Are you tired of spending an enormous amount on flights? Well, good news! Travel hacking is the answer to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting method to convert credit card welcome bonuses and other incentives into airline miles, that can then be used to get discounted or even free flights to your desired destinations. With a little creativity and some insider information, you’ll travel for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards for airline miles. These miles can later be used to purchase cheap or free flight tickets. Some credit cards also let you redeem miles for hotel stays and rental car discounts.
How Does it Work?
The most effective method for successful hacking travel is taking advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and building out frequent flyer miles with a limited number of airlines. When it comes time to book a flight consider the cost. If the price is under $300, it’s generally better to pay cash and save your miles to take a more costly flight. If your flights begin to climb above $500, you’ll want to review the frequent flyer account to determine which airline offers you the best deal. It all boils down to the number of points or miles you have you have in your travel savings account for every airline.
Get Started with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets of travel hacking? First step to open an account with a sign-up offer. There are many great credit cards that offer various benefits and features. It depends on the type of airline, spending habits and the features that are most essential to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards that are excellent for travel hacking:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
If you’ve been approved for a credit card, you’ll have to meet the minimum spend limit in order to get the bonus. Each card has its own rules, so make sure to look up the details. From there it’s all about building miles and then using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to go on a jet-setting with your points?
Now that you’ve built up your points balance, you’re ready to cash them in for some delicious travel! Different credit card companies will have different methods of redeeming your points, but here are some examples from a few of the providers I’ve worked with:
Getaway by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you own a Chase cards, you are able to use your points to redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In it, you’ll get access to almost every airline, and you can use a combination of points and cash to pay for your trip. You can even book completely with points if you’ve the funds to pay for it! Sometimes even if you don’t have enough points to cover the entire cost, you still can book flights using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using any credit card.
Are you fed up of paying the full cost for flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option of paying using either points or dollars? Be careful that if you do not have enough points you cannot combine dollars and points for one flight. No worries though, if you’re a few point short United also offers the possibility of purchasing additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers 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 which allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue points or dollars however, not both. However, JetBlue is unique in that they offer a feature where you can join your points with family members to accrue points twice as quickly. Be sure to 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 companion Becca, you’re probably pretty thrifty and it’s challenging to attempt to spend thousands of dollars in order to meet the required amount to qualify for the credit card bonus. Don’t worry as we’ve done it and we’re 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 using credit card, go for it! Just be prepared to pay a fee, usually at least 3%. It may be worth it in the long run when the bonus is large enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another excellent way to meet 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 reimburse you.
Pay off a loan
If you’re a borrower take into consideration repaying them using an credit card. Just make sure you pay off the balance on your credit card in full , so that you don’t end up with additional debt.
Ask your family members for help
Discuss your family with them and look into any major expenses in the near future that you can help pay for. Make sure that you are able to have confidence in the person you are talking to and they know why you’re taking the initiative.
If you’re celebrating the holidays you should consider purchasing all of your gifts with the credit card you have. In this way, you’ll meet the minimum spending limit and also be prepared for gift giving. Be sure to avoid spending more than you were already thinking of.
There are many ways to get the most of your travel credit card. You can accrue points or miles to spend on airfares or other travel-related costs. Here are a few more ideas for maximizing the rewards you earn:
Make travel reservations using your credit card
Whenever you’re planning a trip, make use of the travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel or rental car, as well as other travel costs. Not only will you be able to meet the required amount to earn your credit card reward as well, but you’ll also be earning points or miles to cover these expenditures.
Use your credit card for everyday expenses
Another way to hit the minimum amount of spending in order to accumulate points using your credit card to pay for daily expenditures. This can include things like food, gas and even your telephone bill. Make sure you pay off the balance in full every month to ensure you don’t accrue interest charges.
Make the most of bonus categories
Many travel credit cards offer bonus points or miles on certain kinds of purchases, such as eating out or traveling. Be sure to review the rewards program of your credit card and avail any bonus categories that match with your spending routines.
Think about a balance transfer
If you are currently in outstanding debt due to a high-interest 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 transfers. This will enable you to pay off your debts without accruing interest. It will also help you hit the minimum spending requirement for the credit card bonus.
Use your points or miles wisely
When you’ve earned a significant amount of miles or points Make sure to utilize them in a responsible manner. Check out the rewards program on your credit card and compare the value of different redemption options. For example you can use your points to purchase a flight directly through the airline may give you a better return than using them for a gift card.
Another option is to get a rewards card that allows you to transfer rewards to different loyalty program. This will let you have a wider range of choices and more flexibility in redeeming your rewards. For example, you may be capable of transferring your rewards to an airline’s frequent flyer program or reward program for hotels. This gives you access to a greater variety of hotels, flights as well as other travel perks which are not available through the rewards program on your credit card.
In addition, you should find out the card’s benefits. any perks that can help you save money on travel expenses. A lot of credit cards provide travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that could be invaluable when you travel.
When you travel with someone else, both of you can earn rewards with your credit card. Just remember that you can’t split the cost on the same card. Also, make sure to track your rewards in a separate manner.
The key to making the most of your travel rewards is to know your credit card’s rewards program and to ensure you’re using it in the most effective method. By using all of the strategies I’ve outlined that you can earn rewards fast, exchange rewards for valuable travel experiences and take advantage of a broad assortment of travel-related perks.