credit card. Be sure to pay off the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t accrue more 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. Just make sure you are able to trust the person and that they know why you’re doing it.
If you’re celebrating the holidays, consider buying all your gifts with your credit card. In this way, you’ll reach the minimum spending requirement and also be ready to give gifts. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you planning to.
There are a lot of methods to get the most out of using your credit or debit card for travel. You can accrue points or miles to spend on airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are some additional ideas for maximizing your rewards:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, make use of you travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as any other travel-related expenses. Not only will you be able to meet the minimum spend to qualify for a credit card and earn points, but you’ll also earn points or miles on the costs.
Use your credit card for all your daily expenditures
Another way to hit the minimum spending requirement to earn rewards is by making use of your credit card to pay everyday expenditures. This could include things like food, gas, and even your phone bill. Be sure to pay off the balance in full every month to ensure you don’t accumulate interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer bonus points or miles for specific types of purchases, including eating out or traveling. Be sure to review your rewards program on your credit card and make use of any bonus categories that match with your spending habits.
Think about a balance transfer
If you have existing debt on a high-interest credit card, think about transferring that balance onto a travel credit card with the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfer. This will allow you to pay off your debt without accruing interest and simultaneously aid in achieving the minimum spending requirement for the credit card bonus.
Make use of your miles or points prudently
If you’ve amassed a large amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize them wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card, and evaluate the value of different redemption options. For instance, using your points to book a ticket directly with the airline could offer better return than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer your rewards to different loyalty program. This will allow you to get a wider selection of options and greater freedom when it comes to you want to redeem your rewards. For instance, you might be able to transfer your rewards to the frequent flyer program of an airline or reward program for hotels. This can give an access wider selection of hotels, flights and other travel benefits that may not be offered through the rewards program of your credit card.
In addition, you should discover if your credit card offers any perks that can help you save money on travel costs. Some cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that can be very beneficial when traveling.
When you travel with a friend, both of you can get rewards on your credit card. Be aware that you cannot split the cost on the same card, and be sure you keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
Overall, the key to maximizing your rewards for travel is to be aware of your credit card’s rewards program and to ensure you’re making use of this program in the most effective way possible. By using an array of strategies I’ve listed in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards fast, exchange them for travel experiences that are worth it, and enjoy a wide assortment of travel-related perks.