Are you tired of spending a fortune on airfare? Well, good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel problems. It’s a fun way to convert credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles, which can be used to score discounted or complimentary flights for your dream destinations. With a little creativity and some insider knowledge, you can be jet-setting for free in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is about swapping credit card sign-up bonus and incentives for airline miles. The miles can be used to purchase discount or no-cost flights. Some credit cards also allow you to redeem miles for hotel stays and rental car deals.
How Does it Work?
The key to success in hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and to establish a frequent flyer mile program with a limited number of airlines. When it’s time to make a booking, evaluate the cost. If the price is less than $300, it’s generally better to pay in cash and save your miles to book a higher-priced flight. If your flights begin to climb over $500, you’ll need to check the frequent flyer account and find out which airline will give you the best price. It all boils down to the number of points or miles in your travel account for each airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets to travel hacking? First step opening an account with a sign-up bonus. There are a lot of fantastic credit cards with many benefits and features. It is all dependent on the airline, your habits with spending and the features that are most essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards that are perfect 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 spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to qualify for the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so be sure to check for this information. Then you can begin to rack up miles, and using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to set sail with your goals?
Once you’ve accumulated your points amount, it’s time to use them towards sweet vacation! Different credit card companies have different methods of redeeming your rewards, here are some examples from some of the ones I’ve worked with:
Escape by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have a Chase credit card, then you are able to redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within the portal, you’ll have access to nearly every airline and you can combine points and cash to pay for your travel. You can even book completely on points if you have enough balance! Sometimes even if you do not have enough points to cover the total cost, you are able to purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using the credit card of your choice.
Are you tired of paying full price for flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United You have the option of paying using dollars or points? Be careful in case you don’t have enough points, you cannot combine points and dollars for the same flight. Don’t worry, though, if you’re just a few points away, United gives you the option of buying additional miles.
Looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue provides an enjoyable and comfortable travel experience that includes extra legroom as well as free snacks. Plus, their booking process is similar to that of United Airlines that allows you to book with either JetBlue dollar or points however, not both. But, JetBlue has a unique feature that lets you combine your points with your family members and earn points twice as fast. Just make sure you can verify that you are a family member before trying to hack into the system.
Hit that Minimum Spend
If you’re anything like me and my travel buddy Becca You’re probably quite economical and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the minimum spend for the credit card bonus. But don’t fret, we’ve been through it and are here to share some of our tricks and tips.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able to pay your rent with credit card, then do it! Just be prepared to be charged a fee, typically about 3%. It may be worth it in the end if the bonus is high enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet the spending limit is to pay for an medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses due Ask your family members to pay them for theirs, and they will pay you back.
Pay off the loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan you owe, think about repaying them using an credit card. Be sure to pay off the credit card balance completely so that you don’t end up with additional debt.
Ask family for help
Talk to your family and determine if they’ve got any big expenses coming up which you could help pay for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to are able to trust the person and that they understand why you’re doing it.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season, consider 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. Be sure to avoid spending more than you were already thinking of.
There are a lot of methods to get the most of the travel credit card and earn miles or points to be used towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few more ideas for maximizing your rewards:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, use your travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel, rental car, and other travel costs. You’ll not only be able to hit the required amount to qualify for a credit card and earn points, but you’ll also be earning points or miles to cover these costs.
Use your credit card to pay for your everyday expenditures
Another way to hit the minimum spend in order to accumulate points making use of your credit card to pay every day costs. This can include things like food, gas, and even your phone bill. Make sure you pay the balance off in full each month so you don’t accumulate interest.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer miles or points in exchange on certain kinds of purchases, like eating out or traveling. Be sure to review your rewards program on your credit card and take advantage of any bonus categories that align with your spending habits.
Consider the possibility of transferring your balance
If you are currently in debt on a credit card, you might want to transfer that balance to an account with a travel credit card that has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfer. This will let you pay off the debt without accruing interest, and also assist you in reaching the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus.
Make use of your miles or points carefully
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points, be sure to use them wisely. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and compare the benefits of different redemption options. For instance, using your points to purchase a flight directly with the airline might give you a better value than using them to purchase an gift card.
Another suggestion is to use an rewards card that permits you to transfer your rewards to different loyalty program. This will let you have a wider range of options and greater flexibility when making use of your rewards. For instance, you might be able to transfer your rewards to the frequent flyer program of an airline or a hotel rewards program. This will give an access wider selection of hotels, flights, and other travel perks that may not be accessible through the rewards program on your credit card.
Also, find out if your credit card offers certain benefits that will save you money on travel-related costs. Some cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that could be very beneficial when traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with a friend and both of you earn rewards with your credit card. Make sure you don’t split the cost on the same card. Also, make sure to track your rewards in a separate manner.
Overall, the key to reaping the maximum benefits from your rewards for travel is to be aware of the rewards program of your credit card and to ensure you’re making use of your credit card in the most effective way possible. Through a combination of the strategies I’ve outlined that you can earn rewards quickly, redeem rewards for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide assortment of travel-related perks.