Are you fed up of spending a fortune on airfare? Well, good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to your travel-related problems. It’s an exciting way to turn credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into miles that can then be used to get discounted or even complimentary flights for your ideal destinations. With a little imagination and a little bit of insider know-how, you’ll travel for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about swapping credit card sign-up bonus as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can later be used to buy discounted or even free flights. Certain credit cards let you redeem miles towards hotel stays or car rental offers.
How Does it Work?
The key to success in hacking travel is taking advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and to establish a frequent flyer mile program for a specific group of airlines. When it’s time to book a flight take a look at the price. If the cost is under $300, it’s best to pay cash and save your miles for a more expensive flight. When the flights start getting over $500, you’ll need to review your 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 every airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets of travel hacking? First step to open a credit card with a sign-up offer. There are plenty of great credit cards that provide many features and benefits. It all depends on your preferred airline, spending habits and the features that are most important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards that are perfect 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 card you’ll need to hit the limit of spending minimum in order to receive the bonus. Each card has its own guidelines, so make sure to look up this information. From there, it’s all about racking up miles, and using them to book your dream trip!
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 nice getaway! Different credit card providers will have different methods for redeeming your rewards, here are a few examples from some of the providers I have experience with:
Take a trip through Chase Ultimate Reward
If you have a Chase card, you can redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within it, you’ll get access to almost every airline. You can combine the points as well as cash in order to book your next trip. You can even book completely using points if you’ve got the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you don’t have enough points to cover the total cost, you are able to book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with every credit card.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for your flight tickets? Did you realize that when booking directly through United You have the option to pay with either points or dollars? Be careful, if you don’t have enough points, you cannot combine dollars and points for one flight. If you’re only a couple of point short United gives you the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? Look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers an enjoyable and comfortable flight experience , with more legroom as well as free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines which allows you to book with either JetBlue dollar or points, however, not both. But, JetBlue offers a distinct feature that lets you pool your points together with your relatives to earn points twice as fast. Be sure to verify that you are a family member before trying to hack into the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me or my travel companion Becca I’m sure you’re 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, we’ve been through it and are here to share our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a huge one! If you’re able pay your rent using a credit card, do it! Just be prepared to pay a fee, usually about 3 percent. It may be worth it over the long term when the bonus is large enough.
Make a payment on a medical expense
Another way to reach the spending limit is to pay for the medical bills. If you do not have any medical expenses due Ask your relatives if you could pay them for theirs, and they can repay you.
Repay a loan
If you’re a borrower you owe, think about making payments on them with the credit card you have. Make sure to pay the credit card balance in full , so that you don’t accumulate more debt.
Ask family members for assistance
Talk to your family and determine if they’ve got any large expenses coming up which you could help pay for. Just make sure you trust the person and they know why you’re doing it.
If you’re celebrating the holidays take into consideration buying all your gifts using cards from your credit account. So you’ll be able to reach the minimum spending requirement and also be prepared for gift giving. Just make sure you’re not paying more than you planning to.
There are plenty of ways to make the most of using your credit or debit card for travel and accumulate miles or points that you can spend on flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few more ways to maximize your rewards
Book travel expenses with your credit card
When you’re planning your next vacation, make use of you travel credit card to book your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as any other travel-related expenses. In addition, you’ll be able to hit the minimum spend for your credit card bonus and earn points, but you’ll also earn points or miles on the costs.
Utilize your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday expenditures
Another way to meet the minimum amount of spending and earn points is using your credit card to pay for daily costs. This can include things like food, gas, and even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay the balance off each month in full so you don’t accrue interest charges.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer miles or bonus points for specific types of purchases, such as dining or travel. Check out the rewards program of 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 debt on a credit card, think about transferring that balance onto a travel credit card with a 0% introductory APR for balance transfers. This will allow you to pay off your debts without accruing interest. It will also assist you in reaching the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus.
Use your points or miles carefully
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize them in a responsible manner. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and then compare the benefits of different redemption options. For instance, using points to book a flight directly with the airline could offer better 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 points to other loyalty programs. This will allow you to have a wider range of options and greater freedom when it comes to you want to redeem your rewards. For example, you may be capable of transferring your reward to an airline’s frequent flyer program or a reward program for hotels. This gives the benefit of a wider variety of hotels, flights, and other travel perks that aren’t offered through your credit card’s rewards program.
Additionally, try to find out the card’s benefits. certain benefits that will save you money on travel-related expenses. Many cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection and other benefits that are very beneficial when traveling.
When you travel with a friend, both of you can earn rewards using your credit card. Be aware that you cannot split the cost on the same card, and be sure to keep track of the rewards you earn separately.
Overall, the key to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to know your credit card’s rewards program and make sure you’re using your credit card in the most efficient method possible. Through an array of strategies I’ve listed that you can earn rewards fast, exchange them for travel experiences that are worth it and benefit from a wide range of travel perks.