Are you tired of paying a fortune on airfare? Good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting way to convert sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles that can then be used to obtain discounted or complimentary flights for your ideal destinations. With a little imagination and a little bit of insider knowledge, you can travel for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about trading credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. These miles can then be used to purchase discount or no-cost flights. Some credit cards also permit you to use miles to pay for hotel stays or rental car offers.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for successful hacking travel is taking advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and to establish a frequent flyer mile program with a limited number of airlines. When it comes time to book a flight consider the cost. If the price is less than $300, it’s usually better to pay cash and use your miles to pay for a more expensive flight. If your flights begin to climb higher than $500, it’s best to review those frequent flyer accounts to find out which airline will give you the best deal. It all comes down to the number of miles or points you have in your travel savings account for every airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to travel hacking? The first step is to open an account with a sign-up offer. There are plenty of great credit cards with a variety of benefits and features. It depends on the type of airline, spending habits and what features are crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards great to hack travel
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
Once you’ve been approved for a credit or debit card, you’ll have to meet the limit of spending minimum in order to qualify for the bonus. Every card has different rules, so make certain to verify the details. From there, it’s all about racking miles and using them to book your dream vacation!
Ready to jet-set with your goals?
Now that you’ve built up the points amount, it’s time to cash them in for some delicious getaway! Different credit card providers will have different methods of redeeming your rewards, here are some examples from a few of the providers I have experience with:
Take a trip by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of an Chase card, you are able to redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through this portal you’ll get access to almost every airline. You can use a combination of money and points to book your next trip. You can book your flight entirely on points if you have enough balance! Sometimes even if you do not possess enough points for the total cost, you are able to buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using any credit card.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for your flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United You have the option of paying with dollars or points? But, be careful, if you don’t have enough points you aren’t able to combine points and dollars on the same flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re just a few points away, United provides the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides passengers a relaxing and pleasant travel experience that includes extra space and complimentary snacks. Additionally, their booking process is like United’s that allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue points or dollars, but not both. But, JetBlue has a unique feature that allows you to pool your points together with your family members and earn points twice as quickly. Just make sure you can verify that you are a family member before trying to hack the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel buddy Becca You’re probably quite economical and it’s daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum spend for credit card bonuses. However, don’t be worried, we’ve been through it and we’re here to share some of our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able pay your rent with a credit card, do it! Just be prepared to pay a cost, which is usually around 3%. It might be worth it over the long term in the event that the bonus is substantial enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the spending limit is to cover the medical bills. If you don’t have any medical bills due, ask your family members to pay them for theirs, and they can reimburse you.
Repay a loan
If you’re a borrower, consider paying them off with the credit card you have. Be sure to pay off the balance on your credit card in full so you don’t accrue additional debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Ask your family members to look into any major expenses in the near future that you can contribute for. Make sure that you are able to have confidence in the person you are talking to and they understand why you’re doing it.
If it’s the holiday season take into consideration buying all of your gifts with your credit card. This way you can meet the minimum spending limit and also be prepared for giving gifts. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you were contemplating to.
There are many methods to get the most from the travel credit card and earn miles or points to be used towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few additional ways to maximize your rewards:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, make use of your travel credit card to pay for your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as other travel costs. You’ll not only be able to hit the required amount to earn your credit card bonus and earn points, but you’ll also earn points or miles on those expenditures.
Use your credit card to pay for your everyday costs
Another way to meet the minimum amount of spending and earn points is by using your credit card to pay for daily expenditures. This could include items like groceries, gas, and even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay off the balance in full each month so you don’t pay interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or bonus points for certain types of purchases, including eating out or traveling. Be sure to review your rewards program on your credit card 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’re in the middle of a outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, consider transferring that balance to an account with a travel credit card that has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfers. This will allow you to pay off your debts without accruing interest. It will also aid in achieving the minimum spending requirement for the credit card bonus.
Utilize your miles and 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 compare the worth of various redemption options. For instance using points to book a flight directly with the airline could provide you with a greater value than using them for an gift card.
Another option is to get an rewards card that permits you to transfer rewards to different loyalty program. This allows you to have a wider range of choices and more freedom when it comes to making use of your rewards. For example, you may be able to transfer your reward to an airline’s frequent flyer program or Hotel rewards programme. This will give an access greater range of flights, hotels as well as other travel perks that may not be offered through your credit card’s rewards program.
Also, determine if your credit card offers some perks that could reduce your travel costs. Some cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that could be invaluable when you travel.
When you travel with someone else and both of you earn rewards with your own credit card. Be aware that you cannot split the cost on the same card, and be sure to track your rewards separately.
In the end, the most important thing to do to reaping the maximum benefits from your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program on your credit card and make sure you’re using this program in the most effective way possible. Utilizing a combination of the methods I’ve described in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards quickly, redeem rewards for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad range of travel perks.