Are you fed up of spending a fortune on airfare? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s a fun way to turn credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles, which can be used to obtain discounted or complimentary flights for your dream destinations. With a little bit of creativity and some insider knowledge, you can travel for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. These miles can then be used to purchase discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards will also permit you to use miles towards hotel stays or car rental offers.
How Does it Work?
The key to successful travel hacking is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and building out a frequent flyer mile program on a select group of airlines. When it comes time to make a booking, evaluate the cost. If the cost is less than $300, it’s best to pay in cash and save your miles for a more expensive flight. If your flights begin to climb above $500, you’ll want to review the frequent flyer account and determine which airline offers you the best price. All it boils down to is the number of points or miles you have in your travel bank for every airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to hacking travel? Your first task is to open the credit card that comes with a sign-up bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards that offer a variety of benefits and features. It depends on the type of airline, your habits with spending and the features that are most essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards 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 reach the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to qualify for the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so make certain to verify this information. Then, it’s all about racking up miles, and then using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to set sail with your ideas?
Once you’ve accumulated your points balance, you’re ready to cash them in for some nice travel! Different credit card companies have different methods for redeeming your points, but here are some examples from a few of the providers I’ve had experience with:
Take a trip by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have an Chase card, you can redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through it, you’ll get access to virtually every airline and you can combine money and points to book your trip. You can even book completely using points if you’ve got enough balance! Sometimes even if you do not possess enough points for the entire cost, you still can buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using every credit card.
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 with either points or dollars? But, be careful that if you don’t have enough points you aren’t able to combine dollars and points on flights. Don’t worry, though, if you’re a few points short, United gives you the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue offers a comfortable and enjoyable travel experience that includes extra legroom and free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines that allows you to book with either JetBlue either dollars or points, but not both. However, JetBlue offers a distinct feature that allows you to pool your points together with your relatives to earn points twice as quickly. Just make sure you can prove you’re really family before trying to hack the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me or my travel buddy Becca I’m sure you’re pretty thrifty and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum spend for the credit card bonus. Don’t worry as we’ve done it and we’re here to share our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able pay your rent with credit card, then do it! Make sure you pay a fee, usually at least 3%. It could be worthwhile over the long term in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another great way to hit the spending limit is to pay for a medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills in the near future, ask your family members to pay them for theirs, and they’ll repay you.
Make a payment to pay off a loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan, consider repaying them using the credit card you have. Just make sure you pay off the credit card balance in full so you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask your family members for help
Discuss your family with them and see if they have any large expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Make sure that you are able to are able to trust the person and that they are aware of the reason for doing it.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season, consider buying all your gifts using your credit card. In this way, you’ll meet the minimum spending limit and also be prepared to give gifts. Make sure that you’re not spending more than you already thinking of.
There are plenty of ways to make the most of your travel credit card. earn miles or points to spend on the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few additional ideas for maximizing the rewards you earn:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, make use of your travel credit card to book your flight, hotel, rental car, and any other travel-related expenses. You’ll not only be able to hit the required amount for your credit card as well, however, you’ll also earn points or miles to cover these expenditures.
Utilize your credit card to pay for everyday costs
Another way to hit the minimum amount of spending and earn points is using your credit card to pay every day costs. This can include items like groceries, gas and even your telephone bill. Just make sure to pay off the balance in full every month to ensure you don’t accumulate interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or bonus points on certain kinds of purchases, such as dining or travel. Make sure you review the rewards program of your credit card and avail any bonus categories that align with your spending habits.
Think about a balance transfer
If you are currently in debt on a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer the balance to a travel credit card with a 0% introductory APR for balance transfer. This will enable you to pay off your debt without accruing interest, and also assist you in reaching the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus.
Utilize your miles and points prudently
When you’ve earned a significant amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize them wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card and then compare the benefits of different redemption options. For instance, using your points to purchase a flight directly with the airline could give you a better value than using them for an gift card.
Another suggestion is to use rewards cards that allow you to transfer your rewards to different loyalty program. This will allow you to get a wider selection of options and greater flexibility when you want to redeem your rewards. For example, you may be capable of transferring your reward to frequent flyer programs of airlines or a hotel rewards program. This will give the benefit of a wider range of flights, hotels as well as other travel perks which are not offered through your credit card’s rewards program.
In addition, you should discover if your credit card offers some perks that could save you money on travel-related expenses. Many cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that are invaluable when you travel.
If you’re traveling with a companion, both of you can get rewards on your credit card. Be aware that you cannot divide the cost with the same card, and be sure to keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
The key to maximizing your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program on your credit card and ensure that you’re making use of your credit card in the most efficient method possible. By using an array of strategies I’ve listed, you’ll be able to earn rewards fast, exchange them for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide range of travel perks.