Are you tired of paying a fortune on airfare? Well, good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel problems. It’s an exciting way to convert credit card bonus and sign-up incentives into airline miles, which can be used to obtain discounted or free flights to your dream destinations. With a little imagination and a little bit of insider information, you’ll be jet-setting for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about trading credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. The miles can be used to buy cheap or free flight tickets. Some credit cards also allow you to redeem miles for hotel stays and rental car offers.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for successful hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and building out frequent flyer miles on a select group of airlines. When you are ready to book a flight, evaluate the cost. 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 your flights begin to climb over $500, you’ll need to review those frequent flyer accounts and determine which airline offers you the most value. It all comes down to the number of points or miles you have in your travel savings account for each airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to hacking travel? First step to open a credit card with a sign-up bonus. There are many great credit cards that offer many features and benefits. It is all dependent on the airline, your habits with spending and what features are 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 or debit card, you’ll need to reach the limit of spending minimum in order to get the bonus. Each card has its own guidelines, so make sure to check for this information. From there you can begin to rack up miles, and then using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your ideas?
Once you’ve accumulated the points balance, it’s time to use them towards nice getaway! Different credit card companies will offer different ways to redeem your points. Here are a few examples from some of the ones I’ve worked with:
Escape with Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own an Chase credit card, then you are able to use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In the portal, you’ll have access to virtually every airline and you can make use of a combination of the points as well as cash in order to book your next trip. You can even book entirely on points if you have enough balance! Sometimes, even if you don’t have enough points to cover the entire cost, you are able to book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance cash using the credit card of your choice.
Are you tired of paying the full cost for your flight tickets? Did you realize that when booking directly through United, you have the option of paying with dollars or points? Be careful, if you don’t have enough points you cannot combine dollars and points for flights. No worries though, if you’re a few points short, United also offers the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue provides a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience , with more legroom as well as free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines which allows customers to book using either JetBlue points or dollars, but not both. The difference is that JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature that lets you pool your points together with your relatives to earn 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 or my travel buddy Becca, you’re probably pretty frugal and it can be challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars to reach the minimum amount required to earn credit card bonuses. Don’t worry because we’ve been there and we’re here to share our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able to pay your rent using a credit card, do it! Make sure you pay a cost, which is usually at least 3 percent. It could be worthwhile over the long term when the bonus is large enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another great way to hit the minimum spend is to pay for the medical bills. If you do not have any medical expenses in the near future Ask your relatives if you could pay them for theirs, and they will repay you.
Pay off the loan
If you’re a borrower, consider making payments on them with your credit card. Be sure to pay the credit card balance completely so that you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Talk to your family and determine if they’ve got any large expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Just make sure you are able to trust the person and that they are aware of the reason for doing this.
If you’re celebrating the holidays take into consideration buying all your gifts using cards from your credit account. In this way, you’ll meet the minimum spending limit and also be ready to give gifts. Make sure that you’re not paying more than you contemplating to.
There are many ways to get the most from your travel credit card. You can accrue points or miles to use towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few more ways to maximize your rewards:
Book travel expenses with your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, use the travel credit card to pay for your hotel, flight or rental car, as well as any other travel expenses. Not only will you be able to meet the minimum spend to qualify for a credit card, however, you’ll also earn points or miles on the costs.
Utilize your credit card to pay for everyday expenses
Another way to hit the minimum spending requirement and earn points is utilising your credit cards for everyday expenditures. This could include things like gas, groceries, and even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay off the balance in full every month to ensure you don’t accrue interest charges.
Benefit from bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or bonus points on certain kinds of purchases, including dining or travel. Be sure to review the rewards program of your credit card and take advantage of any bonus categories that align with your spending routines.
Consider a balance transfer
If you are currently in outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, you might want to transfer the balance to a travel credit card with the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfer. This will enable you to pay off your debts without accruing interest. It will also assist you in reaching the minimum spending requirement for the credit card’s bonus.
Make use of your miles or points prudently
If you’ve amassed a large amount of miles or points make sure you use the points or miles wisely. Review the rewards program for your credit card and compare the benefits of different redemption options. For instance using points to book a flight directly through the airline may provide you with a greater value than using them for the purchase of a gift card.
Another tip is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer your rewards to different loyalty program. This will let you get a wider selection of options and greater flexibility in you want to redeem your rewards. For example, you may be capable of transferring your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or Hotel rewards programme. This can give an access larger variety of hotels, flights and other travel benefits that aren’t available through the rewards program on your credit card.
Additionally, try to discover whether your credit card has certain benefits that will save you money on travel-related costs. Some cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection and other benefits that could be very beneficial when traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a companion, both of you can earn rewards with your own credit card. Make sure you don’t split the cost on the same card. Also, make sure to keep track of your rewards separately.
Overall, the key to maximizing your travel rewards is to understand your credit card’s rewards program and make sure you’re using your credit card in the most effective way possible. By using a combination of the strategies I’ve listed that you can earn rewards fast, exchange rewards for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide range of travel perks.