Are you fed up of spending a fortune on airfare? Good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting method to turn credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles, which you can use to get discounted or even complimentary flights for your desired destinations. With a little bit of creativity and some insider know-how, you’ll fly for no cost in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. The miles can be used to pay for discount or no-cost flights. Some credit cards also allow you to redeem miles for hotel stays and car rental deals.
How Does it Work?
The key to successful hacking your travel plans is to take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and establishing a frequent flyer mile program with a limited number of airlines. When you are ready to make a booking consider the cost. If the flight is under $300, it’s best to pay in cash and use your miles to pay to book a higher-priced flight. If your flights begin to climb above $500, you’ll want to check those frequent flyer accounts to see which airline can give you the most value. It all boils down to the number of points or miles you have in your travel savings account for each airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you interested in learning the secrets to travel hacking? The first step is opening an account with a sign-up bonus. There are many great credit cards with many benefits and features. It depends on the type of airline, your habits with spending and the features that are most important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit cards excellent 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 have to meet the limit of spending minimum in order to get the bonus. Every card has different guidelines, so make certain to verify this information. From there you can begin to rack up miles, and then using them to book your dream vacation!
Are you ready to set sail with your points?
Once you’ve accumulated the points balance, you’re ready to cash them in for some sweet travel! Different credit card companies will have different methods for redeeming your points, but here are a few examples from some of the ones I’ve worked with:
Getaway by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of an Chase card, you can use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Through this portal you’ll get access to virtually every airline, and you can make use of a combination of points and cash to book your next trip. You can even book entirely using points if you’ve got enough balance! Sometimes even if you don’t have enough points to cover 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 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 dollars or points? Butbe aware, if you do not have enough points you cannot combine points and dollars on flights. If you’re a few points short, United gives you the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience with extra legroom and free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to United’s, allowing you to book with either JetBlue either dollars or points, but not both. However, JetBlue offers a distinct feature that lets you combine your points with your family members and earn points twice as fast. Make 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 buddy Becca, you’re probably pretty economical and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to hit the required amount to qualify for a credit card bonus. Don’t worry, we’ve been through it and are here to share some of our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able to pay for your rent using a credit card, do it! Make sure you be charged a fee, typically around 3%. It could be worthwhile over the long term if the bonus is high enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another way to reach the minimum spend is to cover a medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills in the near future Ask your family members if you can pay their medical bills and they’ll pay you back.
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 that you don’t accrue more debt.
Ask family for help
Discuss your family with them and determine if they’ve got any major expenses in the near future that you can help pay for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to have confidence in the person you are talking to and they are aware of the reason for taking the initiative.
If it’s the holiday season, consider buying all your gifts with the credit card you have. This way you can reach the minimum spending requirement and be ready to give gifts. Be sure to avoid paying more than you planning to.
There are many ways to make the most of your travel credit card and earn miles or points to be used towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few additional ways to maximize your rewards:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
If you’re planning a trip, make use of you travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel, rental car, and other travel costs. Not only will you be able to meet the required amount to earn your credit card bonus, but you’ll also earn points or miles on the costs.
Use your credit card for everyday expenses
Another method to reach the minimum amount of spending and earn points is by using your credit card to pay daily costs. This could include things like gas, groceries or even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay the balance off in full every month to ensure you don’t accrue interest charges.
Take advantage of bonus categories
Some travel credit cards will offer bonus points or miles for certain types of purchases, such as eating out or traveling. Make sure you review your credit card’s rewards program and make use of any bonus categories that match with your spending habits.
Think about a balance transfer
If you are currently in debt on a credit card, consider transferring that balance onto a travel credit card with the introductory APR of 0% for balance transfers. This will let you pay off the debt without accruing interest and simultaneously help you hit the minimum spending requirement for the credit card bonus.
Make use of your miles or points wisely
Once you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of miles or points, be sure to use them in a responsible manner. Review the rewards program for your credit card and then compare the worth of various redemption options. For example using your points to book a flight directly through the airline may give you a better value than using them to purchase an 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 enjoy a greater variety of options and greater flexibility in making use of your rewards. For instance, you might be capable of transferring your reward to an airline’s frequent flyer program or reward program for hotels. This gives the benefit of a greater variety of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks that may not be offered through the rewards program of your credit card.
In addition, you should discover the card’s benefits. any perks that can reduce your travel expenses. Many cards offer travel insurance as well as rental car insurance baggage protection, and other benefits that can be invaluable when you travel.
If you’re traveling with a companion, both of you can earn rewards with your own credit card. Make sure you don’t share the costs on the same card, and be sure to track your rewards separately.
The key to maximizing your travel rewards is to understand the rewards program on your credit card and make sure you’re using it in the most efficient way possible. By using a combination of the strategies I’ve outlined, you’ll be able to earn rewards quickly, redeem rewards for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide assortment of travel-related perks.