Are you tired of paying a fortune on airfare? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s a fun way to convert credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles, that can then be used to score discounted or free flights to your desired destinations. With a little creativity and some insider information, you’ll fly for no cost 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 cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards permit you to use miles for hotel stays and car rental discounts.
How Does it Work?
The secret to success in travel hacking is to take advantage of the credit card sign-up bonus and establishing frequent flyer miles with a limited number of airlines. When it comes time to make a booking, evaluate the cost. If the price is less than $300, it’s usually better to pay in cash and save your miles for a more expensive flight. If your flights begin to climb higher than $500, it’s best to look into the frequent flyer account and determine which airline offers you the best deal. It all boils down to the amount of points or miles you have in your travel bank for every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets of travel hacking? The first step is opening an account with a sign-up offer. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that provide many benefits and features. It depends on the type of airline, spending habits and what features are important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards excellent to use for hacking travel:
- 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 need to reach the minimum spend limit in order to receive the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so be sure to check for this information. From there you can begin to rack up miles, and using them to plan your dream vacation!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your points?
Now that you’ve built up your points amount, it’s time to cash them in for some delicious vacation! Different credit card companies will have different methods for redeeming your points. Here are some examples from some of the ones I’ve had experience with:
Escape through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you’re a holder of an Chase credit card, then you are able to redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through this portal you’ll get access to almost every airline. You can use a combination of points and cash to pay for your travel. 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 full price, you can buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using every credit card.
Are you fed up of paying full price for your flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option of paying with dollars or points? Butbe aware, if you do not have enough points you can’t combine dollars and points for one flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re just a few points short, United also offers the option to purchase additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue offers passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience , with more space and complimentary snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines, allowing passengers to book flights using JetBlue dollar or points, however, not both. The difference is that JetBlue has a unique feature where you can pool your points together with your family members and earn points twice as quickly. Make sure to prove you’re really family before trying to hack into the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re like me or my travel companion Becca, you’re probably pretty frugal and it can be challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum amount required to earn a credit card bonus. Don’t worry, we’ve been through it and we’re here to share some of our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able to pay for your rent with credit card, go for it! Make sure you pay a fee, usually around 3 percent. It might be worth it in the end if the bonus is high enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another great way to hit the spending limit is to cover the medical bills. If you do not have any medical expenses due, ask your family members if you can pay for theirs and they will reimburse you.
Pay off a loan
If you have any loans take into consideration repaying them using your credit card. Be sure to pay off the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t end up with additional debt.
Ask your family members for help
Ask your family members to look into any major expenses in the near future that you can help pay for. Just make sure you 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, consider buying all your gifts using cards from your credit account. In this way, you’ll hit that minimum spend and also be ready for gift giving. Make sure that you’re not paying more than you already planning to.
There are many ways to make the most out of the travel credit card and accrue points or miles to be used towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few additional ways to maximize your rewards:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, make use of the travel credit card to pay for your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as any other travel-related expenses. In addition, you’ll be able to hit the minimum amount of spending required to earn your credit card reward and earn points, however, you’ll also earn points or miles to cover the expenses.
Use your credit card for all your daily costs
Another method to reach the minimum spend in order to accumulate points by using your credit card to pay daily expenses. This can include things like gas, groceries and even your telephone bill. Just make sure to pay off the balance in full every month to ensure 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, such as dining or travel. Be sure to review your rewards program on your credit card and avail any bonus categories that match with your spending habits.
Think about the possibility of transferring your balance
If you have existing debt on a credit card, you might want to transfer the balance to the travel credit card which has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfer. This will enable you to pay off your debts without accruing interest and simultaneously help you hit the minimum spending requirement for the credit card bonus.
Make use of your miles or points wisely
When you’ve earned a significant amount of points or miles Make sure to utilize the points or miles wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card, and evaluate the worth of various redemption options. For example, using points to purchase a flight directly with the airline might offer better value than using them to purchase the purchase of a gift card.
Another tip is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will allow you to enjoy a greater variety of options and greater flexibility when redeeming your rewards. For example, you may be capable of transferring your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or Hotel rewards programme. This gives you access to a greater selection of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks that may not be accessible through the rewards program on your credit card.
In addition, you should find out whether your credit card has certain benefits that will save you money on travel-related 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 companion, both of you can earn rewards using your own credit card. Make sure you don’t divide the cost with the same card. Also, make sure to keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
In the end, the most important thing to do to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to know your credit card’s rewards program and to ensure you’re using your credit card in the most efficient method possible. By using an array of methods I’ve described that you can earn rewards quickly, redeem them for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad range of travel perks.